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Absinthe of Mallet T 
Animal Husbandry S 
Bantam of the Opera S 
Bruise the Rooster T 
Burning Calves S 
Climb Too Tough To Die, The T 
Dark Horse T 
Ewephoria T 
Get The Flock Out Of Here T 
Greedy Little Varmint T 
Hardskins of Our Forefathers T 
Ides of Middlemarch T 
Last Roundup, The T 
Mad Cow Disease T 
Peacemaker, The S 
Phony Pony T 
Stampede S 
Tombstone Stripper, The T 
Unmitigated Audacity S 

Mad Cow Disease 

YDS: 5.11 French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E4 5c

Type:  Trad, 6 pitches, 740'
Original:  YDS: 5.11 French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E4 5c [details]
FA: Scott Ayers, Avi Steinburg & Trent Baker
Page Views: 2,082
Submitted By: Geir on Mar 3, 2010

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Wyatt starting up the 2nd pitch


Starts approx 50' right of Ides of Middlemarch.

Pitch 1 (130', 10+): Awkward moves protected by a .75" cam and bolts lead to a blunt arete. Follow bolts up and right to a two bolt semi-hanging belay.

Pitch 2 (120', 11-): Straight up protected by bolts on technical face climbing. Make a difficult move left after the 5th bolt, pull a bulge, and head up and right to a ledge. Follow a ramp up and right on easy terrain to a two bolt anchor.

Pitch 3: (170', 11R): Difficult technical face climbing left of a series of bolts lead to easier ground above. On the easier ground, head up and left crossing a right leaning gully. Clip a few more bolts then make a 40-50' runout on 5.7 terrain to a two bolt anchor.

Pitch 4: (160', 10-R): Head toward a bolt visible about 50' above. The terrain is about 5.7 and there is some occasional gear. After clipping the bolt, head up and slightly left following two more bolts and placing some gear. You will encounter a few 10- moves. Stop at a two bolt anchor by a large ledge.

Transfer the the belay left approx 100' left to a two bolt anchor. Two bolt lines head up from this anchor, you will take the right hand line of bolts.

Pitch 5 (80', 10b): Follow the right hand bolt line up to a crack. Place one cam and head slightly left and up to a two bolt anchor.

Pitch 6: (80', 10c): Follow bolts up and right along tricky slab (10c). Continue past bolts to an anchor on the summit.


See topo:


Mostly bolts, a light rack including nuts and cams to 2" will fill in the occasional gaps between bolts.

Photos of Mad Cow Disease Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: The moves to the last bolt on pitch 1 are not triv...
The moves to the last bolt on pitch 1 are not triv...
Rock Climbing Photo: Chawn Harlow on pitch 4
Chawn Harlow on pitch 4
Rock Climbing Photo: Wyatt sizes up the final slab crux on the 1st pitc...
Wyatt sizes up the final slab crux on the 1st pitc...
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking up at the start of the climb
Looking up at the start of the climb

Comments on Mad Cow Disease Add Comment
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By Justin York
From: Phoenix, AZ
Nov 8, 2010

did the first two pitches of this route and continued on the unknown right of ides. great linkup and highly recommended!
By marc farra
Feb 14, 2011

Fun route. I think it is easier than the unknown 5.10 to the right of Peacmaker. Perhaps a little more run out in places but, the run outs are on easy ground. This is also a little easier than Stampede.
By John Steiger
May 1, 2011
rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

We climbed the first two pitches in one mega-pitch (some 20 plus draws and a 70m rope), eliminating the hanging belay. You might be able to get by with a 60m this way, but it would be tight and you'd want to consider using longish draws (even with a 70m, a few long draws will help rope drag). I suspect this makes one of the best 5.11 pitches on Sheepshead. We also climbed the "direct finish" that Jon and Mark in their 2009 posts to Stampede mention -- a line of bolts up increasingly poor (but safe, and weirdly enough, fun) rock to the right of the end of the 5.10- pitch. Done the way we did it, I give Mad Cow 3 stars and rate it 5.11a/b, 5.11b, 5.10a, 5.11a -- a good day on the 'head. (Marc, I'm pretty sure you weren't on Mad Cow.) For gear, we used all draws and a few long runners on chickenheads. Kudos to whoever put this up.
By greg k
Feb 20, 2012

easily the hardest route on sheepshead; at least a couple of letter grades tougher than stampede! the climbing is sustained and engaging on every pitch. be prepared for less generous bolt distribution than the other sheepshead clip-ups.
By Ryan Williams
From: London (sort of)
Nov 5, 2012
rating: 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c

Still one of the best routes I've done anywhere. Right after I did it I graded Stampede 11- and I seem to have given this one 5.11 so I must have thought this was harder. I don't remember which pitch it was, but the beginning had this crazy vertical and very shallow dish that you stem and palm your way up - I'll never forget that.
By ckersch
Jul 5, 2016

Did this back when I lived in AZ, also linking the first two pitches together (because we thought we were on Stampede, and the first anchor didn't match the description of the Stampede anchor. Oops!) I remember fun climbing through the dishes at the start of what is normally the second, and then the worst rope drag I've ever dealt with. Definitely bring some long draws or skip a few clips if you're planning on linking them. Found and climbed actual Stampede the next day.
By Geir
From: Tucson, AZ
Jan 16, 2017

They said they thought they were on Stampede.

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