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Mormon Canyon
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YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: E1 5a

Type:  Trad, 4 pitches, 200', Grade III
Original:  YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: E1 5a [details]
FA: S. Baxter, G. Douglass 1970's
Page Views: 3,749
Submitted By: Kole DeCou on Jan 10, 2007

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (25)
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1st pitch of Goliath


This is the spire in front of the Mushroom that you see on the way to Earth Angel. It's a fun little adventure. Most of the climbing is 5.6 and under until the last move, which unless you hang out at Kelly Canyon a lot is a major sandbag at 5.9. Pitch 1 is shady, but the rest of the route is in the sun.

Pitch 1) 5.6 80' Start at the high point of the notch, and climb the easy chimney/flare into a spooky place. The crux is at a little rooflet. Either belay in the spooky place, or traverse left a bit and belay on a cool ledge.

Pitch 2) 5.6 100' Do not climb the choss above your head!! Traverse the limestone band left (south) half-way around the spire. Belay when you can no longer pull the rope. Most of the gear on the traverse is at your feet, in the limestone.

Pitch 3) 5.6 120' Find an easy chimney to go up on the right side of a pillar (left side also looks climbable). Go up to ledgy terrain and build a belay under the bolt on the summit block. Belay takes blue and black aliens (and you can use the bolt)

Pitch 4) 5.9+ 20' Clip the bolt and claw your way past a very strenuous mantle.

Descent: 3 raps to the notch.
Rap 1: 20' Rap off the summit block. The bolts were naked and un-rappable when we were there. After scratching our heads for a while we left webbing but no rap rings, so bring your own stuff. It now occurs to me that the party that placed the bolts must have simul-rapped the summit block.

Rap 2: 20' Rap off a slung block to a 2 bolt anchor at the top of a chimney.

Rap 3: 150' Back to your packs.


From the parking at the end of Jordon Road: drop into the wash and follow the wash north for 1.5 miles until you see the Mushroom and Goliath on your right. There is a very large and open wash inbetween the Mushroom and Goliath. Follow this for a little ways. When possable traverse left into a side-wash that goes up the left (north) side of Goliath. DO NOT go up the main wash on the right side of Goliath. I can tell you from experience this sucks. The route starts at the high point of the notch on the east side of the spire.


Nuts, 2 each blue Alien to #3 Camalot. Much smaller than your typical Sedona rack.

Photos of Goliath Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: First pitch, from the start
BETA PHOTO: First pitch, from the start
Rock Climbing Photo: View of the summit block during the first rappel d...
View of the summit block during the first rappel d...
Rock Climbing Photo: Derek killing the last pitch of goliath. Its the d...
Derek killing the last pitch of goliath. Its the d...
Rock Climbing Photo: Comin round the mountain
Comin round the mountain
Rock Climbing Photo: top of 3rd pitch
top of 3rd pitch
Rock Climbing Photo: View from the end of the 2nd pitch
View from the end of the 2nd pitch
Rock Climbing Photo: The approach goes up this drainage, then crosses l...
BETA PHOTO: The approach goes up this drainage, then crosses l...
Rock Climbing Photo: Goliath.
BETA PHOTO: Goliath.

Comments on Goliath Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Mar 2, 2016
By Kole DeCou
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Jan 12, 2007

Well the guidebook sais you can rap off before the summit and then it's 5.6. This is true but it's a spire climb, rapping off 20 ft. before the summit would be admiting defeat! The hard move might be aid-able by stepping on sling on the bolt, or by doing a good old-fashioned shoulder-stand. If this doesn't work maybe you can toss the rope over the top. I'm sure a persistant 5.6 climber can figure out a way to summit.
By juggy
From: Lakewood Colorado
Nov 27, 2007

This isn't a bad climb, the first pitch provides a fairly runout traverse, so good. the second pitch is a cool exposed traverse
By roman d
From: Pasadena, CA
Feb 24, 2009

