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Duck for Cover 

YDS: 5.11b French: 6c Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E3 5c

Type:  Trad, 3 pitches, 300', Grade III
Original:  YDS: 5.11 French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E4 5c [details]
FA: Dustin Wildermuth & Gordon Kear
New Route: Yes
Season: All Day Shade
Page Views: 3,137
Submitted By: Kole DeCou on Nov 20, 2006

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Working into the hand crack. The overhang at the t...


This is an amazing route if you like hand cracks and face climbing. Mostly well protected, with just the right amount of spice. It gets all day shade so is a good warm weather choice.

Pitch 1) 5.11 140' Climb fingers in a straight in corner. Switch cracks to a hand crack thru a roof. Traverse 10' and up a steepening hand crack to a 2-bolt belay. Be careful to conserve #2 Camalots. This pitch can be split in two by belaying before or after the traverse.

Pitch 2) 5.10- 100' Scramble onto the ledge, and walk right around the pillar. Chimney behind the pillar, and step across to a hand crack. From the ledge atop the hand crack walk left to a 2-bolt belay.

Pitch 3) 5.11 80' Mantle a hollow flake, and climb a crack to the bolt. A couple of bouldery moves bring you to one final hand crack to the summit. Bring all your #2s for this pitch as well.

Rap 1: From the summit rap with 2 ropes to the top of P1.
Rap 2: 2 ropes to the ground.



Park as for Earth Angel. From Flag, Go right on Jordon Rd. then left on Park Ridge to parking lot. Duck for Cover is located on the north side of 5667' Butte, near Ripoff Rock (ref: Toula guide). 5667' Butte is the long E-W running butte north east of the parking lot.

From the parking lot hike back along the road until you see Jim Thompson Trail on the left. Hike east on Jim Thompson Trail. The trail will immediately cross a wash. Continue along the trail until the next major wash. Take a left and hike up this second wash for 1 mile as it passes under the east side of 5667' Butte. At the east end of the butte, the wash splits twice. Take a left both times, skirting along the north face of the butte. You are now facing west. When the wash starts to go steep uphill you'll see a tower detached from the main cliff on the top. Duck for Cover is on the north face of this tower. The main wash takes you very close to the start of the route. DFC starts in a finger crack just left of a water chute/gully. Look for the obvious crack splitting a steep bulge 120 ft. up.

Approach Time: 45 min - 1 hour
GPS: 34,53.711,-111,45.683


1 set Nuts.
2 ea. Camalot #.4 to #.75
3 ea. Camalot #1
6-7 ea. Camalot #2
1 ea. Camalot #3-#4 (new #5)

Photos of Duck for Cover Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: John Domaska beginning the first pitch of Duck For...
John Domaska beginning the first pitch of Duck For...
Rock Climbing Photo: Starting up the first pitch!
Starting up the first pitch!
Rock Climbing Photo: Topo

Comments on Duck for Cover Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jun 11, 2017
By Dean Hoffman
Dec 28, 2006
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c

This route is amazing, don't let the name scare you off. Those of you skeptical about 6-7 #2's take heed you'll want them all. Greg Prescott and I bagged the second while Gordon heckled from below. If you like hard splitter hands this is the one for you. Some of the best and hardest climbing I've done in Sedona. I would recommend breaking the first pitch into two. Also, the anchors could use some chains if you have community service hours to serve.
By Kole DeCou
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Jan 2, 2007

I should add that I think the 3rd pitch is a sandbag at 5.10+. But the pro is above your head for the hard move and you can aid it. :-)
By Seth Dyer
Jan 2, 2007

Whatever happened to first ascensionists equipping things properly in the first place? Look at Burcham's routes if you need a standard, they've all got great hardware... For a couple of bucks more, you can buy chain and quicklinks or snappy Fixe rap hangers, eliminating the need for shitty webbing.
By Kole DeCou
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Jan 2, 2007

I agree, but in Dustin and Gordon's defence I did the third ascent of this route with Dustin to replace one of the anchor bolts and install chains. We did fix the bolt but unfortunately forgot the chains. Reguardless this is a first class route, and when the weather gets warmer I'd be happy to go out and do it with someone and bring some chains.
By Dean Hoffman
Feb 10, 2007
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c

Boo, Seths a bully! Hey are you in town or cavorting around these days and picking on folks on the internet?
By Seth Dyer
Feb 11, 2007

Guess I'm just plunkin' down my two cents from afar these days. I was in town over the holidays for a few weeks. Just long enough to get embroiled in the local climbing politics. We'll have to hook up next time I'm back...
By Steve Skelton
From: Lyttelton, New Zealand
Sep 15, 2008

Stiff for the 10+ grade through the roof, or maybe we just suck.
Not to be critical because its a great route, but the bolt on the third pitch would be much more appreciated on the first pitch traverse through the chossy limestone band! That's the only sketchy bit and it would be a lot safer with a bolt.
By Dustin Wildermuth
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Oct 7, 2008

"Stiff for the 10+ grade through the roof".
I'm going to have to agree with you on that one. In fact the third pitch is closer to 5.11 as well.
New rating goes as followed.
P1 5.11
P2 5.10
P3 5.11
Sorry for the sand bag. I will try to change the topo when I get a chance.
By Steve Skelton
From: Lyttelton, New Zealand
Oct 13, 2008

No worries. We love a good sandbag in Sedona! Wouldn't be any fun if it was easy.
By markguycan
From: flagstaff, AZ
Nov 21, 2008
rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

how the hell did you ever find this one Dustin? We botched the approach and went left up a gully too early- make sure you go all the way to the head of the main gully before heading west up a side gully. we had some 4th and 5th class shenanigans to get over to the route from the south side.

