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Dragon Tower
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Dragon's Arete T,S 
Dragon's Back S 
Dragon's Butt T,TR 

Dragon's Back 

YDS: 5.10- French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a

Type:  Sport, 1 pitch, 60'
Original:  YDS: 5.10- French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a [details]
FA: Pochay, Olson, 93
Page Views: 3,143
Submitted By: Hillary Davis on Jun 20, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (47)
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Pretty lichen on The Dragon's Back


Climb the obvious lime-green-lichen-covered arete. The guidebook says 5.9, which is a bit of a sandbag, but not a huge one. It could be a bit much if 5.9 is your limit, though. Pretty fun and aesthetic.


This is in EFR's guidebook in the Prison Camp/Jailhouse Rock area, on a formation called Dragon Tower. This is the first formation you see when you drop down into the canyon, and is adjacent to the short waterfalls and cool mermaid pools. During wet years, the base can be a fairly deep, froggy-filled pool. Use your better judgement if you find water at the base.


Bolts, chains

Photos of Dragon's Back Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Chels making it look easy like usual
Chels making it look easy like usual
Rock Climbing Photo: Awesome climb. Heady start if you're not a 10 lead...
Awesome climb. Heady start if you're not a 10 lead...
Rock Climbing Photo: photo of dragon wall from oppisite side
photo of dragon wall from oppisite side
Rock Climbing Photo: The variation left the aerate can take you up abou...
The variation left the aerate can take you up abou...
Rock Climbing Photo: This climb is a little rough on the tips, we figur...
This climb is a little rough on the tips, we figur...
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking down the canyon near Dragon's Back
Looking down the canyon near Dragon's Back

Comments on Dragon's Back Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Nov 28, 2015
By Jon Ruland
From: Tucson, AZ
Sep 23, 2007
rating: 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

great climb, but be careful; the 10a/b part starts with the first move and lasts until about the second bolt so it's real easy to deck if you're on lead. you can make it a solid 9 by climbing around to the right on the arete and getting back on the route after the second bolt (which is what i did) if you're not comfortable leading 10s (which i'm not). the rest of the climb is pretty much sustained 9 moves, a little overhung until the top.

i'd actually give this one 3 stars if the whole thing was a 9.
By joshf
From: missoula, mt
Nov 22, 2007
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

fun route, stay right for the good holds, say goodbye to your tips if you stay left
By Christian
From: Casa do Cacete
Nov 22, 2007

The unnamed, not-in-the-guidebook route to the right of Dragon's Back is a MIXED route, there's only two bolts if I remember correctly. Maybe about 5.8+?

Had to mention this because one time a guy who was seriously Elvis legging on the 5.6 down the stream wanted to get on this with just quickdraws. I managed to dissuade him.
By E.Krogh
Nov 21, 2008

Nice, fun route, but the belay area can be sketchy. One of the bolts on the anchored chains looked a little rusty for my taste. got me thinking about what it looks like internally in the rock....? well, it holds fine as I'm still alive, but hopefully someone who knows what they're doing can replace those someday.
By Jay Oswald
Dec 18, 2008

This was a nice route - if you aren't feeling too great about the anchors at the top its an easy walk off.
By susan peplow
From: Joshua Tree
Apr 20, 2009

6 bolts with a few committing moves and pumpy too. Great route for the entrance to the area. First route or last route of the day, it's worth a ride up.
By Sean Martinson
Apr 29, 2010

Great climb.Pretty sustained.Def crux moves in beginning.
By AZ Spray
May 15, 2010

This isn't close to being a 5.10-. This is more like a 5.8+. Stop spraying! This isn't even sustained.
May 19, 2010

who is this menace with a keyboard....someone stop him before he sprays all over his keys.
By dale polen
From: arivaca, az
Dec 29, 2010

Great climb, Climb the face, which I did, and its a bit harder then if you chicken out and climb the arete. I really like the moves and it was sustained at the bottom and eases towards the top. Only if you stay on the face if you climb out right it is significantly easier. I loved it.
By Alex McIntyre
From: Tucson, AZ
Mar 23, 2011

My friend decked on this from about the second bolt, I was able to yank in some slack so he didn't hit too hard. He is fine but I would definitely advise being humble about your abilities before trying to lead it.
From: tucson, az
May 4, 2012

Fun route. Added Mussy hooks to this and anchors to the right. Over hanging face to the left is really fun. Big holds below where it is steep, then gets a bit cruxy on some smaller holds where it hits vertical. Rock a bit questionable, belayer beware.
By robin hood
May 27, 2012

Pochay and Olsen did not bolt this climb. My father (Steve Tucker) and mother ( Melissa Tucker) bolted it in 96 as a warmup for hard climbs at jailhouse; while my mom was pregnant with me. Regardless, a great climb, despite the third bolt hanger being loose enough to spin.
By michael s...
From: Denver, CO
Nov 28, 2015

Thought this looked fun to do on the way out. If you stay on the face the entire way (where the bolts are basically) it seemed like 5.11something to me. Steep and the holds aren't too big. If you go right it is WAY easier but you are basically climbing that 5.8 thing on the front. Strange climb. Not my favorite.