From the summit, you can easily rap down (1 rope) to the chain anchors at the top of the big chimney, skipping the slung boulder.
By ZEric
From: Surprise, AZ
Jun 1, 2009

Fun climb and a bit exciting on the 2nd pitch. May need to break up pitch 3 due to rope drag. Pro opportunities are somewhat sparse (except on the 2nd pitch). We aided the difficult mantle move at the end with an impromptu made etrier of webbing to summit (good suggestion Kole). You can skip the 2nd rap (slung boulder) but the rope could get hung up when you pull it, fortunately that didn't happen to us. The climb starts at N34.9049 W111.768.
By arjunmh
From: Phoenix & Prescott, AZ
Jul 27, 2011

A 9.8mm 70 m rope with stretch gets you to within a few feet of the base from the chain anchors. Easy downclimb. There is also a stout cord with rap ring slung around part of the limestone band directly below the anchors, enabling a single 50m rope descent with 3 raps from top.
By Alex Wood
From: Flagstaff, Arizona
Mar 1, 2012

Very chossy first pitch if you follow the crack up the whole way. At the "rooflet" I would recomend traversing left (maybe this is what everyone did except us). The traverse was interesting and scary. The gear placements aren't the best around the crux part of the traverse. Fun route with awesome views!
By Paul Zander
From: Tucson, AZ
Oct 31, 2013

This is a fun, adventurous route in a great setting, and because the crux move is easily aided, this is one of the finest multipitch routes in NAZ for a 5.6/7 leader.

The approach was well cairned after leaving the main wash of Mormon Canyon.

P1: I'd recommend traversing left on a broad, rounded ledge about 20 feet below the obvious blocky roof. Keeps the grade to about 5.5, though pro is sparse. We belayed on a large ledge with a bush and pin/nut anchor directly below the limestone ledge and well left of the 'spooky' place
P2: 5.4 exposed traverse
P3: Favorite pitch. Chimney to dihedral to small roof, which I found to be the crux of the first three pitches. 5.6+
P4: We aided the mantle move using a couple slings

For a rack, I'd recommend a set from blue Metolius to #3 C4, with doubles from yellow Metolius to #2 C4. Nuts and tricams can also work well for the smaller sizes.
By LukeDunk
From: Albuquerque, NM
May 9, 2015

I rebuilt the rap anchor for this route last weekend, because it wasn't extended over the lip and made pulling rope from the bottom impossible. You can now rap directly to the ground from the summit with 2 x 70m ropes. 2 x 60m ropes worked for us, but required about 5 feet of easy down climb. Knot your ends.

The sandstone colored anchor webbing is new as of 5/4/2015, but should probably be backed up at some point.

And, BTW, most of this route is not difficult but is kind of scary. Taking a 5.6/5.7 climber on it, in my opinion, would NOT be nice.
By Henry AB
Oct 13, 2015

More beta on the approach. Follow the big wash from the parking lot, and then turn off the big wash to a side wash on the right after 1.5 miles or so. Here are the approximate coordinates for the turnoff to the side wash: N 34.90418, W 111.771149. You can actually see the main wash and the side wash pretty well on google satellite images.

We rapped with one 70m rope in three rappels: (1) from the summit to the chains (skipping the slung boulder), (2) from the chains to a slung boulder near the limestone band, and (3) to the ground. I think a 60m rope might work.
By pajamamas
Nov 23, 2015

Easily can do this in 2 rappels with a 70m: summit block to bolted anchor, bolted anchor to within 3 feet of the ground- easy downclimb. skip the slung boulder.
P2 traverse easy climbing but hard to protect, definitely a little scary
Doubles to 1
By Stephen Dobbs
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Feb 20, 2016
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

Did this climb on Feb 19th, 2016. This was my second Sedona spire, and my second time trad climbing. It was incredible!

The first pitch is pretty simple, even for someone with little technical skill like me I was able to do it pretty easily. Lots of big jugs and holds along the main crack. Once you get to the small rooflet (looks like a large square boulder stuck in the major chimney), traverse to your left. You'll find a bolt on a nice ledge about ~5-10' below the limestone band which is a solid place to belay for the second pitch. Also the rocks during this pitch are not the friendliest. Many felt hallow and weak so tread with caution.

