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Routes in Elephant Head

Cable? What Cable? T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b R
Hiker's Route T 3rd 1- 1 I 1 M 1a
Rocktology T 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b R
West Gully T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b R
Type: Trad, 1000 ft, 7 pitches
FA: Adrian Korosec and Robert McLeod
Page Views: 576 total, 8/month
Shared By: Robert B. McLeod on Sep 23, 2011
Admins: Greg Opland, Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick

You & This Route


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Description

We didn't do this on purpose. We went up the right side of the watercourse white slabs, saw the cable to the right, but kept going up. After climbing the steep cliff on the extreme right side, found the cable on our left and trending away. Three roped pitches on the bottom of the route put us on easy 3rd class terrain. Rock quality was a problem on these pitches. After at least 500 feet of 3rd class, we broke left, or north, as the main gully was giving out. A short distance up this gully we roped up for 3.5 more pitches of interesting climbing. The first of these upper pitches involved poorly protected 5.7 face climbing to a tree, the second a thrutchy off-width to a long, brushy traverse, then a third pitch of fun climbing with poor rock quality and iffy pro to better stuff on top. A final half pitch puts you at the elephant shrine. This route is visible from the southwest, directly under the summit, to the right of the main gully and cableway.

Location

Again, this is an accident that we're reporting to help others. Because the rock/pro is sketchy and the climbing slightly harder than the "correct" route, we're reporting this to help other rock Magellans either take evasive action or know what they're getting into. Again, you'll end up on this if you tend right in the main gully, and avoid the cable experience.

Protection

Not so hot, as the rock quality makes placements and hand holds suspicious. On the first pitch on the upper half, we resorted to a tied off chicken head at the crux that might have held. The first cam on the third upper pitch may cam the block off in the lap of the belayer. Good belay ledges. The second pitch on the upper mountain is a 60 meter rope stretcher; the belayer has to move up to help the leader.

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adrian korosec
tucson,az
adrian korosec   tucson,az
This ascent was a classic case of, "Were we off route or did we climb a new route?".

The west face of Elephant Head is large and complex. I believe no two parties will ever climb the exact same variation...even if the same party climbs it twice, they will not follow the same route.

Nevertheless, this formation is a fun little punter's peak. Get out there and get lost on this face! Oct 17, 2011