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Ursa Minor

5.8, Trad, 140 ft (42 m), 2 pitches,  Avg: 2.5 from 12 votes
FA: John Burcham & Kenny Powell
Arizona > Northern Arizona > Sedona Area > W Sedona > Dry Creek Rd Area > Bear Mtn Area > Ursa Minor Spire

Description

Start up the East side of the mudrock spire. There is a step-across to a crack, onto some ledges then to a bolt at a headwall. Mantle up, make the next high clip and go around the North side of the Spire to find a belay at the base of a gully. P2 -
Up the double cracks to a fine 3/4 inch crack to finish at chains. One 60 meter rope will need some stretching to get off (send the Tallest guy down first (maybe use knots)).

Location

Park at the Bear Mountain trailhead just past Fay canyon (if approaching from Sedona). Hike the trail to the top of the first mesa and break right at a wash very close to the twin towers on your right. You will see pitch two in the shadows up high. Go to the saddle between the two towers and look for a crack on the East side with a loose looking TV sized block at the base.

Protection

micros on up to 3"

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

A view from the 'saddle' of what I believe the climb is.
[Hide Photo] A view from the 'saddle' of what I believe the climb is.
South east side of Ursa Minor - possible route?
[Hide Photo] South east side of Ursa Minor - possible route?
North side of Ursa Minor. Work your way up the awesome double cracks.
[Hide Photo] North side of Ursa Minor. Work your way up the awesome double cracks.
Topo of East Side of Ursa Minor
[Hide Photo] Topo of East Side of Ursa Minor
Ursa Minor and its "Cub"?
[Hide Photo] Ursa Minor and its "Cub"?
Zac stemming like a boss. No chimney work required.
[Hide Photo] Zac stemming like a boss. No chimney work required.
Panorama from the saddle
[Hide Photo] Panorama from the saddle
You eyeballing me?" Killer "attack lizard" guarding the approach. I believe this is a Collared Lizard. He's a bit "flaky". Looks like he just finished molting/shedding.
[Hide Photo] You eyeballing me?" Killer "attack lizard" guarding the approach. I believe this is a Collared Lizard. He's a bit "flaky". Looks like he just finished molting/shedding.
India with the summit selfie.
[Hide Photo] India with the summit selfie.
Fun rap off the chains. Only need a 60m rope.
[Hide Photo] Fun rap off the chains. Only need a 60m rope.
Great belay perch. A bit busy with 2 ropes but worth it to get us all up to the summit of this spire.
[Hide Photo] Great belay perch. A bit busy with 2 ropes but worth it to get us all up to the summit of this spire.
Crazy happy to make it to the summit!
[Hide Photo] Crazy happy to make it to the summit!

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

[Hide Comment] I am fairly certain this climb is at 34.900073, -111.868388

Its very difficult to see the 'twin peaks' from the road unless you know what you are looking for. Oct 23, 2014
Derek Field
Sedona, AZ
  5.8
[Hide Comment] This route can be done in one pitch with proper rope management (i.e. extend everything and run out the easy parts). Spooky start leads to easy terrain followed by a quick 5.8 slab move straight off a fat ledge. Traverse right into moderate stembox and fun little roof finish.
Correction to the route description: the final crack is not "¾ inch". The actual width is 1¼ inches, meaning that it takes .75 camalot.
Rappel with single 70m rope to ground. Apr 4, 2016
Bill Lundeen
Lee Vining, CA
 
[Hide Comment] Very fun route, mostly good quality rock, up a great little tower. No anchor bolts at end of pitch 1 as Bloom/Wolfe guide shows. Bring large stoppers for belay instead. Could not find even one place to put any micros as the gear section calls for. I'd say complete set of stoppers, singles of cams from 3/4" to 3", and a half dozen slings/long runners.

Rappel is 110' on chain anchor. 70m perfect, but we did it easily with a 60m with some very easy downclimbing.

Bloom/Wolfe guide calls the route 9; MP gives it 7+. We found it about 5.9 on the first pitch at the first bolt if you climb steep slab straight up from bolt. On lead I moved 6 ft right and climbed up bigger holds at 7+.

(There is some misleading gear w/ long runners that look like a rap station but were probably used to back off the tower. They are on the SE side and are totally off route. Go up to the obvious saddle/ridge from there to start.) Oct 21, 2016
Codell Norman
  5.8
[Hide Comment] A 70m rope is worth the easy rap. Dec 16, 2017
John Knight
Sedona
  5.8+ PG13
[Hide Comment] Climbed this yesterday with a party of 4. We broke it into 3 pitches to reduce rope drag. Easily done in 2 if you use long slings. You only need a 60m rope. A party of Four was a bit crowded, but a really fun day out on the rock. Begins on east side then heads right onto the shady north side. Good summer adventure if you get up early. I liked it and gave it 3 stars. The climbing is not "hard" but there were a couple tricky spots. For me, the mental crux was actually the very start. You have to step onto this loose TV Sized block before you get decent pro in the crack. This move occurs over a 30' drop to the south. I placed a couple tiny cams at the base in case the block decided it wanted me to ride it down to the base. Told my partner to jump north if the block and I headed south. I imagine it's fine but was still a bit mentally challenging right off the base. The climbing there is easy and you get in decent pro fairly quickly. The lower crack leads to a giant, flat ledge. We decided to set up an optional belay at this ledge to reduce rope drag. I clipped the bolt and added some small cams in the crack at my feet. After the big ledge, the climb moves up and right off a bolt. Some graded this move 5.9 due to a somewhat tricky, but well protected, slab move. I think it's 5.8 if you're tall and harder (5.9?) if you're not. My shorter partners couldn't reach the ledge so they just pulled on the draw to move up. The so called "high clip" after the slab move was actually very easy to clip. It protects the easy traverse to the base of the double cracks and the first (or 2nd belay). Traverse right and belay at the base of the double cracks. This is by far, the best part of the climb. I did it as a chimney but you can also stem. Chimney is a bit wide so might be harder if you're not as tall as me. The "crux" of the double cracks comes just before the summit. There is a slight "roof" that you need to get over/around. Get in some decent pro then move slightly right and use the ledges right of the crack. Once you make this last move you'll be right at the rap/belay chains. Jul 7, 2019
John Knight
Sedona
  5.8+ PG13
[Hide Comment] One last note on the descent. You rap onto the north side. You can easily reach the base with a 60m. BUT, you need to be careful you have the middle since a 60m just barely reaches the ground. Jul 7, 2019
Christopher Czaplicki
Coarsegold, CA
  5.9
[Hide Comment] Great little moderate spire. The 5.9 slab is tough but it's easy enough to pull on the draw to get through the crux. The second pitch was fantastic, I wish it went on for another 100'. Trip report: TheMtsAreCalling.com/ursami… Feb 3, 2020