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Routes in Mormon Canyon

Ambulance Ride T 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
Backslider T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Damn Yellow Rope! C1-2
Duck for Cover T 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Earth Angel T 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Fin - South Ramp, The T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13
Goliath T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Hot Hookers T 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c PG13
Latter-Day Sands T 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
Made In The Shade T 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Mormon Mission T 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
Nameless Tower, The T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Plural Pleasures T 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
Rich and Famous Towers T 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b PG13
Scrotum Pole T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b R
Starlord T 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
Tim Toula Spire T 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b R
Touched By An Angel T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Unsorted Routes:
Type: Trad, 120 ft, 3 pitches, Grade III
FA: E. Webster, B. Becker
Page Views: 1,366 total, 10/month
Shared By: Kole DeCou on Feb 26, 2007
Admins: Greg Opland, Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick

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Description

The Scrotum Pole competes with Secret Spire for the most erect spire in Sedona, especially when viewed from the north-west. The route is kinda scary, but is 90% on pretty good rock with only 3 feet of true choss. The R-rated part is steep face climbing on solid rock with a 20 ft. ledge fall potential. The route description in the Toula Guide is wrong, but the location is correct.

Start at the notch on the east side.

Pitch 1: 5.9 60' Climb up cracks to the limestone band. Surmount the limestone either the splitter hand crack on the right, or the chimney on the left (looks way easier.) If you do the hand crack variation (fun) you then have to do a difficult traverse to get back on track. Belay on top of the limestone at a tree.

Pitch 2: 5.3 (net zero feet) There is a big block blocking your westward progress. Climb up one side and down the other and establish a belay again on the limestone band but on the other side of the block. Belay takes finger sized and a bolt.

Pitch 3: 5.10R 70' Traverse left past 2 bolts into a crack. This crack pinches down to a seam. Climb good varnish into some dried mud. If worried about rope drag build a belay behind a pillar on the ledge after the mud. Otherwise continue up to a drilled pin, traverse right and up on nice solid holds that keep getting steeper all the way to the top (Wild! 5.10R). Belay from the summit block.

Location

Park at Mormon Canyon trail head, as for Earth Angel. Drop into the wash, and hike up it for 1/2 hour. Just before Goliath/Mushroom, there is a huge and prominant 400' tall prow of rock on the right. Find the wash heading up the right side of this prow (opposite side from the Mushroom gulley). Scramble up this wash until you see the Scrotum Pole on the right. You'll know it when you see it. Start at the high point of the notch.

Protection

2 each black Alien to #3.5 Camalot, 1 #5 or #6 Camalot, nuts. 2 ropes or 1 70m rope. Webbing, bolt kit optional. We replaced the webbing and the mankier of the 2 bolts (2/26/07), the remaining original is a little iffy.

Photos

Trevor Bowman
Sheridan, WY
 
Trevor Bowman   Sheridan, WY
 
I agree with Kevin. The above description of the 3rd pitch reads like an entirely different experience than what we encountered up there. I would describe that pitch as 90% creaky choss, with a band of the worst brown sugar "rock" I've seen in Sedona. Between the two of us, we trundled probably 40 lbs of blocks out of the crack after the initial traverse, and pulled or scuffed off many small bits and pieces throughout. The final runout above the pin was indeed on slightly better rock, but I certainly don't think it's terrain that a sport climber would make light work of. I definitely endorse an R rating on this pitch.

The belay for the 3rd pitch consists of an original 3/8" wedge bolt with SMC hanger, backed up reasonably well with a solid crack in the block 10' to the right (#.4-#.75 Camalots). There is only one bolt on the traverse, which can be clipped from the edge of the belay ledge. It is an original 1/4" or maybe 5/16" wedge bolt with SMC hanger. Both the belay bolt and this one are pretty dubious and are due for replacement. The top anchor seemed pretty solid, thanks much for the additions guys! The bolts on this anchor are staggered, and a decent length of cord (15-20') will be needed to replace the existing cord. Feb 8, 2016
Kevin Kent
Flagstaff, AZ
 
Kevin Kent   Flagstaff, AZ
 
I definitely disagree with some of the above comments. By saying "only 3 feet of true choss" I think Kole meant there's only 6 feet that would probably be more easily climbed by swinging ice tools directly into the "rock" than trying to free climb and that 90% of the 5th class moves on pitch 3 are over choss. I thought this pitch fully earned it's R rating. I don't think you would really die anywhere on it but you could definitely get messed up; bad rock, bad pro, and bad falls are not a good combo. I would have been a lot happier with a nice rack of offset cams too.
Also, the bolts at the start/belay of P3 are total trash, although the pin high up seemed bomber. We didn't place anything bigger than a #2. I didn't think rope drag was a problem at all, a few runners makes everything fine, no back cleaning required. Rope drag will be the least of your worries.
Super awesome formation though, I think the most aesthetic tower I've climbed in Sedona. The Mace and Oak Creek spire are a little bigger but this thing is very nice looking. It being a rad formation and pitch 1 being really nice only sort of make up for P3 though. Feb 8, 2016
Jake Dayley
  5.10
Jake Dayley  
  5.10
Did this route a few weeks ago and thought it was pretty good. Definitely not R rated with modern gear. We added another anchor bolt down low in more solid rock because the existing bolts were not safe. We equalized the original bolt, Kole and Mark's bolt, and our new one with some cordelette and now it's reasonably bomber. I'd say doubles to #3 for the rack and one 70m rope. As Kole says, watch the rope drag on the final pitch. Enjoy! May 2, 2014
As I recall, Ed and Bryan did this thinking it was Earth Angel.
Gnaw, I'm kidding. But I do seem to recall that they hiked in there to do EA and then saw this and thought they'd bag a first instead. Jun 18, 2009
FA was actually by Ed and Bryan Becker (of Hallucinogen Wall and Denali Diamond infamy) Jun 16, 2009
Kole DeCou
Flagstaff, AZ
 
Kole DeCou   Flagstaff, AZ
 
The 5 isn't needed, but leading that pitch I was happy to have it since it protects the first move after the traverse. Not a hard move, but still... I then back-cleaned it and used it as weight training for the rest of the pitch. Watch out for rope-drag on this pitch. I'd sugest putting a sling on the second bolt, back-cleaning the first couple pieces after the traverse, and putting a sling on the pin up high. This might help. You're probably going to hit the ledge anyways if you come off high on the crux, so you might as well have less drag. (don't worry, anyone who sport cimbs much will feel very solid and safe during the runout. I on the other hand was wigged out because the holds were too big.) Mar 2, 2007
markguycan
flagstaff, AZ
  5.10 R
markguycan   flagstaff, AZ
  5.10 R
great route, some choss, not really that bad a run out. We had the big gear but you really don't need it, I'd go back again and leave the #5 at home. Mar 2, 2007