Type: Trad, 3000 ft (909 m), 20 pitches, Grade V
FA: Sam Boyce, Kyle Willis Oct 2016
Page Views: 2,649 total · 33/month
Shared By: Sam Boyce on Oct 5, 2016
Admins: Justin Johnsen, Luke EF, Larry DeAngelo, Aaron Mc

You & This Route

3 Opinions

Your To-Do List:

Add To-Do ·

Your Star Rating:

     Clear Rating

Your Difficulty Rating:

-none- Change

Your Ticks:

Add New Tick
Access Issue: Red Rock RAIN AND WET ROCK: The sandstone is fragile and is very easily damaged when wet. Details


Head of State forges a wondering but somewhat direct line up "the fin", a faint buttress in the middle of the mountain between Lady of Wilson's cleavage and Dogma. The route in general is not super sustained and climbs more like a long alpine rock ridge than a red rocks wall. The climbing is high quality and varied on generally good rock. Imagine resolution arete but much much longer. This is a pretty solid grade V and makes for a huge day, there are ample bivy ledges, the highlight being the soft and perfectly flat ledge at the base of the "kraken" chimney.

P1 170' 5.7 Follow a crack below the large shallow varnished chimney, then continue up the left side of the chimney to a small ledge below some red boulders and a right trending varnished ramp.

P2 110' 5.2 Climb the varnished ramp to a huge bushy ledge system.

Move the belay up and right around 200' to the base of the treed out face. Aim for the middle of the face. The next 6 pitches climb "The Apron", the massive pink cone of rock that forms the outside of Willie's.

P3 150' 5.5 Weave your way through the bushes and yucca. Belay in a blocky gully feature at the base of the steep wall in front of you. This is the worst part of the day, but its not as bad as it looks.

P4 150' 5.7 Head up the right trending crack to your right. follow this to a small triangular ledge with a finger crack out left.

P5 160' 5.10- Step down and left off the ledge and face traverse to the splitter finger crack. Follow this crack to a nice ledge on the left below a short varnished open book. Belay only takes .4 size cams and micro nuts and is hard to place.

P6 200' 5.8 Step right off the belay, then back left above the corner to a nice finger crack. Climb the face above aiming for the bush to the left. Squeeze through the bush and into a large gully system, step left to the leftmost chimney and ramble up to a stance below a strange tufa-like flake.

P7 180' 5.6 Straight up the chimney over a chockstone, step right onto an easy slab. Belay on a sloping ledge just above a pine tree.

P8 200' 5.8 Traverse the face left and up to a crack. This crack leads to a red left facing corner. Follow this corner to the summit ridge of the apron. Take the left of the two slabby ridges and run up easy slab to the top of the apron. Belay with hand size gear in a horizontal at the summit.

Scramble up the ridge about 400' aiming for a huge gaping offwidth.

P9 40' 5.4 Climb a nice hand crack under the OW. Lower off of tat on a bush into the gully below. This is the top of Willie's.

P10 200' 5.8 Start left of a mossy patch. Climb the crack up the slab, climbing the face when there are bushes or trees in the way. Belay at a huge pine tree.

P11 140' 5.7 Ramble up and left and weave your way toward a ledge below an obvious splitter #1 crack. Belay at the left end of this bushy ledge below the obvious arching hand crack.

P12 130' 5.10+ Climb the amazing splitter hand crack. An awkward mantle guards the belay ledge. Belay in a finger crack high to the left on the ledge.

P13 30' 5.9 An insanely short pitch, but extremely memorable. from the belay downclimb a body-length and hand traverse with wild exposure to the next corner, mantel onto the ledge and belay.

Scramble left into the gully, then back right on this ramp for about 500' to a huge ledge with a mega cairn, the next pitch heads up the large left facing chimney corner on the far right end of the ledge. There are intermittent mid fifth moves here with low exposure. We found cairns here on the FA, our best guess is a scrambling path to sherwood.

P14 100' 5.9+ "The Kraken" chimney; Climb the OW/chimney up to a ledge.

P15 200' 5.10- Continue up the wide crack system until you get to the summit of the first tower. Step right on the first big ledge and belay off 2 old 3/8" bolts around the corner. 

Side Note: We found bail gear above this and later learned that it was from an attempt by Geoff Conley in the early 2000’s. I suspect the bolts on this ledge are also remnants of this attempt. It appears that he stopped at the same place Kyle and I did on our first attempt. I don't know what route he took lower down on the mountain, i suspect it was via sherwood, but am unsure and would appreciate any information.

P16 60' 5.10- R "The Knifeblade Traverse" There is a enormous mostly detached thumping block on the main wall. Climb on top of this and clip a manky KB. Awkward face moves through the bush lead to the OW above and good gear. Climb the OW until it doglegs to the right then make an exposed traverse to the right to the base of a right trending hand crack. Build a hanging belay here with horrid rope drag.

P17 170' 5.9 Climb the hand crack up to some bushes that block the crack. Climb the face on the left placing gear in the bushes as needed. Continue up into the deep varnished chimney. 5.7 R Chimney leads up to a well protected cool mantle to a large blocky belay ledge.

P18 195' 5.9+ Start up the left facing corner past some choss blocks to a ledge. Climb halfway up the left side of a micro tower (Gummy Bear Tower). An unprotected (5.5) Leftward Face traverse leads you to the attractive right facing corner. Follow this past a very awkward OW/squeeze move to the top of the tower.

P19 170' 5.11 PG-13 "The Headwall" Amazing position and movement. Climb the seam following fixed gear. This pitch  is serious and sustained with some runouts in 5.10 terrain. Cruxes are reasonably well protected, imagine a 5.11 version of the rock warrior. Belay at a small ledge below a roof, only takes 2's and 3's.

P20 110' 5.9 R Steep climbing straight up leads to a roof with a crack above it. Once established on the face, climb straight up confusing overlaps and seams to the summit. Belay on a ledge at the lip of the summit or at a tree far from the edge.

Descent: The best descent off wilson is oak creek. 

Bail Options: There are a few retreat options that I am aware of, I am more familiar with some than others. The first would be to descend after climbing the apron. After lowering into Willie's you can descend this gully, I have not been in the upper part of this and cannot speak to it. A better option may be to climb the 5.8 slab (Pitch 10) and traverse a ledge system here to sherwood forest. The scramble between pitch 13 and 14 appears to be part of some sort of scramble that leads down to the base of LWC. Above the Kraken you will likely have to leave gear to rappel. The bolts at the top of pitch 15 seem like they would be a 70M or so rappel to sherwood forrest, this is untested. There is still tat in place from where we bailed on our first attempt. From the top of pitch 17, a 60M rappel leads down the face to a ledge with a small tree. A 65M rappel from here leads down to sherwood forest.


Park at the south oak creek lot, follow the road straight up to the pimple, cut left onto the obvious ridgeline when natural, follow this ridge straight to the base of the first pitch 1 to 1.5 hrs coordinates for base of route in UTM's 11S 637065 3995139


Singles .1 to 5 with doubles .3 to 3. Single set of offset nuts including rp’s. Optional 6 pending comfort on 9+ OW.  70m rope is nice