Type: Trad, 6 pitches
FA: Scott Ayers & Bart Murphy (1987). Scott Ayers & Tanya Bok (2007)
Page Views: 1,992 total · 18/month
Shared By: Geir www.ToofastTopos.com on Mar 4, 2010
Admins: Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick, Greg Opland

You & This Route

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This is a fun route that climbs over a few interesting features. It actually starts LEFT of Ides of Middlemarch and crosses over it at the end of pitch 1. To locate the start, scramble up and left about 40' from the start of Ides. Two bolt lines depart from this area, you will use the one headed to the right.

Pitch 1 (5.8, 90'): Follow bolts up and right on slabby 5.8 terrain. A few pieces of gear need to be placed on this pitch. Ends at the anchors for the first pitch of Ides of Middlemarch.

Pitch 2 (5.10-, 100'): Climb up and slightly right to a crack. Place a few pieces of gear to protect moves leading out to a bolt line on your right. (Be careful here as a fall would result in a nasty swing.) Move to the bolt line (10-) and climb up a neat arete to a ledge. Traverse right on the ledge about 20 feet to an anchor.

Pitch 3 (5.10-, 100'): Follow two bolts up over a bulge, then walk 15' right across a neat detached arch in the rock. Once across, climb straight up past two bolts, then head up and left for 15' protecting with gear and bolts. After reaching a shallow hole in the rock, head straight up to a two bolt anchor.

Pitch 4 (110', 5.8): Climb up and right following three bolts. After the third bolt bear up and left a few feet into an easy crack. Follow it up easy terrain with great rock. Protect with 1"-3" cams and nuts. At 110' there is a white patch of chickenheads left of a round boulder perched on a rock. Belay here on nuts or link the next pitch.

Pitch 5 (80', 5.7): Continue straight up on 5.7 terrain protecting with a couple of medium size cams and nuts. Belay at a two bolt anchor.

Transfer the belay up and left 100' on easy terrain (stay roped up) to a large ledge. Stop at a two bolt anchor at the top of pitch 5 of Peacemaker. See the topo for details.

To continue to the top, the original route bears right as described below. I checked out this ending after it was reported in January 2017. Frankly, it is not that great but I added it to the topo for historical accuracy. I suggest finishing on the final two pitches of Peacemaker.

Pitch 6 (5.9, 170'): Clip the first two bolts on the right hand line of bolts (Mad Cow Disease), then traverse right on a narrow vegetated ledge to a tiny pine tree. Climb straight up from the pine tree, passing two bolts, to a large vegetated ledge. Traverse right on the ledge past its end and another bolt, finally stepping down into a vegetated notch. Belay at a nice big pine just above the top of the notch.

Pitch 7 (5.5, 50'): Climb up and left on chossy rock to a prominent notch. Body belay in the notch or go to the back of it and belay from trees.


Download the updated topo using this link:



Singles to 3.5" and stoppers are plenty to protect this mostly-bolted route.


Justin York
Phoenix, AZ
Justin York   Phoenix, AZ
Did a direct start to this route which is a bolted line (50-100 ft?) to the RIGHT of Ides. I guess this is Mad Cow Disease?? After two great pitches with thought-provoking moves, we continued up the unknown route described here. Highly recommend the linkup for a more direct line! Apr 8, 2010
Geir www.ToofastTopos.com
Tucson, AZ
Geir www.ToofastTopos.com   Tucson, AZ

i believe that you did start on mad cow disease. when i first did this climb i started that way, too. i agree it makes a good start. Apr 8, 2010
Los Alamos, NM
Aerili   Los Alamos, NM
Pitch 3 is the money! Dec 1, 2010
Littleton, CO
Hendrixson   Littleton, CO
This route is called "The Tombstone Stripper" and was established by Scott Ayers. Jan 18, 2014
Phoenix & Prescott, AZ
arjunmh   Phoenix & Prescott, AZ
Another gorgeous route, though next time we'd probably do the first pitch of "Ides" instead simply to enjoy those bulges again. I prefer "Ides", but this has some super fun and airy face climbing in pitches 2 & 3. For sure the funnest pitches and well worth doing just for them. Mar 27, 2016
Just so you guys know Geir and toofast topos have the information for the route wrong. Please see the above notes I have added for P4 and P5 as they are the way the route was established and a great way to surmount the top part of the Sheepshead. Jan 16, 2017
Geir www.ToofastTopos.com
Tucson, AZ
Geir www.ToofastTopos.com   Tucson, AZ
Actually, the route descriptions that I have are completely correct as I have personally led every route that I have in my book. The left hand variation of the lower pitches are detailed in the topo. It looks like the FA chose a slightly different way to end the "The Tombstone Stripper" than what I chose. This information just made public; I climbed this ending and have added it to the description. (Previously I finished on Peacemaker and Mad Cow).

To clarify, this route was originally posted as "Unknown" as the FA did not wish to share details about the route at the time. The name of the route was later applied to the description of what I climbed. I am happy that the original ending of the route is now updated here.

I'll add the original ending in Toofast Topos II. Jan 16, 2017
The FA didn't "choose" a different ending to the route then you.
This is the route.
You climbed pitches on the Sheepshead and you combined them as you wanted to climb them. That is fine but it is not the route and should not be listed as such. Jan 16, 2017
Geir www.ToofastTopos.com
Tucson, AZ
Geir www.ToofastTopos.com   Tucson, AZ
No worries, I was happy to add the description of the ending you described today just as I did for the route's name in 2014. I updated the free topo to match. Jan 16, 2017
Daryl Allan
Sierra Vista, AZ
Daryl Allan   Sierra Vista, AZ
cochiseclimbing wrote:Glad to see I was able to make your topos accurate finally-guess you can take that claim off your work.
Ouch. Really? Guideline #1 perhaps? Jan 23, 2017
J Mo
Tucson, AZ
  5.10- PG13
J Mo   Tucson, AZ
  5.10- PG13
Spoiler alert! Do not read if on sighting!

On p3 a sweet DMM gold offset is nice after you pull the little bulge at the end of the 20’ left angling groove. Dec 17, 2017
Emily Lines
Denver, Co
Emily Lines   Denver, Co
The book call so p2 5.8- whereas MP has it as 10-. My partner and I both agreed it felt solidly 5.9. As for p4, I never found any chickenhead nut placements that were good enough and concentrated enough for an anchor (though maybe I was off of the traditional route in the sea of chickenheads) so I’d definitely recommend linking with p5 for a nice long easy pitch. Mar 19, 2018
I agree with Emily, in my guidebook description, I combine the above-listed P4 and P5 into 1 long 200' pitch. Then, transfer the belay along the ledge to set up for P5 & 6 to top out. Jun 19, 2018