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Routes in Montezuma's Head

Montezuma's Revenge T 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13
Northwest Chimney Route, The T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13
Ricardo Cabeza T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a PG13
Southwest Face, The T 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c PG13
Type: Trad, 5 pitches, Grade III
FA: FA P1-3: Todd Swain, Peggy Buckey 12/20/83  FA P4: Donette & Todd Swain  4/95
Page Views: 134 total · 12/month
Shared By: Gunkswest on Jan 31, 2017
Admins: Greg Opland, Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick

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Check with the park for the latest information on climbing and backcountry use. Details


This route climbs the north face of the tower, and joins The NW Chimney Route after nearly 500 feet of climbing. From the north col, scramble up an easy ramp then move left (E) to a deep chimney/groove with agave plants and waterstreaks.

P1) Up the chimney/groove for thirty feet (good nut) then traverse out right to a sloping ledge. Climb straight up over a bulge (5.6) to a ramp leading up and right. Belay in the alcove above. 100 ft; 5.6
P2) From the alcove traverse left (E) twenty feet across a steep wall. Climb straight up to a three foot roof in a shallow right facing corner. Surmount the roof (5.7), then climb straight up to a belay ledge. Belay behind a huge block. 100 ft; 5.7
P3) Scramble up on easy rock to the midheight meadow, and the base of the upper cliff. 200 ft; 5.2
P4) Go to the extreme lower left (NE) end of the midheight meadow and belay from a bolt and fixed pin under a ceiling. Turn the ceiling and follow a chimney past overhangs to a ledge. Step right and climb a waterstreak/groove to a belay on a sheltered ledge in a corner (as for P4 of The NW Chimney Route). 80 ft; 5.7+
P5) Move left (E) around the corner into a chimney, then straight up lower angled rock (passing a two bolt anchor) to a shallow right leaning corner and the summit. 150 ft; 5.4


From the north col, scramble up an easy ramp then move left (E) to a deep chimney/groove with agave plants and waterstreaks.

There used to be a rappel route down the SW face of the spire, but the rock has become too loose to trust. This leaves but one option:
1) Downclimb to the two bolts on pitch five of The NW Face Route, and then rappel from there to the traverse ledge with one rope.
2) Reverse the traverse to the bolt and fixed wire. Rappel down to the mid-height meadow with one rope.
3) Scramble down to the north col or reverse the lower portion of The SW Face Route.


Carry a rack up to a blue Camalot and shoulder length slings. Bring extra webbing or cord to bolster the rappel anchors.


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