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Firecat Spire
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Do A Little Dance T 
North Face T 

North Face 

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: R. Hardwick, K. Karlstrom, Kim Spence
Page Views: 2,089
Submitted By: Kole DeCou on Mar 9, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (4)
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Larry Coats on the 1st pitch traverse of Firecat N...


A wild campusing start, then mostly offwidth and chimney to the top. The summit is well worth the grunt. All day shade.

Pitch 1) 10' 5.9 Walk along the limestone ledge until it cliffs out at the base of a big offwidth. Set up a belay and campus across to a ledge at the base of a big chimney.

Pitch 2) 80' 5.9 Go up the chimney. A #6 Camalot is helpful until you have to leave it behind. The chimney above is very runout, but secure. Belay with gear on a nice ledge atop the pillar.

Pitch 3) 80' 5.9+ Up the huecoed offwidth with a bolt to a small ledge, then traverse left to the next crack system. Just before it becomes a chimney there is a hard offwidth move. Save a #5 or #6 Camalot for the top of this pitch. Belay in the chimney from 2 bad bolts.

Pitch 4) 30' 5.8 Face climb up the higher summit (the one in front of you). A little run out.

Descent: 200' from the summit to your packs. One of the bolts is bad, but the other one is good.


Park at Marg's Draw Trailhead. Follow the trail east until it intersects with the real Marg's Draw trail at a 4-way intersection with a sign. Go right for 100' along the main trail, then turn left on a small hiker's trail. Follow this as it crosses a few small washes until it reaches a very large area of slick rock. Continue walking straight until you pick the trail back up on the south side of the slickrock. Follow this trail into the big wash (Marg's Draw). Go left up the main wash for about 1/2 mile until it becomes brush-choked. At this point another wash comes in from the left, and you can see the striking splitter of Fisher King. Follow this side wash north until Screaming Besingi and Firecat come into view on the right. Scramble up the gully on the north side of Firecat to start the route. GPS: 34,51.379 N 111,44.222 W


2 each to #3, 1 #4, 1 #5, 1 #6 Camalot (new sizes).

Photos of North Face Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Kim higher up on FA Direct Firecat.  Circa 1980
Kim higher up on FA Direct Firecat. Circa 1980
Rock Climbing Photo: Kim Spence on the FA of the Direct Start of the No...
Kim Spence on the FA of the Direct Start of the No...
Rock Climbing Photo: Kim Spence approaching the Ft Apache Limestone ban...
Kim Spence approaching the Ft Apache Limestone ban...
Rock Climbing Photo: Firecat North Face Topo
BETA PHOTO: Firecat North Face Topo
Rock Climbing Photo: Firecat Spire
Firecat Spire

Comments on North Face Add Comment
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By Tavis Ricksecker
Oct 30, 2007

The traverse was no problem but OW third pitch was one mother of a 5.9! 5.9d for sure. And I wish I would have read the description here more carefully. In Bloom's guide, it simply says "Rappel South Face". We tried this with a single rope, and I realized about 60' above the limestone band on the S face that I wasn't going to make it. Had to TR most of the second pitch of 'Do a Little Dance" back to the anchor, then had a bit of an epic rappeling the N face. This can be done with a single rope, but it did involve rappeling off a single bolt on the last rap (albeit a brand new solid 1/2" by 4")
By Paul Davidson
Apr 24, 2008

FA of Direct start by Kim Spence circa 1980.
5.9/5.10 range.

Good pitch, nice alternate to the traverse in if you prefer wide crack over exposed traversing. If you're gonna walk in there, might as well get your bang for the buck.

Edit: Just found some old pics, not the best scan but of historical interest.
Also shows the location of the direct start.
By Larry Coats
Oct 21, 2010

Just a little confusion on the FA info: The route was put up by Geoff Parker, utilizing his tied-together three-bong rope toss to surmount the pitch three offwidth bulge. Then Karlstrom and Hardwick freeclimbed the route, with Karl cranking through the bulge with no pro, but suggesting that a bolt be added. Baxter, Gordie Douglass, and myself returned and placed the bolt (with Scott standing on our shoulders to drill). Finally, several years later, Kim Spence led the left side offwidth, I assume with Paul and Jim Haisley as partners. One final note- Ed Webster and I did the first ascent of the western tower in the late 70's, via some poorly-protected 5.9 face climbing.
By Paul Davidson
Oct 27, 2010

Actually Larry, what Kim led was the direct start. Up the lower corner and over the limestone. This avoids the traverse in start.

As I recall, it was a real crew in there that day. Jim, Tim?, Kim, me and one or two others...

Edit: Pitch was pretty sketchy in terms of looseness when Kim first got on it and it had some run out. Very exciting what the flakes and such rain down and the occasional foot sketch when choss met gravity.

We had all been sitting around waiting for someone to get motivated to lead the traverse and were looking at this when Spence jumped up and grabbed the rack. Bravo!

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