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Unsorted Routes:

John's Jugs 

YDS: 5.12 French: 7b+ Ewbanks: 27 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 26 British: E6 6b

Type:  Trad, 65'
Original:  YDS: 5.12 French: 7b+ Ewbanks: 27 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 26 British: E6 6b [details]
FA: John Gault (early 80's)
Page Views: 1,403
Submitted By: Will Cobb on May 19, 2006

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One of the best routes at West Elden, if you can climb it!

Located just right of the Baxter Crack, John's Jugs climbs the steep fingers and tips crack that splits an overhanging headwall.

Start over boulders and broken rock to access the crack. Launch up the fingers/tips crack which widens to thin hands just before the cliff top.


Located about 50 yards left (north) of the Deception Cracks.


2 x #0 TCU/Blue Alien
2 x #1 TCU/Green Alien
1 x #2 TCU/Yellow Alien
1 x .5 Camalot
1 x .75 Camalot
1 x 1 Camalot
Possibly a couple of stoppers

There are several sturdy trees at the top of this route for TR anchors or to rap off. This route is easily TRed after climbing the Baxter Crack.

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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Apr 14, 2014
By Tavis Ricksecker
Jun 21, 2007

Who is John Gault?
By Tavis Ricksecker
Aug 22, 2007

Tried this one today... Couldn't touch it, even on toprope. Owie! Brutally sharp overhanging tips at the crux.
By Larry Coats
Sep 1, 2007

First ascent John Gault (early 80's)- previously known as "Tenure Crack" and the site of much effort by other locals
By Paul Davidson
Apr 14, 2008

Was it JG or Dick Cilly (Cilley?) who snagged the first ?
By Chris Tatum
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Feb 1, 2009

This route is stout... This thing took me so long to do just because of the pain... I could only get a few tries each day. So short and so painful! Hats off to the guys that did this thing on nuts!
I used, in this order...
.5 Camalot
Yellow Metolius
Purple C3
Yellow Metolius
#3 Camalot
By Ken Isaacson
Apr 29, 2009

John Gault lived in Flagstaff in the late seventies and early eighties with his two dogs. He had a very high ape index,large biceps,and was prematurely bald.

If the climb is rated as a 5.12 in the early eighties, figure it is a 5.13 today. During this period climbers in Flagstaff and probably throughout Arizona, thought all the hard climbing was in Yosemite and gave climbs lower ratings than they deserved.

I think Gault is a climbing guide in Colorado now.
By jbak
Apr 30, 2009

I absolutely cannot picture John Gault as a climbing guide. Are you sure about that ?
By Paul Davidson
Apr 30, 2009

Yeah, John as a guide, highly unlikely.
His was (is) a reclusive personality.

Last I knew, John was in Tucson but that was 10-15 years ago.
After he'd been in Albuquerque working with Bob and me.
By jbak
Apr 30, 2009

John was a good partner (he and I bouldered a lot back and climbed a little in the mid 80s) and a good guy...but not what you'd call a "people person". PD...can you picture him drumming up business ? I'm laughing.
By Ken Isaacson
Apr 30, 2009

I climbed with John a few times when I lived in Flagstaff. I think I saw John Gault was a guide in a Google search or in Mountain Gazette.

I'm editing my comment. I just did a google search and found a few John Gault references, but none about a guide in Colorado. It was in Mountain Gazette or I am mistaken.

I noticed a comment from JBaker in Tucson. Mr. Baker might remember my son Nathaniel when he was a student at U of A about five years ago. He climbed at Lemmon and attended a few of your slide shows, if I have the right John Baker/Summit Hut
By jbak
Apr 30, 2009

Ken, I think you are on a mistaken identity rampage, it's DAVE Baker that owns the Summit Hut (and bagged all the good lines 40 years ago).
By Ken Isaacson
May 1, 2009

Guilty! I just don't seem to be getting it right.
By Paul Davidson
May 1, 2009

Yeah, JG drumming up business... gnaw. (or BM for that matter.)
Decent programmers, probably better boulderers.

Seems like I'd heard that John's folks had passed on and left the house to John. He was living there over on 6th.

John and I were in math grad skool together in early 80s.
By KyleEdmondson
Nov 12, 2009

If this is one of the best routes, I'm glad I haven't done any others. A miserable 6 ft of sharp jams. What fun. A wise old fat guy (with sausage fingers) once said there is too much good rock and life is too short to climb routes like this.
By Will Cobb
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Apr 24, 2010


Sorry that you did not like this route as much as I did. You are right, it is sharp. If you ever decide to get back on it again ask Chris Tatum about how he taped for it. I think that it really helped him save his skin.

Before you swear off West Elden may I suggest a couple of other routes? Colin's new route "Bold is Love" is really good. "The Prow" and "Twilight Zone" would be 3 star routes anywhere.

Hope to meet you out climbing sometime.

By Paul Davidson
Apr 27, 2010

Kyle, why would you show up at an area and for your first climb jump on something clearly labelled as:
"So short and so painful!" (and by a local with a lot of stuff under his belt)
and then complain about it being short and painful ?

This is a locals testpiece, it's not one you'd put a visitor onto for a first climb unless they're on some sort of hardest route circuit trip.

Follow Will's suggestions and the area might grow on you. Bouldering is also pretty good, especially for being so close to town.

Add to that list Watermelon, Flameout, TT's Terror, Retirement Crack, Bold as Love (looks cool, don't think I've done it) a number of other testing stemming corners abound.
By Kyle Edmondson
Feb 10, 2013

I am not trying to be a complete jerk, and some of that was meant for a friend, but I do hold to the opinion. As someone who has climbed a lot in Flag, including many poor routes (I have done all the routes on the upper tier of the Pit, for example), this one stood out as really not fun. The initial description cites it as one of the best of the area, I felt that was off target, by a long way. Sorry if I offended you in my word choice, I'm not the funniest person I know.
By Colin Cox
Apr 14, 2014

I think this is one of those lines that is really striking....but hard because it's painful. It had to be done because it's there, but that's about it.

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