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Routes in The Sheepshead

Absinthe of Mallet T 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Animal Husbandry S 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Bantam of the Opera S 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
Bruise the Rooster T 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Burning Calves S 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Climb Too Tough To Die, The T 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a PG13
Dark Horse T 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
Ewephoria T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Get The Flock Out Of Here T 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
Greedy Little Varmint T 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Hardskins of Our Forefathers T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R
Ides of Middlemarch T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Last Roundup, The T 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
Mad Cow Disease T 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Peacemaker, The S 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Phony Pony T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Stampede S 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Tombstone Stripper, The T 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Unmitigated Audacity S 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Type: Trad, 600 ft, 5 pitches, Grade II
FA: Scott Ayers, Steve Amter, Avi Steinburg, Dave Burke, Charlie King & Tanya Bok
Page Views: 5,366 total, 46/month
Shared By: Geir on Apr 13, 2008
Admins: Greg Opland, Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick

You & This Route


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Description

This climb has a wide variety of climbing, including chimney, crack, face, and slab, making it interesting and challenging at the grade.

A topo for this is available at http://toofasttopos.com/free/
Pitch 1 (50 feet, 5.8) -- climb up past two bolts and a few traditional placements to a two bolt anchor.

Pitch 2 (120 feet, 5.10a) -- make a hard move to the right, clipping a bolt. Then climb up past one more bolt to a nice crack. Continue up the crack, staying to your left at a bulge, where the crack widens to a short chimney. At the top of the chimney bear right and climb up past a few more bolts to the anchor.

Pitch 3 (100 feet, 5.9) -- climb up on a slightly run-out, but easy terrain to a series of bolts. Continue along the bolts until the climb bears left to a sloping ledge with a two bolt anchor.

Pitch 4 (140 feet, hard 5.9) -- climb up and right past bolts and interesting face climbing. After about 5 bolts, the climbing eases off a bit to lower angle climbing. Pass over a diagonal crack which takes some gear and continue up to a nice ledge with a two bolt anchor and rap rings. Note that this anchor is one of the rappel stations for the descent.

Pitch 5 (100 feet, 5.9) -- climb up past two bolts and into a chimney. The chimney narrows to offwidth as you climb higher and face holds appear on your left. Move on to the face and continue up to a two bolt anchor with rap rings.

Descent:
-From the end of pitch 5, rappel 100' to the anchor for pitch 4.
-From the pitch 4 anchor, rappel straight down about 80' to an anchor on your right.
-Rappel from this anchor 50' to a large ledge with vegetation.
-Scramble down and climber's left about 30' to a small flat area by a large tree. Hidden about 10' to climber's left is a rappel anchor on a mildly exposed slab.
-From this anchor, rappel 95' straight down to the steep gully, where you will find yet another anchor.
-From here, rappel down the gully about 70 feet. Scramble to your packs.

  • While the descent can be done with a single 60 meter rope, it is advised that you use two ropes for this climb in case retreat is necessary before finishing pitch 4.

Location

Approach: while walking up the hill toward Sheepshead, keep an eye out for a cairn marking a trail heading to the right. After a minute, the trail deposits you into a wash which heads up toward the right side of Sheepshead. Continue up the wash until you are between Sheepshead and Carnivore Pinnacle (the next formation to the right). You will see the bolts for the beginning of Stampede on your left. Continue up 50 feet or so to a large dead tree. The route starts in a gully to the left of this tree.

Protection

Gear and bolts, approximately 50% bolt protected. All anchors are bolted.
JMo
Tucson, AZ
 
JMo   Tucson, AZ
 
Excited to see there is a summit scramble and walk off for this climb. Feb 12, 2017
arjunmh
Phoenix & Prescott, AZ
 
arjunmh   Phoenix & Prescott, AZ
 
Probably my favorite route up this big rock. Great to get back on it and swap leads. A 60 m rope is fine for linking p. 1 & 2 as well as all the raps, including the last one that's noted as 105' on Geir's topo. All exultory comments above hold true! Mar 27, 2016
Jon Ruland
Tucson, AZ
  5.10-
Jon Ruland   Tucson, AZ
  5.10-
this route is a must do for the southern arizona crack enthusiast. after belaying my second up i lowered down and toproped pitch 2 just to do it again. classic. Nov 28, 2015
Kevin Kent
Flagstaff, AZ
 
Kevin Kent   Flagstaff, AZ
 
Definitely link 1 and 2. Linking 4 and 5 is very reasonable too with smart use of runners, I had 20' of rope left with a 70m. Sep 8, 2015
Creed A
Salt Lake City, UT
 
Creed A   Salt Lake City, UT
 
I climbed this route a few days ago. It was the type of thing where we were passing through Tucson and had time to do one route in the Stronghold with our local friend. She wanted to do this. I was nervous about jumping on a 5.10 multi pitch at a place with a reputation like Cochise, but this route was shockingly casual. I bet 75% of the route is bolt protected, and every belay is bolted. All the 5.9 or 5.10 climbing has a bolt every 4-5 feet. In fact, we skipped 3 bolts on pitch 1, as they were totally unnecessary, and clipping the first three bolts would be totally contrived given the easy, low-angle, gear protected terrain about 5 ft to the right. There were several bolts alongside bomber gear placements. The route was fun and the grade was fair, but I don't think it deserves three stars because it's so over-bolted, almost like a grid-bolted sport crag.

