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Routes in H.S. Canyon

Golden Spike, The T 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
Type: Trad, 600 ft, 5 pitches, Grade IV
FA: Bloom, Consentino '98
Page Views: 3,351 total, 33/month
Shared By: Mike on Jul 7, 2009
Admins: Greg Opland, Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick

You & This Route

12 Opinions

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This is an outstanding climb up a long, sustained, & aesthetic line on mostly bullet-hard rock. You get some of everything on this route, from tips to chimney, plus a face-y crux. Once at the base, it would be pretty hard to get off-route.

P1: (5.11-) Climb the left side of the small pillar, then continue up the clean fingers corner. Pass a small roof to the left, then continue up crack past another roof to 2-bolt anchor with fixed 'biners. (maybe 140'???)

P2: (5.11+) Continue up crack, passing left under a roof, then up to a nice rest below a small overlap. Rest up, then bust through the crux on thin face & stemming moves past 2 bolts, then up easier ground to the next anchors. (maybe 90')

P3: (5.11a/b) Continue up crack past an overhanging hands section to easier ground that leads to a large roof. Ascend the obvious slot in the roof, then up a nice corner thru an off-width roof to another bolted belay with fixed 'biners. (maybe 110')

P4: (5.10+) Continue up crack past a long off-width section to another bolted anchor.

P5: (5.7) Long, obvious crack/chimney system gets you to another belay near the summit of the spike.

To descend rappel the route with 2 ropes.


From the big cairn at the end of H.S. Canyon trail, look up and left. The Golden Spike ascends a continuous crack system in a corner near the middle of the wall that eventually leads to the left side of a semi (barely?) detached 'spike' up high near the top. The P1 belay anchors are barely visible from the ground on the face just left of the crack.

Once you have identified the line, continue up the wash from the big cairn for a couple minutes, then bushwhack up a steep slope to the base, utilizing a small break in the headwall a bit right of the route.


Despite the long approach, I recommend the following:
Triples from yellow metolius thru #4 Camalot.
Singles of cams from blue Metolius down to tiny.
1 set of nuts including a couple tiny ones.
Several runners.
2 quickdraws.

Those willing to carry a few extra pieces for better pro opportunities could bring an extra #1 & 2 Camalots and a yellow metolius. Also a #5 Camalot would not go un-used.
Casey Niggemyer
Flagstaff, Arizona
Casey Niggemyer   Flagstaff, Arizona
I climbed this route last august, and found several of the rappel anchors to be less than ideal. the only anchor i could find off the summit was several arm length slings girth hitched around an uninspiring rather dead looking tree trunk. I left some cord around the summit block to rap off. the next rap anchor at the top of the fourth pitch was a two bolt anchor, but only one of them had a hanger. If you plan on going all the way to the top of the route, i would recommend bringing some extra webbing as well as another hanger. May 31, 2015
Flagstaff, Az
dsmit   Flagstaff, Az
Here is my rack beta:
one .3
doubles .4-.75
triples #1-#4

Be sure to check out the cliff dwellings across the canyon, wild! Feb 28, 2015
Ryan Z
Ryan Z  
You definitely only need (1) 70m rope. All of the rappels are easy and straight forward. I brought a lot less gear than recommended and still felt like I hauled too much. Mike, No disrespect intended, I appreciate your efforts and time to post the information, this is just my experience and opinionÂ…. The ratings felt dead on except for P3, which was much more difficult than the crux pitch for me. Awesome climb and a stunning location. This is not near as difficult as some other 11+ climbs in Sedona. First and second pitch definitely get 4 stars! Get on it! May 26, 2014
Eric D
Eric D   Gnarnia
I believe the ratings to be right on. Not sandbagged at all. Aug 11, 2013
Abel Jones
Bishop, ca
Abel Jones   Bishop, ca
The first three pitches are pretty cool. Don't be expecting "astroman", not even astroboy in height, but that doesn't change the fact that the physical nature of this will wear you out. The general burliness makes the technical crux feel nice and dainty. The hike was really easy and fast despite the length while the drive in was long and sucked. Good route, enjoy. Apr 10, 2012
Jason Nelson
Jason Nelson   SLC, UT
There is only 1 bolt with a hanger on top of P4. There is a stud next to it (maybe 3/8" wedge bolt?), but no nut or hanger next to it. Me, I'm not much a fan of single bolt raps. In general the raps/anchors could all use to be improved. Most just have two bolts with 1 biner each and are located just off the belay ledges which make for unnecessary hanging belays and very twisted ropes. It would be a good service for a future ascent to improve on this as the route is a worthy adventure.
I agree with Mark on the grades - expect full value climbing burl and gnar with not many cruiser sections. Apr 6, 2012
JJ Schlick
Flagstaff, AZ
JJ Schlick   Flagstaff, AZ  
Sounds like a world class trundle.... Apr 6, 2012
chuck claude
Flagstaff, Az
chuck claude   Flagstaff, Az
On pitch 3 on top of one of the ledges below the red Camalot roof, there is a block that is 6' wide, 3' high and about 18" thick that you would like to yard on. Don't. The whole block moved maybe 3" on me today ( 4/5/2012), and could realistically come off in the very near future. Apr 6, 2012
flagstaff, AZ
markguycan   flagstaff, AZ
Golden Sandbag!
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Awesome enduro route! Comparable to Astroman, this route is a serious undertaking.
Dry Creek Road is in poor repair- recommend high clearance/4x4 to trail head. 1hr approach, heavy packs- agree with the beta on pro- we took a #5 and used it but you don't really need it, 3 or 4 #2's and #4's, 3 #1's & #3's, 2 of the smaller stuff + nuts, 2 60M ropes (1 70M will not do). Route actually faces North East, 1st pitch went into the shade about 10am as I started climbing.
MAYBE both Keith and I were having HIgh Gravity days, but I don't think so. I do think that most of the pitches could easily be uprated by 2 letter grades. I would suggest P1: 11b/c, P2:11c/d, P3- mostly 11a w/ a 5.12 tight #1's crux, P4:10+ Off width was a welcome break!!, P5: 5.9- but exciting to a great summit.
Don't let these ratings put you off, just be prepared for a full body work-out.
Regarding the raps: Top Rap- we backed up the anchor with some more webbing-- we had a terrible time pulling the ropes from here and recommend adding a bolted anchor closer to the chimney, 2nd rap- we added a second bolt!!3rd rap- fine, 4th rap- we were able to skip the 5th rap by downclimbing the last bit while using a 70M & 60M. Apr 1, 2010
Michael Sokoloff
Spokane, WA
Michael Sokoloff   Spokane, WA
Is this route climbable in the colder months? Hoping to get on it before I leave Flagstaff in December. Oct 26, 2009
The GPS coordinates for the "small break in the headwall a bit right of the route" are... N34 56.497 W111 50.101 Oct 18, 2009