Full Metal Hootgat
Trad, 3 pitches,
Avg: 3 from 2
FA: Steve Grossman & Scott Ayers
> Southern Arizona
> Cochise Stronghold
> W Stronghold
> Sheepshead Area…
This route is a different start to the first two pitches of Seeing is Believing. Therefore just one pitch is described here.
It starts on the clearing about 50 feet to the right of SIB, and finishes in the same alcove above the wide crack at the end of pitch two of SIB.
The first bolt is about 30 feet up. A bouldery start (5.10) followed by easier, but delicate, climbing will take you to a first dike. Mantle the dike and reach a good stance from where you can clip the first bolt. The 5.11 crux follows. Climb towards a bulge and follow easier climbing up to a second dike. You will find a new bolt inexplicably located 5 inches from a perfectly protectable crack. This bolt belongs to a newer route (Unknown L side of SW face) that crosses from left to right at this point. From here follow the dike up and left to a good stance by the arete, and another (old) bolt. Then climb up a scary run out friction crux to the third dike. A third old bolt is found. Move left to the wide crack and follow it to a good ledge with a short crack on the back. Anchors can be built with medium size pieces.
This pitch is about 55 meters long of excellent and very thought provoking climbing.
Follow more excellent slab climbing described on Seeing is Believing for the next two pitches to top out and descend.
Starts 50-55 feet right of Mistery of the Desert general area.
This pitch has considerable run outs of delicate, and not necessarily moderate, climbing far above the protection, but it's all good protection.
All the harder sections, except for the start, are protected with bolts, though such bolts are located rather low (clearly put on lead). Falls could be long but save. Do be aware of the ledges, potential ankle-breakers. A soft catch belay is advaisable in case of a fall.
Gear protection can be found between bolts, typically in easier climbing territory and mostly small sizes. Take cams up to medium sizes (C3s are handy) and a set of nuts. The wide crack on top takes tight-hand size gear in the back, and I did not find it necessary to take anything bigger than a red C4 for this pitch, but a large cam could be used to protect the OW move. Long runners are advisable.