I also think this route deserves a better name than "unknown." We propose the name "Counting Sheep," since the route is so casual and you could literally take a nap on the sandy 4th belay ledge. Jan 1, 2015
Laurel Arndt
Phoenix
Laurel Arndt   Phoenix
We climbed this route again on November 21 and unfortunately we had to bail. We left two pieces (#1 and a #2)anticipating that Tanya Ayers would be on the route later and retrieve them. She did not...it was too cold also. If you do the route and find them please pm me.Many thanks and the karma climbing gods will smile on you! Dec 3, 2014
gblauer Blauer
Wayne, PA
gblauer Blauer   Wayne, PA
Tough route for this gunks climber. So much slab, so few roofs! Very enjoyable, each pitch different and sustained. Dec 7, 2012
Jimbo  
Second pitch is as good as any pitch on Sheepshead. The rest of the route was worth doing once. We never placed any gear bigger than a yellow camalot. One or two number fours would be silly and very much in the way.

Beta spoiler: Climb the off width on pitch 5 facing left. This allows full use of good foot holds on the left wall and makes it easier to place gear deep in the crack with your right hand.

No biners on the top of pitch two. People are so low rent. Do you really need a couple of old biners that badly!

We spent 5 minutes unrapping our rope from the big downed tree after the rope stacked itself into the branches. Mar 14, 2012
Tim Hadfield
Steamboat Springs, Co
  5.10
Tim Hadfield   Steamboat Springs, Co
  5.10
Climbed this a few days ago, excellent route! Lots of variety and fairly sustained climbing. I would agree with everyone, this climbs more like a 5.10. I felt like the slab/face sections were on par with Peacemaker. Could have been that the second pitch off-width/chimney climbing kind of gassed me! Jan 12, 2012
Justin York
Phoenix, AZ
  5.10a
Justin York   Phoenix, AZ
  5.10a
What a great route! P2 is great, but don't forget about the bolted pitches 3 and 4 - they had some really fun moves at their cruxes. P5 was a grunt through the offwidth but it's a short section before pulling onto the easy face. Brought a #4 camalot but only used it once on the whole climb, and could have easily placed something smaller above or below it.

As for the descent, BEWARE that the last rap station in the gully is now covered by a huge dead tree. Looks like it's freshly fallen, with branches and rocks everywhere. The rap station is still accessible, just hard to see from above and the ropes get all tangled in the branches. For the last rap, we descended into the "hole" between the gully and a giant boulder. Rope pulled OK from there. Then scrambled down to packs. May 23, 2010
Hendrixson
Tucson, AZ
  5.10a
Hendrixson   Tucson, AZ
  5.10a
After putting it off as long as possible, I took my first trad fall on pitch 2 of this climb. Amazingly the system works -- the piece held!

Returned a week later and reworked pitch 2 -- what an amazing and engaging 120ft. I left two carabiners on the anchors of pitch 2 for a double rope rappel. Mar 12, 2010
Tyler Williams
Flagstaff, AZ
  5.10a
Tyler Williams   Flagstaff, AZ
  5.10a
What an awesome climb. a little grainy near the top. solid 5.9+ face, crack, chimney, slab, you name it.

Some photos from a recent trip (pics from the climb are at the end of the album): picasaweb.google.com/tyler.…

oh, and the chimneys/OWs weren't that bad. A grunt, but not the crux. Jan 11, 2010
roman d
Pasadena, CA
 
roman d   Pasadena, CA
 
This climb is really varied, with consistent climbing throughout. P2 is one of better pitches I've done in a while - slab to jamming to lb to chimney to fingers to steep face! (it links with P1 just barely with a 60m line)

Some spots are a little grainy/flaky, especially near the top of P3/start of P4.

I brought a #4 but didn't need it at all. Also, if you have 2 ropes, I would suggest going directly from the anchors at the top of P4 to the brushy ledge in one go, rather than deal with the intermediate hanging belay. Jan 7, 2010
Mike McL
South Lake Tahoe, CA
 
Mike McL   South Lake Tahoe, CA
 
Pitch 2 is great. Slab, hand crack, chimney, and interesting face climbing. Jul 25, 2009
Christian
Casa do Cacete
  5.10a
Christian   Casa do Cacete
  5.10a
Definitely worth it to bring two #4s on the second pitch. What a thrash on the last pitch, I guess having a bunch of gear around your waist is not a good thing in that kind of situation.

On the second-to-last rappel, a 70m may reach the next anchors, otherwise a 60m just ( make sure you have the midpoint) reaches a little ledge where you can step off into the gully and then scramble to the last anchors.

