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Pointed Dome
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South Face T 

South Face 

YDS: 5.11- French: 6c Ewbanks: 22 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 22 British: E3 5c R

Type:  Trad, 3 pitches, 350', Grade III
Original:  YDS: 5.11- French: 6c Ewbanks: 22 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 22 British: E3 5c R [details]
FA: Bob Kamps, TM Herbert, Don Wilson 1959 FFA: R. Hardwick, S. Baxter, L. Coats, G. Douglass 1977
Season: All day sun
Page Views: 857
Submitted By: Kole DeCou on Dec 10, 2006

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looking down the crux pitch from the pods high up.


The only route on one of the most prominent features in Sedona. Classic climbing but very runout. The crux is well protected, but there are potential bone-breaking falls on 5.9-ish terrain. Bloom's book says to stick clip the first bolt, but I really can't see how this would help since getting to the first bolt is no big deal and the climbing doesn't get runout until after the crux bulge.

Pitch 1: 5.7 100' from the ledge scramble up a series of ledges towards the big chimney. Belay at the base of the chimney.

Pitch 2: 5.8 100' Up the chimney to a 2 bolt belay.

Pitch 3: 5.11- R 150' The business. Belay/spot from the little pinnacle on the ledge. Climb the face to a bulge (crux). After the crux the climb is very runout and sustained 5.9. Unless you get gear in some funky pockets after the corner there is a 100' fall potential from the top of the pitch. Hand-sized tricams or a #2 Camalot might work here. No promises since I didn't have either.


Approach: Same as Queen Victoria. From the notch between Pointed Dome and Queen Vic, follow a ledge system on the south face of Pointed Dome (30' above the ground). Belay from this ledge.


Nuts, 1 set cams to #4 Camalot. Big tricams for pockets (hand sized). For pitch 2 just bring nuts, a #1 and #2 Camalot, and tricams.

Photos of South Face Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: bomber hand size piece high up
bomber hand size piece high up
Rock Climbing Photo: Amylee pulling the (old school?) 5.7 fists through...
Amylee pulling the (old school?) 5.7 fists through...
Rock Climbing Photo: Crux pitch
Crux pitch
Rock Climbing Photo: Why is there a tent pole on the summit??
Why is there a tent pole on the summit??
Rock Climbing Photo: Moose's Butte from summit of Pointed Dome
Moose's Butte from summit of Pointed Dome
Rock Climbing Photo: Self portrait summit shot.
Self portrait summit shot.
Rock Climbing Photo: South Face Topo
BETA PHOTO: South Face Topo

Comments on South Face Add Comment
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By Paul Davidson
Feb 19, 2009

Hmmm, we need Larry C to chime in here, but I thought there was some question that Kamps had led this thing free way back when.
By Ross Hardwick
Aug 22, 2009

Mr. DeCous' description of the route, and particularly the 3rd pitch (which I led on the FFA) are very accurate.

I have spoken to several people who have climbed the route and they don't seem have my recollection of the unprotected runnout above the crux bulge. If you can't get any protection in and you fall from near the top of the pitch it is entirely possible you might ground on the belay ledge, or worse, pinball into the chimney of the second pitch. It may also be a matter of taking the right gear. I expected to use bolts placed by R. Kamps on the FA, so all I took were some biners and a few runners. (By the way these earliest and very ballsy pioneers climbed this section without pro as well). Not having any pro I wasn't looking for what might go in - I was concentrating on not falling off.

Ross Hardwick
By Ross Hardwick
Aug 22, 2009

Just saw Paul Davidson's comment. Hey Paul, howrya doing?

The original letter from Kamps to Lee Dexter (I think) that included the earliest climbs, and was received before my time but which was enshrined in honor in the informal guide to the Flagstaff area, rated the route as 5.8 A1, and even had a primitive topo for the route. The location for the one or two aid moves was at the bulge. I cracked up after the first ascent when the only comment for the section above the bulge was something like "easier climbing to the top".

I was always amazed that Kamps had such a remarkable memory (or more likely kept a detailed journal). During the time we (including Geoff Parker and the Sydicato guys) were repeating Kamps' routes, it was Baxter's idea to try to free climb Pointed Dome given the fact that we knew frm Kamps' letter that there had been some aid moves on the first ascent.

Ross Hardwick
By Paul Davidson
Aug 24, 2009

Roscoe, doing well, and you ?

After Ross, Scott, Larry and Gordy came back from doing the FFA of Pointed Dome, what I recall was mostly talk about the "easier climbing" to the summit and not much mention of the "crux" bulge. Of course, that team was all climbing real solid at the time. Hence, I scratched Pointed Dome off my list.

I'd imagine that new modern gear might make all difference. As would actually having gear along :-0 !

Ross, there's a thread over in the Az/NM forum on the history of the Overlook that is crying out for your input ! As are many many other climbs documented here on MP and many many more that need to be on MP. e.g. SFace of Zoro ! Do you have much memory of the route, still at Gore ? Can you corral Bain and get something posted up here. Also, as I recall, you had the camera for the trip :-)
By Kole DeCou
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Oct 30, 2010

Just saw the comments. After topping out on this I was absolutely amazed by the skill and vision of Bob Kamps and crew. Who would pick this as the second spire to be climbed in Sedona?? Most of us would take one look at the last pitch and just do Queen Vic instead, all the summits were untouched back then.

The run out section is not aid-able, so he absolutely free climbed all but the bulge in what-ever shoes they wore back then. How he headed up that face without drilling a bolt ladder is beyond me, but the route is all the better for it.

I did like you did Ross, and left everything bigger than fingers at the belay. It didn't occur to me that there might be some holes up there that could take gear. It would be nice to know some beta from someone who took hand sized cams so I could update the topo.
By Kevin Kent
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Nov 21, 2015

This thing is totally rad! The 1/4 inch Kamps bolts on the business pitch have all been replaced with nice drilled angles or solid bolts. I found a light blue metolius (roughly gold camalot size) fit quite well in a little pod higher up, but the climbing is pretty mellow by that point anyway; the only other piece I placed was a small nut in the hollow flake half way up. If you feel like you need to stick clip the first drilled angle then you're probably NOT ready to lead the upper part of this. I don't know if I'd call this R-rated, more like PG-13+, because the business stuff is really reasonably protected and the more runout stuff is significantly easier. Go do it!!

You need 2 ropes for both rappels and 2 70s will get you all the way to the ground from the big ledge at the top of P2.
By Amylee T
From: Flagastaff, AZ
Nov 28, 2015

I highly enjoyed this route. Classic Sedona loose climbing for the first two pitches. Last pitch has a couple hard moves, and like Kevin stated, the biz is well protected. I also give it PG13, not R. A very enjoyable day of climbing.

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