The second pitch is not as bad as it sounds. From the bolt, climb up onto the limestone band and begin traversing. The first few meters is the crux of the traverse. Just take it slow. The holds are really there, its just a tad bit exciting. There is one move before you get out onto a major ledge where you have to kinda lean outward to reach a hold. Again, just a tiny bit exciting, but very doable and very fun. This is coming from a 5.7-5.8 climber with little trad experience as well so if you're in the same boat I wouldn't fret about this traverse as much as I did!

The third pitch is money! You'll traverse around the limestone band until you find a very obvious chimney/OW going up about 80(?)'. There is a nice tree to stand on at the bottom of the crack in the shade for belaying. The crux is about 3/4's of the way up where the crack becomes more of an OW and a large bulge without many holds gets in your way on the right side. There is a nice placement for a toe-hook on the right bulge which helped me overcome this part. Once you pop up out of the crack you can scramble up to the fourth pitch, where there is a bolt ~20' below the summit block.

The fourth pitch. Holy crap, this isn't a scary pitch because the summit is right there and you're on a big comfy ledge but this move does not feel like 5.9+... to me a felt like a 5.10something (maybe a v1-v2 boulder problem?). Its a large overhanging mantle. There are two crimps for your hand on both side of the bolt and one nice foot foot about 1/3rd up the rock. My partner who is about a 5.10-5.11 climber could pull this off with elegance and finesse. I however looked like a beached whale. I almost had it, but at the end I got a little pumped trying it too much and had to aid the finish by placing a sling around the bolt. Then its an easy jaunt to the top! Be careful of hallow mudstones in between the sandstones however, they don't sound all that stable.
  • *If you're more of a 5.7-5.8 climber like myself I recommend really trying to do this move in one fell swoop. I think I would've had it if I committed it to it my first time but afterwards I was so pumped to do this move again. Just go for it!

You're at the top! Awesome summit block. Maybe 10' across.

Rap 1: Rappel down the chains to climbers left. Before you do, you can look down and see the next rap station (maybe 80' down?).

Rap 2: Rap down the obvious chimney to a slung boulder near the limestone band in the SPOOKY PLACE. Really fun rappel, enjoy it! Try to get your rope to go down the chimney however as we suffered some pretty cruddy snags. At one point I had to be taken off rappel and hung out in the chimney w/o protection so my partner above could fix some cruddy rope snags. Avoid it by aiming down the chimney as much as possible.

Rap 3: Rap down from the slung boulder in the spooky place effectively following pitch 1 down to your packs.

FYI: We did this with a 70 m rope and had no problems. Probably could of done it with two rappels with a 70 m, but didn't wanna have to down climb from first pitch. If you're unsure your rope can make it to the second bolts, there is a slung boulder to rap off of between rap 1 and rap 2.

As an inexperienced climber, we spent about 45 minutes per pitch and about an hour and a half enjoying the summit/rapping down. I highly recommend this to first time followers if you're looking for an intro to trad. Your leader however should be confident at ~5.7 leading.
By Derek Field
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Mar 2, 2016
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

An old-school adventure climb! I agree with Paul's comment that this is a fine route for a 5.6-5.7 trad leader. Read Steve's comment (above) for detailed route description. Compressed beta below:

P1: Easy 5.5 chimney, exit left and carefully tiptoe traverse about 30' on pure choss. We belayed from a piton on the agave-covered ledge below the limestone band, backing up with small gear.
P2: Scenic traverse along limestone band. Not many technical moves, mostly skywalking.
P3: Good crack climbing w/ 5.7 rooflet.
P4: Crux mantle (V2 boulder problem)

This is a fantastic summit in a remote location, so enjoy it!

Rappel: A single 60-m rope will suffice. See Steve's description above for specifics.

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