Type: Trad, 250 ft, 2 pitches
FA: Karl Rickson & Gene "Smitty" Husted (variation KR & Jean-Pierre Michaud)
Page Views: 821 total · 10/month
Shared By: Charles Vernon on Aug 12, 2013
Admins: Greg Opland, Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick

You & This Route

4 Opinions

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Access Issue: Subject to the Bighorn Sheep restriction from January 30-April 1, according to Backcountry Rock Climbing in Southern Arizona Details


The second pitch of this route is dirty from neglect, but is otherwise a real gem--one of the best crack pitches on the mountain.

Kerry's description of this route confused us a little, mainly because he references a "direct start" that supposedly goes at 5.9, but he never describes the regular start. We did a direct start that seemed to match his description, except we didn't find 5.9 climbing. At any rate, the crack system is fairly obvious, and following your nose certainly works fine.

Pitch one ("direct start") begins up a short right-leaning, left-facing ramp, following by a grunty move into a short chimney formed by a large flake. Move ~30 feet right on the flake to pick up the crescent crack which leads to an uncomfortable belay beneath a bulge.

Pitch two pulls the bulge (rather than moving left underneath it) and then traverses left into the main crack, which is excellent moderate hands into sustained 5.8+ fingers. Easier climbing above leads to a belay with great views at the top of the cliff.

Partway up this pitch a diagonal crack shoots off left which is apparently a 5.7 variation and also looks pretty good.

The beginning of the so-called direct start is not anything worth seeking out. If you could figure out how to start higher, and do the whole thing in one pitch, that would be the way to go, as you could skip the uncomfortable hanging belay. You might be able to do this anyway, with a 70 meter rope.

It's also possible the direct start is further down gully, but we didn't see anything that matched the description.


This is on the NW aspect of Five Mile Wall, which forms its own distinct, clean 250' high face. See the wall description--this is the northernmost portion of the wall and is not far from where the trail takes a hard left (south). Just north of this wall there is a lower-angle 200' high slab. The "north gully" referenced in the description is not the nasty trough between the two walls, but instead is to the north of the low-angle wall. The route follows the obvious crack system on the right side of the wall, and is easy to scope out from the approach. As far as we could tell, the "direct" route starts on the left of two short, right-leaning, left-facing ramps below the main line. Possibly one can access the line from higher up in the "trough" mentioned earlier, and avoid this indirect "direct" start.


Standard rack with extra finger-sized pieces


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