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

Type:  Trad, 3 pitches
Original:  YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: E1 5a [details]
FA: Mike Lawson '84
Season: fall thru spring is best
Page Views: 7,154
Submitted By: Mike on Mar 29, 2010

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (30)
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This is a great route up a huge corner then out an equally huge roof. If had an option to rate this 5.9+++ I would have rated it so. It gets shade in the am & a mix of sun & shade in the pm.

Most people only do the first 3 pitches then rap, which is what we did. As the guidebook says: "If you are going to the top make sure your affairs are in order." If anyone here has climbed all the way to the top please contribute the info.

P1: Start up easier ground through some loose rock to good rock in a nice corner. Ascend corner to a gear belay on a ledge. (5.9+)

P2: Continue up corner to a bolted belay just a bit before the roof. (5.9) It MIGHT be possible to link the first 2 pitches with a 70m rope, lots of slings, and a strong leader.

P3: Continue up a short bit to the huge roof. Traverse right for forever to an awkward but good rest in a big pod, then continue right some more to the lip. Pull around the lip (#4 Camalot) then up cracks for another 20-30' to a bolted anchor. (5.9+)


IMHO the best access is via the Cow Pies trail off of Schnebley Hill Rd. Follow the Cow Pies trail to the Flying Buttress. Continue on it as it contours west around the Flying Buttress, passing Arch Enemy and then Technicolor Corner. After Technicolor Corner, contour up and right over the obvious saddle, then continue around the West Face of the Flying Buttress (either up high or down low on a trail) to the obvious huge corner that leads to an obvious huge roof. This is Epitaph.


Bring all your #3 Camalots on this one. I would recommend the following: 1 set of nuts, 1 set of cams from small thru #.5 camalot, doubles of .75 thru #2 camalots, at least 4 (or 5 or 6?) #3 camalots, 2 #4 Camalots, 1 #5 camalot and lots of slings. Yes that is a bunch of gear, but maybe I'm just weak. 2 double rope rappels get you to the ground.

Photos of Epitaph Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Tyler starting up Epitaph
Tyler starting up Epitaph
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking back at the roof from the rap. Awesome!!
Looking back at the roof from the rap. Awesome!!
Rock Climbing Photo: pano under the woof
pano under the woof
Rock Climbing Photo: Bob near the end of "the great woof" tra...
Bob near the end of "the great woof" tra...
Rock Climbing Photo: afternoon view of Epitaph
afternoon view of Epitaph
Rock Climbing Photo: At the best chance for a rest before the committin...
At the best chance for a rest before the committin...
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch three....mega.  Arizona 5.9 ++....Joshua Tre...
Pitch three....mega. Arizona 5.9 ++....Joshua Tre...
Rock Climbing Photo: pitch two...awesome;....burley wide section before...
pitch two...awesome;....burley wide section before...
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch one;...awesome!
Pitch one;...awesome!
Rock Climbing Photo: Kyle at the crux of pitch 1 of Epitaph
Kyle at the crux of pitch 1 of Epitaph
Rock Climbing Photo: Unknown climbers up high on Epitaph (1/17/15)
Unknown climbers up high on Epitaph (1/17/15)
Rock Climbing Photo: Easy approach from Schnebly via Cowpies trail
BETA PHOTO: Easy approach from Schnebly via Cowpies trail
Rock Climbing Photo: I think this is the west face of Flying Buttress, ...
BETA PHOTO: I think this is the west face of Flying Buttress, ...

Comments on Epitaph Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Mar 12, 2017
By roman d
From: Pasadena, CA
Mar 29, 2010
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

What is the state of the anchors at the top of pitch 3? The Bloom guide mentions that another bolt is needed, but that info is 8-10 years old.
By Mike
From: Phoenix
Mar 29, 2010

The rap anchors are adequate but un-inspiring. Bring some webbing, or better yet replace any part of the rap anchor that is in need of replacement.
By Floater Bloom
From: Flagstaff AZ
Mar 31, 2010

New anchors were installed last week by Jon Burcham and friends last week. Thx Jon
By Chris Tatum
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Apr 18, 2010

We only replaced the second rappel anchors.... or the anchors for the bottom rappel. The upper rap anchor had a decent bolt and and a 'no gud' bolt... but seemed to be in good shape. We cleaned all the shitty old webbing off the raps and replaced it with chain.
By markguycan
From: flagstaff, AZ
May 14, 2010
rating: 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

Fun route and one of the easiest I've done in Sedona! while there are a few moves which might be 10- most of the climbing is very moderate- probably only 5.7 or 8 with ample opportunities for rests. The rock quality is better than I expected. Gear: single set of small sizes, 1 #4.5, 2ea #1 & #2 & #4. I carried 4 #3's but had one left on the rack at the top anchor, used 1 #3.5 but would have used a second had I had it. The exposure and fun factor is off the chart!
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By Tyler Williams
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Nov 8, 2010
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

a few things: 1) the Bloom Topo is completely wrong - it shows a picture of the wrong side of flying buttress. 2) when we did it this weekend I found a bail anchor with a cam. If you can identify the brand/size and location of the cam, and furnish a convincing story of why you needed to leave it, I'll consider being a good samaritan and return it. 3) Also, I don't know about "easiest in Sedona"... I thought the rock was slightly worse than many other Sedona routes I've done and the climbing seemed a notch harder than the other 5.9 trade routes (Mace, Dr. Rubos, Oak Creek Spire). Awesome route though. 4) We had 5 #3 Camelots and used them all.
By jayci
From: Flagstaff
Nov 9, 2011
rating: 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

