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Routes in Fay Buttress

2 Legit 2 Quit T 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Type: Trad, 400 ft, 5 pitches, Grade III
FA: Dave Spies, Tony Bartoletti, Cody Ferguson, John Domaska
Page Views: 4,170 total, 69/month
Shared By: Dave Spies on Dec 17, 2012
Admins: Greg Opland, Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick

You & This Route

29 Opinions

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All types of climbing from fingers to fists, face to off-width, and exposed overhangs to chimney. Test every style you have in your bag of tricks. All clean pitches (rare for sedona)


Fay Canyon Butttress, Sedona, AZ See topo for details


70m rope or two 60m. Camalot or equivalent Single .4-#4 6 extendable draws.
Bob Pettit
cave creek
  5.10b PG13
Bob Pettit   cave creek
  5.10b PG13
The last bolt on the fourth pitch is pulled out over 3/8 of an inch maybe bring a large cam and think about replacing it. I will if I'm up there anytime soon. Sep 23, 2017
Tyler Williams
Flagstaff, AZ
Tyler Williams   Flagstaff, AZ
Great route! I have to re emphasize the approach beta. Stay in the wash all the way to the back wall. It's like bilbo in mirkwood - there are plausible tempting paths to lead you astray, but don't be fooled by the vortex elves - stay in the wash!

Approach took us about 1.5 hours with a misguided adventure through some 5.10 bushwhacking. Way down was pleasant, about 1 hour.

Chimney crux felt about 5.8 or 5.9 technically, but probably deserves its 10- rating based on intimidation factor

I highly recommend giving the Hey Hey variation a go on TR on the way down - beautiful pitch.

Doubles seemed a little overkill but was nice to have the 4.

Good work FA team! Nov 26, 2016
Bill Lundeen
Lee Vining, CA
Bill Lundeen   Lee Vining, CA
One of the best lines in Sedona! Hats off to Dave for an amazing route on clean Sedona Coconino. Fairly easy, very straightforward approach. Took us 1 hr. 10 min. in and a leisurely 1 hr. out. (STAY IN THE WASH ALL THE WAY TO THE BLACK PATINA WALL!).

Felt like the 10- grade is right on. Crux for us, though, was the short O/W with the bad bolt at the end of pitch 4. A #5 Camalot would protect it well. The bolt just before it is also quite loose.

Gear recommendations were good; probably could get by with singles to 4, but the #4 Camalot is a good call. We used it on every pitch but the first, and usually placed it as the first piece as well.

The views and location rival the Scenic Cruise for sure! Nov 11, 2016
Derek Field
Flagstaff, AZ
Derek Field   Flagstaff, AZ
Awesome adventure, kudos to the FA team for the vision! Reminiscent of the Scenic Cruise in that it's a proud, varied line on a tall white Coconino buttress. This one's certainly a greater challenge, although not quite as clean yet.

Approach: Expect over an hour, especially for the first time. No issues after leaving the main tourist trail provided you follow the wash that climbs directly to the base of the dark patina wall and don't try to turn off before then.
P1: Nice clean 5.8 layback, definitely not overgrown, I see no reason to skip it.
P2: Really enjoyable and sustained 5.9 crack.
P3: Never have I encountered a pitch quite like this - so much action in only 60 feet! Downclimb to crimp-rail traverse to runout chimney to squeeze to wild acrobatic offwidth roof. Crux is super intimidating but thankfully quite featured. Protected with bolts too.
P4: The climbing is mostly fun 5.10- face and the initial "runout" is totally mellow, just a 15-foot walking traverse and 2 or 3 edge-pulls on vertical 5.7 to reach safety. Careful with the crimps higher up on this pitch. Short offwidth problem below anchor tree can be tricky; set directionals for follower.
P5: Best done simul-fashion, as it resembles blocky 4th-class alpine.

