Bighorn Beatdown - Big Grey Pinnacle
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This varied 1,000' route ascends a mix of cracks, slab, and knobs on the Southeast Face of Big Grey Pinnacle. Two other known routes exist off to the right - James Wilson and Bob Harrington's "Twist & Crawl" (IV 5.9) and Galen Rowell's East Face (IV 5.10). Update: A fourth route was added in Sept 2016 - the "Peregrine Pillar" IV 5.10, the rightmost line on the formation.
Approach as for the Mayfield Canyon Towers, but go around the right side of Bedrock Tower and then up and left (south) into the gully behind. Pass the Cobblers Bench and the Lost Pink formations on your right. A small orange buttress at the foot of Big Grey Pinnacle is passed on the left. Near two large pine trees, scramble 3rd & 4th class onto the buttress and rope up at one of two or three small sandy ledges where the technical climbing begins. Allow 3+ hours.
P1) Just right of a major LF corner system, climb up onto a flake and past a bolt. A reachy 10+ slab move or 11 dyno gains a crack. Step right on a dike to an easier crack which is followed past a roof, then step right to belay at the base of a LF corner. 1 bolt + gear anchor. 5.10+ 50M
P2) Up the nice hands and fingers corner to an enormous roof. Surmount the strenuous roof with deep hands and fists, then step left on a dike past a bolt to gain flakes and the belay stance below a small roof. Fixed pins at anchor. 5.11- 35M.
P3) Follow a thin crack up and left off the belay and work your way onto the face above the lip of the huge leaning dihedral. 2 bolts protect a thin slab-to-boulder problem crux (or 5.11 A0). Save some juice to power through another 15' of 5.10R above to gain one more bolt and easier ground. 2 bolt anchor. 5.12 35M.
P4) A short tips layback leads to a LF corner. Jam a beautiful orange pancake flake above, then step left through bushes to a tree belay at the base of the big headwall dihedral. 5.10- 35M.
P5) Climb up cracks and flakes just left of the mungy corner system. A 2-piton rappel station marks the spot where you move left up featured face to a huge flat belay ledge on the shoulder of the tower. Gear anchor. 5.7 60+M.
P6) An excellent brown dihedral leads to exposed face climbing on the arete and finally the huge stack of summit boulders. Gear anchor. 5.9 50M.
To descend, scramble down below the summit boulders to find a piton + stopper rappel anchor. Rappel to a large tree in the main corner system below, then to the 2-piton anchor partway up P5. From here, rappel the route. A single 70M rope will get you all the way down to the top of P1, where we think it's also possible to rap 35M to the top of the 4th class and downclimb to your packs. We didn't try though as it was well after dark.
A double set of cams from tiny to 3", a 4" piece, and stoppers. 70M rope. Feel free to add a bolt to the P3 runout after the crux.
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