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YDS: 5.5 French: 4b Ewbanks: 13 UIAA: IV+ ZA: 11 British: MS 4a

Type:  Sport, 1 pitch, 90'
Original:  YDS: 5.5 French: 4b Ewbanks: 13 UIAA: IV+ ZA: 11 British: MS 4a [details]
FA: Kevin Carmichael, Tim Lee
Page Views: 2,902
Submitted By: Nick Kuhn on May 8, 2004

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (46)
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Rappeling into the sunset off Ridgeback (5.5) at R...


This is a fun, mellow climb that rewards climbers with great views, good rock, and a mandatory rappel.

Separated from the main wall at Ridgeline, Ridgeback starts downhill and around the corner to the left from the other routes. The route ascends the right side of an arete to the top of a stand-alone pinnacle. Though well-bolted, you can supplement with nuts and cams, though the cracks tend to be slightly grainy higher on the route.

The shuts sit on a horizontal ledge on top, so plan to anchor in and belay your second to the top. Then rap back towards the main Ridgeline wall, on the opposite side of the actual route. Making sure everyone has their own rappel device speeds things up.

A top-rope setup might work with long, equalized slings, though I haven't tried this.


6-8 bolts, cold shuts on ledge above. You can bring some small/medium nuts to protect the easy runout to the first bolt, and small cammers to use throughout the route, though extra gear is not absolutely required. Plan to rap.

Photos of Ridgeback Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Great exposure at the top overlooking the San Manu...
Great exposure at the top overlooking the San Manu...
Rock Climbing Photo: Ridgeback - Beginning of the route
BETA PHOTO: Ridgeback - Beginning of the route
Rock Climbing Photo: Brigit showing us how to lead on my first day clim...
Brigit showing us how to lead on my first day clim...
Rock Climbing Photo: Ridgeback. Red rope follows bolt line.
BETA PHOTO: Ridgeback. Red rope follows bolt line.
Rock Climbing Photo: Tom Lind nearing the top of Ridgeback.  Photograph...
Tom Lind nearing the top of Ridgeback. Photograph...

Comments on Ridgeback Add Comment
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By Gary Sax
May 28, 2004
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

I like the route! But the rap is not mandatory. You can scramble off the backside.
By Scott Tucker
From: Tucson, AZ
May 9, 2006
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

Very fun easy route. Great views, good exposure. Pretty runout to the first bolt and there's a perfect crack for a medium cam. Falling from the first bolt would bounce you once after 30 feet then send you down the gully for about 6000 feet of pine trees and manzanita to San Manuel.
By Hillary Davis
Jun 20, 2006

I really like this route, and honestly, it's worth the hike for this alone. Yes, for a bolted 5.5. The little summit is nice and the views are lovely, and the climbing is very mellow, enjoyable bucket-hauling. It's fun for beginners, but it would NOT be a good toprope- it's best to second your partner up and scramble down the notch (or rappel if that's your thang). I've heard you can place gear, but I didn't find it even close to necessary, personally.
By David Lammers
From: Grand Junction, CO
Jul 8, 2007

Good beginner route and fun to climb. Place 1 or 2 cams before first bolt. The rest is well bolted. Belay from the summit. I had to rap clean it b/c my beginner got freaked out. Lot of friction when retrieving the rope but with some muscle it pulled down clean.
By joshf
From: missoula, mt
Mar 13, 2009

Best route at the crag
By Adam Block
From: Tucson, AZ
Jun 9, 2012
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

This is actually one of my favorite climbs on Lemmon, there are 7 bolts with a mild runout at the bottom which could easily be protected by a .5 cam if you wanted though it's easy ground and more of a scramble to the first bolt.
From: Mesa AZ
Jul 8, 2012

Great route even better view

I agree that a couple pieces down low would spice up the climb at the bottom as you follow the crack up. The rest of the climb was great - good first climb for someone learning lead.

By tcmartin100
From: Tucson, Arizona
Jun 2, 2014

the view from the top is special.
By Greg Goodrum
From: Tucson, AZ
May 30, 2016
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

Very fun, easy route, great for leaders who want to practice some of the anchor building and belaying techniques for multi-pitch without having to commit to a larger route. Anchor is set back, but a 60m rope makes it to the ground.

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