Did this climb today. The roof makes this route worth doing. Super long traverse with good jams. I thought that was the crux of the climb. The rest of it is very moderate.
By Sean C
From: SLC
Jan 6, 2013
rating: 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b

The last pitch of this climb felt much harder than 9+. Or even 10a for that matter. The rack for this climb seems heavy but you'll be glad you had six 3's and two, maybe even three(?) 4's. I wish I would have had that many. The 5 isn't really necessary in my opinion. We also replaced the webbing on the third belay, the other stuff was looking a bit worn. All in all sweet climb, get it!
By Ryan Z
Mar 2, 2013
rating: 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

This was an awesome climb! I brought singles from .3 - 2, 4 #3's, 1 #3.5, 2 #4's and a #5. I placed every piece on the last pitch. Singles of everything to 2 was fine but 1 more #2 would have been reassuring. The 3.5 was a perfect piece for the bit before the the roof.
By Dean Hoffman
Aug 2, 2013

Gotta say this one was a little harder than I expected. However it was a good ole fashioned Sedona adventure. I would say some work on the stations 1 and two might be nice... pitch two climbing was awesome and three was very reminiscent of the rt exit of the Great Roof at Granite Mtn.
By Darren Mabe
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Dec 16, 2013
rating: 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b

ANCHOR UPDATE: with concurrence from the FA, a pair of bolts were added to P1 belay ledge (~75'), and two more added to the P2 stance above the previous tat-bail anchor. The tat and half-driven pin were removed leaving the one ok bolt. A #5C4 and #4C4 recommended on the final flake of the second pitch. (single rap to ground from P2 anchors with two ropes.)

P3 anchor still remains the same (two 3/8-inchers with biners), and could be improved in the future. A large stopper could be fixed as backup in the meantime. rap distances are approx 125' and 115' from the end of P3.

Anchor replacement sponsored by Gnarbarian Climbing.
By lou
Apr 14, 2014

Just climbed this thing yesteday. Awesome climbing! Roof traverse is unique: alot insecure wide jams with smears for feet! Burly! No way 5.9; Crux pitch on Coyote tower (10c) is easier... Earth angel crux (10) is easier.. some Indian creek 10s are easier. IMHO Pitch one; 5.9 two; 5.9 three; 5.10d. Got the onsite; barely. If youre a 5.9 climber you might be in for a ride; and be hangin down on a bare slab, below your gear, below a rad roof. just sayin... ` Had two 70 meter ropes; rapped down in one.
cheers... lou
By Jon Ruland
From: Tucson, AZ
Mar 11, 2015

what's the current anchor situation at the top of pitch 3? is it solid? do we need to bring webbing to rap?
By Mike
From: Phoenix
Mar 11, 2015

John it's solid but may need some webbing replaced. Bring a little just in case, and please let us know how it goes.

Also I am happy to provide the quick-links & chain if you want to permanently replace it. LMK.
By Jon Ruland
From: Tucson, AZ
Mar 11, 2015

cool, i would take you up on that but i'm not 100% sure we'll finish the route; we may end up rapping off pitch 2 depending on how we're feeling about the roof when we get up there.

thanks for the info!
By Tim Heid
From: AZ
Jan 19, 2016
rating: 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b

Has anyone rapped this with a single 70m from the top of pitch 3 or does it require double rope raps? Sounds like it may be possible with stretch with 1 70m from the lengths Darren listed above..?
By Darren Mabe
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Jan 19, 2016
rating: 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b

When I measured it, I was judging from halfway mark from two 70s, and noted that a single 70 could not make that first rap, however looked like a pair could get you to ground with stretch. Judging from Iou comment, looks like that's what he did if I understand his comment correctly.
By Tim Heid
From: AZ
Feb 1, 2016
rating: 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b

Awesome first 2 pitches! As mentioned, they can be linked with about 20' to spare with a 70m rope. This makes for an amazing long pitch! Just save the 3's and up for the upper stuff! The 3rd pitch roof was really cool(and tough!), but the rock quality deteriorates really badly for the 10' before pulling the corner. Save a few pieces(.3-1) for last 35' after pulling the roof. The climbing eases, but there's still a ways to go to the anchor.

Can NOT rap with a single 70m. The first rap was about 8 feet short of the chains. You can however rap from the top of pitch 3 to the ground in one go with 2 70m ropes.

The bolts on the top of pitch 3 consist of 1 good bolt and 1 "No Gud" hanger with some leaver biners. The belay can be backed up with gear. Wasn't really concerning since you only have to rap off of them if you add gear for bringing your partner up.

GPS location for the base is 34*52'46.9"N / 111*43'37.5"W
By arjunmh
From: Phoenix & Prescott, AZ
Mar 12, 2017
rating: 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b

Wonderful climb! The cordellete was a bit rotten on the anchor at top of pitch 3. We had one quick link and attached that to the good bolt to the biner. Clipped the other biner to a loop of the cord. What is needed is a decent hanger to replace the "no gud" piece of junk and another quick link. Bolt looks ok, just need to take a small crescent wrench, hanger and quick link. Will make for a solid rap station then. Didn't have a knife and so couldn't get the old cord off. Oh, and no nuts needed and only singles of some small stuff for after pulling the roof. Great to have the other gear recommended above, for sure.

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