Type: Sport, 800 ft, 7 pitches, Grade III
FA: Scott Ayers & Mark Colby
Page Views: 12,909 total · 95/month
Shared By: Geir www.ToofastTopos.com on Mar 11, 2008
Admins: Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick, Greg Opland

You & This Route

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A fully bolted route with quality rock. Seven pitches, all of which are at least 5.10a.

[EDIT 1/2/14]
Apparently Bob Kerry's Description was insufficient. It has been five years this things has been posted and nobody seemed to mention that to me. My bad, here is a pitch by pitch description:

Rack: Quickdraws only.

Pitch 1 (5.11-, 100’): Clip two bolts, then pull a difficult (10+) roof to establish yourself on the slab. Continue up the slab on increasingly difficult moves to an anchor on a ledge.

Pitch 2 (5.11-, 60’): Traverse left, clipping two bolts. Pull around the arête (11-), then continue up and left to the anchor.

Pitch 3 (5.10, 110’): Climb up and left where you will encounter a long reach move near the third bolt (10c). The route arcs back to the right for airy, exposed climbing to the anchor.

Pitch 4 (5.10-, 140’): Work through 5.10- climbing past three bolts, after which the climbing eases off on more runout terrain. Belay at a ledge below and to the left of a large pine tree.

Pitch 5 (5.10, 130’): Climb up and slightly left to a crux near the 5th bolt (10c). The climbing eases off and continues to a two bolt anchor at the right side of a large ledge.
Transfer the belay left: Walk left along the ledge a total of 160’. You’ll pass by a tree at about 100’ and a two bolt anchor 30 feet beyond the tree. Your anchor is the second two bolt anchor 30’ past the first one.

Pitch 6 (10+/11-, 100’): Climb the chossy looking face (10b) and work up more slab (10+/11-) to a two bolt anchor next to a shrub. Another anchor is directly left on the other side of the shrub, an easy 50’ pitch is possible here to escape to the top. Cams from 2-4” are needed for the anchor if you exit this way.

Pitch 7 (5.10+, 50’): Climb the shallow trough past three bolts to the top.

Bob Kerry's description of the route can be found at climbaz.com/Backcountry/pag…

A detailed topo for this route can be downloaded at toofasttopos.com/free/


Starts in the gully on the far right side of the Sheepshead. The start of the climb has a 10c roof/bulge protected by two bolts. Look for a right-angling line of bolts headed up a 100' slab.

See the link to Kerry's online guide (above) for further details.


All bolts, all cruxes well-protected. Even so, you should have a significant amount of multipitch experience before attempting this route. Due to the wandery nature of this route, retreat would be difficult after the first pitch, even with two ropes.


Portland, OR
rpc   Portland, OR
Beautiful topos for Cochise routes. Thanks for the effort! Mar 12, 2008
Geir www.ToofastTopos.com
Tucson, AZ
Geir www.ToofastTopos.com   Tucson, AZ
toofast says "my pleasure." thanks for your comments. Mar 12, 2008
susan peplow
Joshua Tree
susan peplow   Joshua Tree
After climbing the route to the right of Stampede we did the opening pitch just for fun at the end of the day.

Without doing the entire route I cannot comment on the grade and/or stars beyond the 1st pitch. That said, the first pitch provides a fun bouldery start up some tenuous face climbing to the anchors.

I'd recommend everyone do it just to get a feel for face climbing at the Stronghold. Nearly everything looks big after that route.

Experience your own slab dismorphia today and give it a try!

~Susan Jan 4, 2009
manuel rangel
manuel rangel   Arizona
I finally got on it last weekend; wonderful and the crux was fairly easy 11. I had been put off by the talk of runouts and there were a few but on easy rock. The first and third pitches were great, although the first got your slab work going fast; the second and crux pitch was also good and airy. Feb 18, 2009
Jon Ruland
Tucson, AZ
Jon Ruland   Tucson, AZ
this climb is solid 11a, and awesome.

at the end of pitch 5 you will find yourself on a giant ledge. directly in front of you, on the far right side of the ledge, there is a line of bolts going up a cleft in the rock. unless you want to participate in a cleaning effort (which you may) i would not suggest following this line of bolts as the rock is crumbly and a little scary toward the top.

this pitch goes at about 11a and deposits you on the right side of the formation, where you can either scramble left up to the summit or rap off to the right.

again, i would suggest you simply go all the way to the left side of the ledge and finish on the last 2 pitches of stampede, which are of the highest quality. Mar 1, 2009
Mike   Phoenix
To add to Jon's comments above...

We followed the bolts in the right side cleft. It was an OK pitch, but is still a bit crumbly. The benefit of this is that with one rappel and a short bit of scrambling you can be at your packs much quicker & easier than if you top out.

If you have never been to the top or done any of the left-side finishes, then I would recommend going that route. However, if you have already summited The Sheepshead on multiple occasions and have already done some of the left-side finishes, then I recommend the direct finish and it's easier descent.

Just my 2 cents.

What a great route! Jul 9, 2009
danny m
All over
danny m   All over
Does anyone have any better beta for finding this route? Tried to find it but ended up on "Unknown (Mad Cow Disease?)" GPS Cord. would be great. Jan 14, 2011
Josh Janes    
The location of this route is obvious: It begins in the gully on the right side of Sheepshead on a beautiful golden brown, south-facing slab. This slab is directly opposite the start of Sheep Thrills (the dike of Sheep Thrills, which is on the formation right of Sheepshead, is very obvious on the approach). Steep scrambling up the gully leads to the start, and two bolts up a steep weakness gain the slab itself.

We topped out via the grainy/loose direct finish without traversing the massive ledge system. The belay at the top of this pitch is off a single bolt, with a second bolt protecting a final step-across move nearby (this anchor setup is sensible). Rapping the unknown route right of Stampede (listed in the database) with a single 70m rope was fast and easy:

From the belay, we looked down below us and noticed a cairn atop a small buttress at the edge of the face... 30 seconds of easy scrambling leads to an exposed stance on the outside face of this buttress and an anchor equipped for rappel.

1: Rap to an anchor on big ledge.
2: Can't remember this one but it may have been a short rap to a semi-hanging stance.
3: Rap to an anchor climber's left of a big tree on a huge ledge.
4: Rap to an anchor at a stance just underneath, and hidden by, a massive dead log wedged in the gully system.
5: Rap into the gully to a point 50' from the start of Stampede. Jan 9, 2012
One of my most favorite routes. Love that start. Apr 30, 2013
Littleton, CO
Hendrixson   Littleton, CO
This route is named "Stampede". Note the lack of an exclamation point. May 8, 2013