The rock does'nt look insping in from below but the climbing is awesome. 6 #2's were sufficient for the 1st pitch and 3 were used on the last one. 2 #3's and a #3.5 as well as a #4 were useful. I'd say most of the climbing on the 1st picth is 5.10 but the crux at the top is definitely harder (there are plenty of rest along the way. The 2nd pitch is probably mid 5.10 and starts oput fists- not hands. The 3rd pitch is pretty damn exciting and has many 5.10/+ moves. we rapped to each anchor with a 70m, then with 2 ropes to the ground, a single 80m rope would get you off the last rap
By Mike
From: Phoenix
Nov 5, 2009
rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

This is lots of fun and easier to find than I had expected. I agree with Steve that the bolt would be more welcome on the P1 traverse. The traverse isn't that hard, but I thought it was a bit scary until you get established in the other crack.

I think we used 'only' 5 #2's, but am unsure.
By Dean Hoffman
Apr 7, 2012
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c

Just reclimbed this with Bustin Dustin today for a lil route lovin/cleaning and improvement. Ole BD trundled several hundred pounds of looseness off the route, including a guillotine block on the first/second pitch and I, with basically the pressure of a hand jam trundled the stepping stone at the start of the last pitch. Dustin also added the requested bolt on the limestone traverse which only makes the route that much more fun! If you only take 5 #2s you might want to build an anchor before the limestone as noted earlier. The climbing is fantastic! The hands rival the incredible hand crack in my opinion! Also rap stations are kitted out with chains and quick links, so quit yer whining! And FYI unless someone else claims it the top webbing was from Greg and I's ascent just after the route went up..... That's old and sketchy in my book but... Go climb this thing!!!
By Dustin Wildermuth
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Apr 9, 2012

Thanks Dean for a hand with this one and nice work making the last pitch look easy. I was kinda suprised how much choss I was able to remove from the traverse. I guess my ability to see what needs to be pulled off a route is evolving. At this point I would say the traverse is "clean", for sedona that is, and much safer with the bolt. As Dean was saying breaking the first pitch in to two and belaying before the traverse is not a bad idea but it does make for a hell of a pitch if you have runners and do it as one. A note on getting to the route. If you don't pass a few short bus sized cubes of sandsone that have landed in the dranage do not start heading left up the sub-drainage. Also once you are in the correct sub dranage and you can see the tower you can pop up on to the the slick rock on the right to avoid some of the bush wacking.
By Zack S.
From: Prescott, AZ
Jun 5, 2012

Awesome climb! Challenging and safe in a beautiful spot. I'd recommend doing the first pitch in one long go for the full value experience. Bring lots of 2's and some long slings and you shouldn't run into any trouble. Also, at least this time of year, the route does not get all day shade but in fact goes into the sun in early afternoon.
By jayci
From: Flagstaff
Jun 10, 2012
rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

It would seem that the only pitch that you need all those #2s for is the first pitch. The first pitch is great! It gets sun in the late spring-early summer. Hot day!
By Ryan Z
Oct 14, 2013
rating: 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c

Definitely do the whole 1st pitch. Bring a bunch of shoulder-length slings and go for it. Doing the crux 140ft in the air while your belayer is still on the ground makes for an exciting finish to the anchors. This first pitch is one of the best in Sedona, kick ass climbing from start to finish, great exposure, and a little bit of spice.
By Trevor Bowman
From: Sheridan, WY
Oct 26, 2014

Great, physical route! The route could potentially be rapped with a single 70m (full 70m!). It's just barely on the 1st pitch rap; watch the ends carefully and ride the stretch. However, there are no chains on the 2nd pitch anchors, so two ropes are still mandatory, until chains are added. If someone wanted to add these, the bolts at that anchor are vertically staggered by about 1 foot--this would be a nice community service so folks didn't have to lug two ropes up there.

Also, as far as the approach, from the parking lot you backtrack on the road about 200m or so to a couple of shallow pullouts marked No Parking and turn off the road onto the Jim Thompson Trail. Do not continue down the road until the labeled turn for the Jim Thompson Trail is met.

This was the only summit I've been on in Sedona from which no development can be crystal shops, golf courses, or richer's a rare treat!
By SummitSender
Jun 11, 2017
rating: 5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

Can get down with 1 70M. We added some cord and rap rings on P2 anchors. Still needs chains one day... Also We had 6x #2's and toped out each pitch with at least 2 of them. If you sew it up I can see 5-6 but 4x #2's is enough if you bring 4x #1's and 4x .75's. Fun route! Approach is typical of Sedona go have an adventure!

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