Gear: Single rack to BD #3, really there's no need for big stuff, all the wide sections have bolts anyway. I imagine extras of thin to medium pro would make P2 slightly more comfortable. Sep 6, 2016
Dave Spies
Sedona, AZ
Dave Spies   Sedona, AZ
Pitch 2 (Hey Hey Variation) Gear Beta = Single rack .3-#3 bd should do. Double #.5,.75.1 would be nice too. Mar 6, 2016
Eva Christ  
Really liked your route! For Sedona standards it is good rock. Thoughtful save belay stations, old schoolers would not like a bolted offwidth-squeeze, I liked the bolts there :-)). The chimney-maze pitch gets four stars, so funny, smile your way up! Yes, and if you do not like hiking, it is not for you. Love the wild approaches here, worth the awesome views and there is far worse bushwhacking out here than this! Nov 2, 2015
Scottsdale, AZ
  5.9+ R
Wendel   Scottsdale, AZ
  5.9+ R
The approach is no fun at all. Not exceptionally strenuous but a lot of bushwacking, prickly pear galore, and bees. Towards the end I'm sure we got off whatever the original route was, the first pitch was too overgrown to bother with- that and the approach took over 2 hours. The more direct ways of getting there were impassible with overgrowth. So lots of loose rock scrambles, a few unprotected 20ft climbs with packs on, and prickers in your legs, didn't make for the best start of the day. The views were nice though.

P1- bypassed- overgrown
P2- 5.9 but pretty pumpy. Mostly lie back.
P3- 5.9d/10a A bolt would be nice as soon as you step down onto the ledge. Less important for leader, as you can clip the rope in a directional off the anchor, but seconding if you slip you're taking a big swing, and it may not be so easy to traverse back over to the chimney. That being said, the ledge is easy. The chimney was fun, and getting over the ceiling is cool.
P4- 10a Not a bad face climb with crimps and flakes. Definitely should add a bolt right around the corner. The first bolt is not hard to get to, but it's definitely an R/X rated fall if you mess up before that- and considering I pulled a right hand flake clean off the move after clipping, it's possible.
P5- bypassed, ran out of daylight. If rappelling, rappel off far side. Not a clean rope pull the other way.

Not terribly upset about the whole day. Nothing very dynamic. The chimney was by far the best part. It's an experience, but I'll definitely never go back. No one in the party loved it. Apr 21, 2015
Nick Dolhyj 1
Flagstaff, AZ
Nick Dolhyj 1   Flagstaff, AZ
any gear beta for the pitch 2 variation? Apr 2, 2015
Catherine Conner
Phoenix, AZ
Catherine Conner   Phoenix, AZ
So freakin' great, I'd give it a classic status, amazing, beautiful, backcountry, and encompasses everything you could want out of a climb!!!! Great route, I'm so happy it exists, this will be a highlight of my year, good job guys on the F.A. of this :-) :-) !!!!

Dave, I met you in the Grand Canyon on the day of the government shutdown, I was going in to canyoneer Garden Creek with some friends ~ you told me about this route and that it was good, THANK YOU (you were right)!!!!!!! Nov 11, 2013
Ryan Z
Ryan Z  
Good route for the colder days. It was in the sun all morning for us. 3rd pitch is wild! really fun. The topo says double rack. But singles of .3-3 and a set of nuts is really all you need. Feb 2, 2013
Flagstaff, AZ
sepe   Flagstaff, AZ
This probably goes without saying, but if you've chopped your 70M at all (even one meter) you should bring two ropes. The raps are perfectly spaced for 70M, so if you're short you will be short!

Great climbing. Jan 29, 2013
Flagstaff, AZ
JimmyK   Flagstaff, AZ
Excellent, varied climb. I think the rating listed on the topo for each pitch is accurate. Pitch 2-Excellent crack/layback, P3-Awesome roof, P4-Exposed face climbing, then short off-width, P5-Fun chimney. Stay left after the P5 chimney to the top anchors. Scramble up to cool summit. Anchors are well-thought out, (the first 3 raps requiring almost all of the single 70m rope). Loose rock at the P4 tree anchor belay station. We used the hand-made topo on MP and found the start of the route with no problems in 1 hour, 15 minutes. Great winter route. With the exception of P1, we had sun all day. 3.5 stars. Jan 21, 2013
Dave Spies
Sedona, AZ
Dave Spies   Sedona, AZ
The FA was done ground up in 2010 and most bolts were added later.

I would like feedback on the ratings. Also could use some new paint on bolts if you have the time. Tried to camo all bolts and chains, but the paint I had sucks.

Also some fun TR variations if you have extra time. At least 9 possible pitches of climbing that make the approach totally worth it. And some ruins if you search hard enough. Please do not disturb ruins or collect artifacts. Dec 17, 2012