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Routes in Sterling Pass

Bellyful of Moonshine T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Best Laid Plans T 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c R
Confederacy of Dunces T 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Counterfeit T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Der Ficken (aka Jesus on a Rubber Cross) T 5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII 25 E4 6a
Do Wrong Right T 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Heart and Soul S 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
Moonshiner T 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Nobodys Dirty Business T 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
Pocket full of Horses T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Safecracker- aka "Firecracker" T 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Sterling Sliver T 5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b
Unsorted Routes:
Type: Trad, 400 ft, 5 pitches
FA: Hoffman/Frye
Page Views: 1,227 total, 28/month
Shared By: Dean Hoffman on Apr 27, 2014
Admins: Greg Opland, Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick

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As sustained as it gets... Starting with a 5.10 bolted slabbish pitch, it stays consistent at 5.10 for the duration, finishing on a fantasticly exposed bolted arĂȘte. A real Coconino adventure, this thing is awesome! Mostly in the shade, but definitely doable in the winter.

2 choices for the first pitch...

The original pitch 1(ish) is a very easy traverse over to the Jungle belay. Leave your packs over by Counterfeit and gear up, walk up two or so switch backs to the base of Bellyful. Just down from here you will find one bolt and a 5-easy traverse to the base of pitch 2, place a piece or two... (You can do this in your approach shoes and then leave them at the belay and grab them on your way back down!)
Alternate "Darkside of the Moonshiner" direct start... 5.11ish, Start literally on the trail and follow 6 bolts (I tried my best to camo these so hopefully you won't be able to see them all from the ground!) up the slopey, sandy,fun pitch. Expect to feel a little excited as you make tenuous moves up this face. It will likely always be sandy, be forewarned. After bolt # 6 look for an optional .4/.5 placement before you make the final mantle and an optional #2 placement to get you to the chains! Might be worth top roping first if you don't onsight 5.10, especially due to its eternally sandy nature! This is definitely a great pitch! About 60ft...

2: 5.9/10? Pretty much a full 35m of hands to wide hands to OW in a corner (If you're new to OW this is a good intro! Challenging, but not terrifying!) Great features and fantastic rock take you to a two bolt anchor with a decent stance(Earthbridge belay) (Navigate delicately past the earth bridge!) From this belay you can also shift right and climb Do Wrong Right for a bonus pitch. Leave your #5s here.

3: The old school Sandona pitch.5.10+ The hardest moves are getting from the belay up to the base of the crack. Some looseness and vegitation, but this fairly short pitch takes you to a sweet belay at the Alcove.

4: More Splitter! 5.10 Nothing tricky here, continue straight up the fantastic hands/wide hands for another 30 or so meters, culminating with some great, easier, chimney climbing up to the fantastic Tower belay. You'll definitely want 3's and 4's for this pitch! (Shared with Pocketfull of Horses)

5: 5.10+ Rack up a .75, 10 draws/slings, and a 1 and 2 camalot and head straight up the wild arete. Clip 8 bolts on the arete transitioning from face to arete on great patina edges, at the 7th bolt surf left and pull up onto a nice ledge, clamber over the bush and chimney between the summit and the sub summit block. I placed the #2 just before making the last move to the chains but you may like the #1 a little lower as well. From here bring your partner up and celebrate the awesome views of the Peaks! (If clipping bolts for some reason doesn't appeal to you feel free to bushwhack around the ledge system to the right, it'll get you to the summit but really is not cool at all)
(Bonus Awesomeness) Rap or lower down the south side of the tower and either TR or lead the fantastic hand crack back to the top of the tower FA Frye, 5.9

See topo on Pocketfull description (Moonshiner goes straight up from the trail, center of photo)


At the top of Sterling Pass you will encounter the Chutes and Ladders Wall just above Counterfeit, with Moonshiner being the first and most obvious line you see. Start by walking down along
the wall at the base of Bellyful.
Rap Beta: To get down do a series of single rope raps (must be a 70!You will not reach the Jungle belay from the Earthbridge if you have a 60, also knot your ends!) straight from the summit to the ground. Watch the ends of your rope as a few of these are a bit close, but still comfortable.
After just reclimbing this over the past weekend I feel like I need to mention the summit rap anchors. These were placed by the folks who first climbed pocket full of horses and they are... ok... They're more than adequate but could be better. If anyone wanted to shore them up I'm sure no one would complain...


single to point 5, double to #5. 10 slings. 1 70m rope
flagstaff, AZ
markguycan   flagstaff, AZ
To lead the "Dark Side" P1 of Moonshiner would be a very heady and difficult endeavor. It is often sandy and the holds are thin and sloper while the bolts are sparse. That said, there are some incredible moves. I can not remember being so pumped on a slabby face climb! I managed to onsight it on TR but felt I was about to fail several times. Traversing in to TR this pitch would be worthwhile even if you don't climb the rest of the route. Alternatively, a good plan is to climb Pocket Full of Horses finishing on the final 2 pitches of Moonshiner, then rap Moonshiner and TR the first pitch.
P2 of Moonshiner starts difficult and dirty but turns into excellent clean rock with a wide crack.
P3 also starts out difficult and dirty and then becomes just difficult as you thrutch out of an overhanging pod into an OW. It does finish nice though with a thin hands crack in a flare.
P4 is why you are here! Steep hands to wide hands & fists!
P5 is of an entirely different character, Thin sloper face moves to the left of a more positive arete. My 6'2" partner did a dead-point to a sloper which would have likely been impossible for a shorter person. I managed with out it leaning left and utilizing heal hooks to the right.
A worthy adventure for sure! Feb 21, 2016
Darren Mabe
Flagstaff, AZ
Darren Mabe   Flagstaff, AZ
a great "welcome back to sedona" route. A few notes from our ascent yesterday. Great tshirt temps.
Good beta about stashing packs, leaving approach shoes at jungle belay etc.
As sands through the hour glass so will be below the clever access pitch.
P2 is pretty awesome, P3 is price of admission, but still fun and interesting, to the sweet 4th pitch wide hands pitch to a big sunny ledge.
The last pitch is wild and exposed. I fell into the temptation of climbing too much on the arete, offline of the bolts which made clips hard but i also found supplemental gear (small to medium cams). Some of the bolts were hidden which added to the excitement- keep your eyes peeled. I found the crux to be around the 3rd bolt and getting to and clipping the 4th.
This will be popular route as it continues to clean up! Oct 26, 2014