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South Face 

YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: E1 5a R

Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 180'
Original:  YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: E1 5a R [details]
FA: R. Hardwick, G. Parker, P. Gleason, 1972.
Page Views: 399
Submitted By: Trevor Bowman on Feb 29, 2016

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Cool perspective from this summit.


A great, old-school outing with clean climbing and good rock, but you had better like wide climbing. This was one of the best old-school lines I've yet done in Sedona, but seems to go surprisingly neglected. With an easy approach, two quality pitches, some crazy positions, and a great summit, it deserves more attention.

Although south-facing, this is mostly shaded since it's tucked right up against the South Mesa. It is fully shaded in the afternoon.

Pitch 1--Belay for the first pitch in the comfortable notch between the tower and the South Mesa. Start up splitter fingers in a slight flare, which widen quickly to good, steep hands for a ways, with a couple big reaches past wider pods. The hero hands end beneath a 15' OW, smooth-walled and in a flare. Burl up this with arm-bars, heel-toeing, and whatever else works...this is another good example of just how hard 5.9 from the 70's can be! Take care with some loose debris in the back of the OW. At the top of the OW, burrow horizontally through a wild hole into the middle of the tower for the "room" belay. Belay off of hand/finger gear. (5.9++, 80')

Pitch 2--Tiptoe toward the light (north, toward the Middle Mesa and the Mace) out a sloping ledge to the outermost edge of the imposing chimney above. Take care not to trundle yourself off the ledge into the bottomless chimney below! Breath deep and start wriggling up the incredible chimney above, which maintains a fairly constant width for the whole pitch, and offers micro-features for the lower 1/2 and some larger pockets and edges up high. The guidebook says this is runout for the first 30', but I didn't see any cracks anywhere in the chimney, and only found one marginal TCU about 2/3 of the way up. It's secure chimney work, but approach this pitch as essentially a solo. Belay off of slung shrubs and a small juniper on the summit. (5.8 R/X, 100')


The summit anchor is about 20' below the actual summit, above the south face. It is two 3/8" Bandito bolts that are decent, but a new bolt would be nice. We swapped out the crusty tat with some rope. Chains would be a great addition!

We rapped with two ropes to the ground in about 150', as we were unsure of the setup. However, there is another anchor (two newer vintage bolts with tat) about 40' below the summit anchor and under a big bulge. I think you could swing into this anchor, and then get to the ground with single 70m rope (60m might work too?). Bring extra tat or chains.


(1X).4-.75 (2X) 1,2 (1X) 3,6 C4 Camalots, slings. 1 70m rope. Bring another #2 if you want to sew it up, and another #6 if you really don't like bumping cams up OWs.

Photos of South Face Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking up P1 from the notch.
BETA PHOTO: Looking up P1 from the notch.
Rock Climbing Photo: Emily Reinsel finishes up the spectacular chimney ...
Emily Reinsel finishes up the spectacular chimney ...

Comments on South Face Add Comment
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By Joe Keyser
From: Scottsdale, AZ
Mar 1, 2016

Great addition! It's been years since I did this climb, but I distinctly recall my 210 pound shoulders almost not making it through the hole as I led through the top of P1. I literally made it an inch at a time, constantly picturing S&R coming in with some crisco.
By Paul Davidson
Mar 7, 2016

Great to see you guys posting up so many of the old classics!
By Kevin Keith
May 11, 2016

Wow! just did this route yesterday, without knowing anything about it. So, we started to the east below the notch between the tower and Middle Mesa.
P1 We climbed a 40' pitch of 5.8 in a stem box using a pretty nice crack to protect friable surrounding rock. This pitch got us into the notch. After reading this post I know you can just hike around the west side of the tower and scramble into the notch to start. Our first pitch was pretty nice though.
P2 We climbed the steep crack as described as the original pitch one and were surprised and encouraged to see some chalk in the crack. We skipped the tunnel to the room, because we had no idea, and moved out left and over a small dirty bulge ending on a ledge and bolts at the top of a dirty soft pillar. These bolts are the anchors described in the original post as being below the summit anchors that could allow a single rope to get you down.
P3 We stemmed from a ledge 15' below the bolts to enter the chimney on the south end. Would have been a pretty hard fall from there with the belayer so far away. Kind of cool not having beta or knowing what to expect. I found gear about every 20' from small cams to a #3 camalot in a pocket. I generally climbed up through the middle moving to the gear placements which put me near the north end for the finish. I belayed on the taller side with a nice gear anchor in a crack next to a blooming agave stalk. This pitch was super enjoyable.
We climbed the mace earlier in the day and this route "The Dodger" felt much harder. I am excited to go back and climb it as described in the guide in the original post. The tunnel sounds like a novel experience.The rappel bolts at the top say "Bad Bolt" on both hangers. They look homemade. I would suggest bringing some new hangers for future descents. They flexed up and down the whole time Josh was rappelling.

Kevin Keith and Josh Bradley May 10, 2016
By Bill Lundeen
From: Lee Vining, CA
Nov 16, 2016
rating: 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a R

Awesome, hidden gem of a route. Quality, continuous steep hands to O/W on pl. The tunnel was cool...and tight. Surreal "room" to belay in with not much gear, but an incredible location. And then p.2: awesome, unprotectable (for the first half of the pitch), secure chimney to squeeze straight up between the towers.
The "bad bolts" on the top rap anchor are actually very good, old 3/8"inchers put in by the old banditos with their trademark stamp. The hangers are the old soft aluminum they regularly used; probably totally safe but flexible.

Gear: we brought singles fingers to 5 inches and it was plenty for both pitches.

Approach: Do not use the Bloom/Wolfe guide as we did; ended up on the east side of The Dodger and climbed a pretty full pitch of solid 5.9 before the actual route. Good way to make it a 3 pitch outing. Correct approach is around the west side of Dodger spire and up into the notch from there.

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