Fun route! Feb 23, 2009
Christian
Casa do Cacete
  5.10a
Christian   Casa do Cacete
  5.10a
If anybody finds a pack-in-pocket Marmot windbreaker in the chimney on the last pitch (forgot to pick it up on the rap) and wishes to return it, please contact me through the e-mail here on MP or at (520) 577-5520

Thanks much Feb 23, 2009
rpc
 
rpc  
 
I might have placed a #4 C4 but I think that was mostly because I wanted to unload it. I THINK you could get away with up to blue Camalot as the OW constricts in the back & I recall placing couple of nuts actually. Jan 30, 2009
Christian
Casa do Cacete
  5.10a
Christian   Casa do Cacete
  5.10a
What size pro do you need for the offwidth on the last pitch?

Can you walk it or do you need more than one piece in that range? Jan 30, 2009
Larry
SoAZ
 
Larry   SoAZ
 
Hard for a 5.9. Jan 28, 2009
rpc
 
rpc  
 
Great modern route! Pitch 2 is a real gem (slab, hand crack, chimney, finger crack, steep face!) but pitches 4 & 5 were also very cool we thought. Just to echo what others said, climbing felt hard for 5.9 (compared to Too Tough... which we did the day before & Absinthe IMHO). Thanks to Geir for another great topo. Jan 26, 2009
Trevor Bowman
Sheridan, WY
 
Trevor Bowman   Sheridan, WY
 
If you're comfortable spacing your placements a bit on moderate cracks, a single set of cams from .5 to 3 BD size is sufficient. A #4 could be placed in three spots, but other stuff will go in a few feet above or below in each of these spots. Great second pitch! Jan 12, 2009
Russ Walling
www.FishProducts.com
  5.10a
Russ Walling   www.FishProducts.com
  5.10a
Pretty good route. Not great, but better than good. 2.5 stars. Running pitch 1 and 2 together gives you a pretty good value outing. It may not be the best way to do it, but the first pitch is so short and goes so quickly, that it feels like more of an approach pitch than actual climbing. YMMV.

The raps are pretty straightforward. We rapped off the top of the route to the big ledge with the tree. Using two ropes (60m or longer) you can do a giant rap from here all the way into the gully. Scramble down the gully for maybe 40 yards and you will see some bolts on the right wall. Single rope rap these and you are back at your packs and the start of the route. Be careful as your rope might try to get stuck in some mid-way-down bushes when pulling down the monster rap.

A short slide show from the route can be found here
(Do a mouseover for captions on the "i" and nav controls on the bottom of the pics.) Jan 8, 2009
Meghan
Sierra Vista, AZ
  5.10a
Meghan   Sierra Vista, AZ
  5.10a
Yes, that was me... Good meeting you! I loved your crag dog!! He hung out with us while we ate, drank, and climbed Sheep Thrills. :-) Jan 5, 2009
Meghan
Sierra Vista, AZ
  5.10a
Meghan   Sierra Vista, AZ
  5.10a
Thanks for the support on the .10a business. I thought it worthwhile to post so that the "budding 5.9 climber" wouldn't get on the route without any warning that it's a little stiff. We also ran the first two pitches together and did it in 4 using a 70m. Might be able to do it that way with a 60m. Happy climbing!! :-) Jan 4, 2009
susan peplow
Joshua Tree
  5.10
susan peplow   Joshua Tree
  5.10
Meghan, it feels like 10a because it is. A budding 5.9 leader would likely have some serious trouble on that route!

Fun line still exfoliating but that's to be expected.

We ran pitch 1 & 2 together with a 70' cord. Like others have mentioned the 1/2 pitch has a wide variety of climbing. Bring your skills ladies and gentlemen!

We did it with (2) teams of two in 4 pitches. Russ & SteelMonkey leading pitches 1/2 & 4. Felicia and I taking the middle blocks.

Good climbing and a nice addition to the area. The last of the winter sun clearing the belay just around 1pm - the route stays in the sun for the afternoon.

Enjoy! Jan 4, 2009
Meghan
Sierra Vista, AZ
  5.10a
Meghan   Sierra Vista, AZ
  5.10a
I climbed this again yesterday and think it's actually harder than I originally thought. On climbing it again, I think it has a few .10a moves and a lot of sustained 5.9. Really good route. Jan 4, 2009
Meghan
Sierra Vista, AZ
  5.10a
Meghan   Sierra Vista, AZ
  5.10a
Great route!! Sustained and diverse 5.9. Every pitch is different and none are much easier than 9. Jul 1, 2008
Mike Diesen
Sierra Vista, AZ
 
Mike Diesen   Sierra Vista, AZ
 
A great route with a wide variety of climbing. 16 draws, a couple slings for chicken heads on the last pitch and a full set of cams (couple small but mostly medium to large) is all that is needed. May 5, 2008
Laurel Arndt
Phoenix
Laurel Arndt   Phoenix
This is a great route and the second pitch is interesting as do not be decieved and try the right side of the bulging rock. Lots of differnt stuff. On the rap look closely to climbers left for the third and fourth set of hangers (more like 20 feet and not 10ft Apr 29, 2008