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Routes in Machete Ridge

Bill's Bad Bolts S 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b A1
Corona S 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Cuidado! S 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Dos Equis S 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R
Los Banditos T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a A1
Lucky 13 -to- GP Headwall -to- Rock Around the Clock S 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b A0
Machete Direct T,S 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b A1 R
Old Original T 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
Robots of Dawn S 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Son of Dawn Wall T,S 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c A0-1 PG13
Sons of the West T 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c C0
Twinkle Toes Traverse T 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
West Face T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c A1 R
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Type: Sport, Aid, 700 ft, 6 pitches, Grade III
FA: unknown
Page Views: 892 total · 41/month
Shared By: Tony Lobay on Jan 31, 2017
Admins: Aron Quiter, andy patterson, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

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Access Issue: Seasonal Raptor Closures Details


This is the link up of Lucky 13 to George and Phyllis' Headwall to Rock Around the Clock. This link up provides 6 or 7 pitches of 5.8-5.10a/b climbing with a short bolt ladder in the middle. The bolt ladder is a bit reachy - recommend using aiders rather than just pulling on draws. The route is quite similar in character to Machete Direct.

P1 (Lucky 13): 5.10a bolt ladder. 13 densely spaced bolts. Quality rock.
P2: Climb around the Bad Man Mezzanine. Four bolts. 5.4 OK rock. Belay at the pine tree.
P3: GP Headwall. 5.10 a/b start leads to easier 5.7. Cut right and continue up to Rock Around the Clock. Alternatively climb to the top of the GP Headwall and move belay over to Rock Around the Clock.
P4: Climb the 5.9/A0 bolt ladder. Bolts to a 5.9 move to more bolts lead to an intermediate anchor.
P5: 5.8 to 3rd class section. (Can be split into two pitches).
P6: 5.5 to top of ridge. Small cams pro the 5.5 section.

There are numerous variations: Bill's Bad Bolts and Los Banditos are alternative finishes (vs. Rock Around the Clock). Alias Bandits Bench is an alternate start. Lucky 13 is obnoxiously over-bolted (the bolt ladder extends over 5.7 terrain + sawn tree limbs).

Listing this as a complete route rather than the eclectic mix of pitches that were done at different times. The provides a comprehensive bottom-to-top route for someone browsing Pinnacles West. There are multiple variations as mentioned in the comments.

All bolts are in excellent condition. All anchors are bolts and have chains. Requires two ropes to rap. Alternative descent from top of the ridge is possible. You cannot rap pitch 3 with a single 70m rope (tried, didn't work).

Where do I start?!

Middle of Machete Ridge. Start is the obvious bolt ladder of Lucky 13.


Bolts for first 5 pitches. The final 5.5 pitch can be protected with small cams (or just run it out).


Chris Bersbach
Arroyo Grande, CA
Chris Bersbach   Arroyo Grande, CA
This is good tour up the face of Machete Ridge. Faster and easier than Machete Direct. We took the left route around the Badman Mezzanine, rather than the right, for pitch 3 (traversing left on bolts, then right up the 4th class chimney. Descended by following the ridge to the rap anchors at the top of (I think) Son of Dawn, and rapelling off the back of the ridge, then walked down from near the start of OId Original. Apr 16, 2017
Alex Saingchin
Oakland, CA
Alex Saingchin   Oakland, CA
Alternative to the above that we did yesterday: Alias Bandit Bench (5.8) to Redline (5.7) to Bills Bad Bolts (5.9 A0/1 to 5.8R). For the descent, we walked down the steep grassy gully to a two bolt anchor, which we rappelled down with two 60m ropes; scrambled down the narrow gulley for about 200 feet to a grassy ledge with a tree wrapped with webbing. A two rope rappel leads to a scramble down to the silver door. Great climb! Oct 15, 2017
"sawn tree limbs" when did that happen? Jan 31, 2018
Tony Lobay
  5.10a/b A0
Tony Lobay  
  5.10a/b A0
I didn't see sawdust, nor did I notice freshly cut branched on the ground, but it looked fairly recent (last year or two?). Jan 31, 2018
Isaiah Foulks
Isaiah Foulks   Monterey
mini trip report for this link up. part 1

megans first real aid cimb (some prior gym practice), so i gave her the aiders and had her lead lucky 13 on aid so i could talk her through it. i fastened myself some make shift aiders: girth hitching three runners, with an additional double runner on the biner to give my feet options. i aided the first few moves since ive freed it before and i wanted to keep my approach shoes on as long as possible... mmm comfy.

went left around badman because i love chimneys.

off with the approach shoes and on with the free shoes to onsight gary and phyllis's headwall. seeing as how ive climbed a handful of 5.10's at pinns, i suspected holds have parted with the matrix, because those moves felt a tad thin and powerful for 10a... but it went anyway. megan tried to follow it free. even with a tight belay she decked after falling at the first bolt. no biggy, baby fall. out with the aiders!

btw i completely missed the last two bolts of gary and phylis, even with pulling out the topo and scanning vigillantly, one hell of a run out to the anchor. pro tip: best not to catch yourself on machete's west face as the sun just starts to peek over. start early or start late. nothing sucks worse than internally shouting "where the ****" because your blinded by the sun!

rock around the clock went smooth, even with the makeshit aiders. invigorating free amidst the aid.

elected for the 5.8 direct finish to RATC, and by then my feet were hurting. "i dont care whats up there, but im wearing my approach shoes for this one." climbing wise everything went great. concerning rock quality, not so. just as you traverse right into the final water streak that requires some stemming, i test kicked (gently!) a soccer ball sized load stone and watched in horror as it shifted. it hangs directly abovr belayer so watch out for that one!

see part 2 Apr 3, 2018
Isaiah Foulks
Isaiah Foulks   Monterey
part 2...
several moves up i found myself cackelling like a maniac. looking up at the steep and obviously, hilariously loose terrain, i shout down to megan "oh this is gunna be fun!" ...the name of the game is steep stemming with prominant holds, 90 per cent of which will explode with a few pounds of force. take your time and find the right rocks. that final pitch is a rope stretcher, i highly doubt a 50m rope would cut it (does anyone still use those anyways?)

traversed over to original RATC finish and double rope rapped to ground. we wished we had just brought one rope and did the standard machete descent.

overall, worth the day.

event of the day: watching a german dude take a 60+ footer on the flumes south east face. holy shit, as i watched him fall and fall i was certain he was going to die. he litterally fell from just below the anchor TO THE BELAYER. i had just taken their picture with the dude high on the route in case i ran into them later i could share it. after staring in shock for a moment after the fall, i took another pic of the dude hanging there by the belayer. after a few minutes, he lowered to the ledge and walked away fine. holy shit

thanks for reading i hope this is helpful and entertaining Apr 3, 2018

More About Lucky 13 -to- GP Headwall -to- Rock Around the Clock