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

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 90'
Original:  YDS: 5.11 French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E4 5c [details]
FA: JJ Schlick 2011
New Route: Yes
Season: Summer, Fall
Page Views: 3,110
Submitted By: JJ Schlick on Aug 13, 2011

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (18)
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Joel Unema at the crux transition of Phantsam 5.11...


Phantasm is one of the most unique lines I've ever established on basalt, and only seems to appear as you rap down it. From the climbers left side of the drainage at a large half alive ponderosa which juts off the edge of the rim, rappel past knobby horns, down 90' to an excellent belay ledge, fixed belay.

From the deluxe ledge, tackle the slightly overhanging dihedral with thuggy hand and finger pods (5.10). Take a moment at the break before the rail traverse, and eye it well. Once on the move again pop up to the jug, and then start moving past perfect jugs and textured smearing towards the steep thin crack.

Entering the thin crack, and then getting into the hanging stem box is the crux of the route. This section is exciting, engaging, and ever so slightly enigmatic. After you plug some small gear and enter into the stem box be prepared for some intriguing, and semi technical stemming for 30' of airy exposure in the shallow box. At the top of the box there is a good #.75 Camalot in a diagonal slot/handhold. One final tricky section exiting the top of the box to the right is followed by easier blocky climbing to the top.


Climbers left side of drainage, at base of large ponderosa.


Single set through #3 Camalot. Small/ medium wires. Plenty of draws and long draws.

Photos of Phantasm Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Phantasm
BETA PHOTO: Phantasm
Rock Climbing Photo: Joel staring down the stem box.  Wade Forrest Phot...
Joel staring down the stem box. Wade Forrest Phot...
Rock Climbing Photo: The last tricky bit is exiting the stem box to the...
The last tricky bit is exiting the stem box to the...
Rock Climbing Photo: Eying up the stem box.
Eying up the stem box.
Rock Climbing Photo: This is the first break after the crux, and just b...
This is the first break after the crux, and just b...
Rock Climbing Photo: Moving through the all too classic rail traverse o...
Moving through the all too classic rail traverse o...

Comments on Phantasm Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Oct 13, 2015
By GUmojo
Dec 9, 2011

Rock Climbing Photo: Route establishment ethic?
Route establishment ethic?
By JJ Schlick
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Dec 20, 2011

GU- About ten years ago I watched a guy pull out a microwave sized block while leading unclimbed terrain on what we now refer to as the Pillar Wall. The subsequent 40' whipper and rockfall probably should have killed him, not to mention his partner. They were both, very lucky that day.

Seems to me this place is big enough to handle a handful of safe, clean, modern lines. The question is are you?

After 20 years of putting up new lines, I have been out of the death route market for a long time. Without the bolts Phantasm would be an X rated pitch that wouldn't exist. However, this route has already seen a number of ascents, and nothing but rave reviews by local Flagstaff climbers.
By azclimbingrocks
Dec 20, 2011

Cool looking route. Looks to have a nice mix of moves.

GU is trolling on the boards lately trying to bring back the '70s.

Personally, I would oppose bolts at The Forks but the Cwm is a different place. More shattered is what I recall which means more blocks, etc... There's already some bad juju here so safety comes first. More like a cross between the Overlook and the Forks...

Nice job...
By Jimbo
Dec 23, 2011

+ 1 for JJ. I'm of the same mind in my older years.

Unless you're out there doing hard ground up FA's you have no cred to comment. Put up or shut up.
By Darren Mabe
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Dec 23, 2011

"put up or shut up"
I love it.
By JJ Schlick
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Dec 23, 2011

Thanks guys, I just wanted to add a few more points:
1. There is a reason that the newer routes here were not done back in the day, and that's because they would all have severe R or X rated crux sections on them. Which is hard to work with in a mostly rap to the base, and climb out situation.

2. Just because a pitch is mixed, or because there is a bolt in an otherwise unprotectable section of climbing, does not mean you have to clip it. If I am establishing a sport route, I make it safe for everyone. And then people can skip clips if they so desire. For a modern mixed route, I always try to make it safe into the PG13 level because they are certainly more trad affairs than sport. So you will not encounter any R situations on my routes at the Waterfall Area in Oak Creek Canyon, and you won't find them on my routes at Volunteer either. But, once again, if you find you disagree with a bolt placement, you can make that call when you face it, and if so desired, skip it. In my mind that is still the beauty of the situation. Someone, could still rap down to, and fire off Phantasm as a purely gear protected route at 5.11+X. At the same time, someone who climbs that grade on gear, can also go down, have an amazing, and REASONABLY safe time of it in a vertical landscape, that is really, more or less, trying to kill you...

3. I spent 4 months working on, and completing four pitches here this summer. In my world, that's a lot of time for four routes... These pitches take a tremendous amount of effort to get into working/climbing shape. For every six lines you rap down, and jug up, you might find one solid pitch top to bottom, and that doesn't mean it will look all that good, or climb well. This place isn't The Waterfall, where almost every crack you look at is solid. Volunteer in comparison is a "block hugger's" paradise, and there are literal death traps all over the place.

4. I know to some folks the idea of bolts at this canyon is quite a leap, and I am sure that they envision the worst. However, as climbing evolves and we start taking new looks at old crags, we find local resources that have other wise fallen off the map, yield fantastic and wild new potential. I have no designs on turning Volunteer Canyon into a sport crag, because the idea of such a thing is preposterous. However, with a handful of camouflaged, and carefully placed bolts, we can add modern classics and test pieces alike, that will not detract from the old school tastes of the area in anyway whatsoever. In fact, I think it will help bring out the flavor of the area, and the old routes will start getting done again, as much as the new ones. I believe this place has the potential, and space to mature as a climbing area, and become just as valuable to today's generation, as it was to those who first started climbing there fourty years ago. It is, and will always be a trad area. There is just no getting around that.
By Mario Duarte
Dec 17, 2014

- 2 for both JJs. I’m not of the same mind in my older years.

Unless you’ve done the route, you have no cred to comment. Stop it or chop it.
By GUmojo
Dec 17, 2014

"stop it or chop it" I love it.
By JJ Schlick
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Dec 18, 2014

I learned a long time ago that you can't please everyone all the time. I've put up routes in every style imaginable, including ground up onsight gear routes, ground up trad routes bolting on lead, rap bolting, aid, headpointing, and even top rope bolting.

To me, it's all the same. It's a means to an end. While I've climbed a ton of dangerous terrain while establishing routes, I don't get off on it. As I've said before, I'm much more concerned about the overall quality of a finished new pitch, than how it was established.

At the same time I respect other's routes and styles of development regardless of how I feel about them personally. They can do whatever they want. If their route looks like something I might be interested in repeating, I do. If looks like something I won't enjoy I move on. Case closed. I certainly don't go around chopping routes, or trolling on MP.

I've tried throughout the years to establish quality, clean, inspiring lines. Sorry you disagree. Lucky for you there are all sorts of cool, all natural gear routes around. Loose death routes too. You should go do Nyctophiliac or Cash, Grass, Or Ass to the right of Phantasm. If you don't like those I don't know what to tell either of you.
By Mike broad
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Oct 13, 2015
rating: 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a

Thank you JJ for putting up so many of my favorite routes!
By JJ Schlick
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Oct 13, 2015

I do my best, thanks.

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