Type: Trad, 550 ft (167 m), 6 pitches, Grade III
FA: FA: McDonald, Daniel, I.Shaffer FFA: J.Snyder, Z.Harrison 4.13.2013
Page Views: 3,600 total · 36/month
Shared By: J. Snyder on Apr 24, 2013
Admins: Greg Opland, Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick, Brian Boyd

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Justice of the Peace climbs a large dihedral system out a large roof and lastly onto the beautiful headwall of the Northwestern Buttress on Courthouse Butte. Shares the same summit as the infamous “A Day in Court”. Originally established as an aid route, the route now goes free with surprising amounts of quality clean crack climbing, striking face climbing as well as a techy crux. Memorable pitches featuring everything from face, tips, hands and yes… offwidth. Luxurious belays and a remarkable finish makes Justice of the Peace one of Sedona’s overall great quality free routes.

Historical and FFA Info: The FA team established an A2+ route that involved sections of thin aid as well as a direct finish that involved long sections of hooking on questionable rock. After initial exploratory attempts at freeing the original and direct finish it was decided that a free variation would be necessary to reach the summit. The addition of free bolts and discovery of a balance traverse sets summiting parties below an unforgettable summit pitch. Position yourself on the summit of the stunning buttress for a well-earned view of The San Francisco Peaks.

P1 Traverse in from bolted belay and clip the awkward aid bolt, climb through a thin crux to hands to a bolted belay. For Free Var. extend belay below block to better protect for next pitch. 5.11-

P2 From extended anchor, clip fixed pin for rope direction, and mantle block next to belay. Clip a bolt and climb the boulder problem crux of the route. Plug your way up corner and into beautiful tips to wide hands splitter on large pillar. 2 bolt belay above splitter, hang out on comfy belay. 5.11+

P3 Climb the always necessary gently overhung offwidth through fingers and thin hands to large roofs above. Clip second and third bolt (avoid the first to prevent rope drag), and push yourself through the “man-eater roofs” to thoughtful block climbing to a bolted belay below “the roof”. Save a #.5 in a pod for your exit. 5.10+/.11-

P4 Leave the belay, clip bolt below “the roof” and carefully mantle onto a foot ledge, be courteous of the fragile blocks to the climbers left, they’re sensitive. Put on your roof-traverse party pants and follow the tips and fingers Sedona splitter out the horizontal roof. Pull the roof, clip a bolt and climb to a 2 bolt Free Var. anchor on an arête. DO NOT climb to aid anchor above ledge. 5.10+. Classic.

P5 Traverse directly right of the belay into the “JB Honorary Traverse” and hope the wind isn’t blowing too hard. Make some slow balance moves across large sloping foot ledge past some gear in a flake to a bolt below a flake, bust the short boulder problem, clip 3 more bolts, and climb to a 2 bolt belay on a cocktail ledge in the center of the headwall. Leader mentality on both end of the rope. 5.10

P6 Climb beautiful and high quality face climbing past 2 bolts and gear through red and white banded headwall to a right leaning tips to fingers splitter. Bust your last move and finish on hands through a short roof. Build a gear anchor. 5.11-

Descent: Scramble up 3rd class terrain 100 feet to true summit. Look for the “largest tree” on top. Locate a two bolt rap station just below North side. Make a Double 70M rappel to a large black varnished ledge below and center of the “JB Honorary Traverse”. Make a second long and steep Double 70M rappel to a blocky ledge. Final rappel can be done with a Single 70M rope. The second rap is very long, with 60Ms requiring easy down climbing to the last rap anchor. 70M recommended. Watch for loose rock when pulling your rope!!


Justice of the Peace starts in the large shady dihedral system capped by a large roof on the NW corner of Courthouse Butte. Park at the large trail head for Bell Rock Pathway just North of Bell Rock. Walk towards the North side of Courthouse Butte, after briefly walking East follow a faint trail system South towards the large talus slope below the route. Walk past several mud patties and rock circles and begin walking up talus slope on a faint and loose climbers trail. Locate first belay near cool featured pockets above slabs.


Double:70M Ropes
Doubles: .6"-3" (Red #1 C3- #3 C4)
Single: 4" (#4 C4)