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Courthouse Rock
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Standard Route 

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

Type:  Trad, 8 pitches, 1500', Grade III
Original:  YDS: 5.5 French: 4b Ewbanks: 13 UIAA: IV+ ZA: 11 British: MS 4a [details]
FA: Unknown
Season: Winter
Page Views: 3,827
Submitted By: Jerry Cagle on Feb 19, 2007

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (15)
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BETA PHOTO: Hike from this parking area to the scree slope on ...


Use care in hold selection.


Start in the obvious black gully at far left side of East face.


Trad w/established belay stations. The stations are bolted, but the hangers are protection hangers with webbing threaded through the eyes for the raps. Stupid...

Photos of Standard Route Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Approximate route P1-P4.  P5 straight up and obvio...
BETA PHOTO: Approximate route P1-P4. P5 straight up and obvio...
Rock Climbing Photo: Cylindropuntia fulgida
BETA PHOTO: Cylindropuntia fulgida
Rock Climbing Photo: Completing the crux (5th pitch)
Completing the crux (5th pitch)
Rock Climbing Photo: View from atop the main rock prior to tower sectio...
View from atop the main rock prior to tower sectio...
Rock Climbing Photo: View from atop the fourth pitch
View from atop the fourth pitch
Rock Climbing Photo: Third Pitch
Third Pitch
Rock Climbing Photo: The first pitch.
The first pitch.
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking up at the inspiring formation from the app...
Looking up at the inspiring formation from the app...
Rock Climbing Photo: The "obvious black gully" on the far lef...
BETA PHOTO: The "obvious black gully" on the far lef...

Comments on Standard Route Add Comment
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By Jimbo
Feb 19, 2007

Jerry, If you don't like the way the belays are set up, why not buy some Fixe rap anchors and go fix them yourself. You would be doing yourself and the clmbing community a favor. Just saying it's stupid isn't helping anyone.
By Jerry Cagle
From: Tucson, AZ
Apr 30, 2007

Jimbo, your point is well-taken, but my understanding is that the AMC often utilizes this route for outings, teaching courses, etc. Therefore, I think the burden should fall on them or some other local(s). I have participated in other hardware upgrade projects (Warpaint in Cochise) in my own backyard, and if I were a Phoenician I'd probably take on this project...
By James DeRoussel
From: Tucson, AZ
Jun 20, 2008

Fun and moderate Arizona adventure climb. Rock quality highly variable, so pick your holds carefully and watch out when pulling your rope after rappels.
By noburu Irvine
From: Flagstaff
Dec 13, 2009

On pitch 5 (or if you link...then pitch 4), make sure that after the 2nd bolt, you go RIGHT of the bulge to hit the belay. I skirted left, missed the belay completely, and did a "nice" simul-climb with my partner for about 100 ft to the next anchor. P.S. Don't be fooled by the bright pink sling about 50 feet above that second bolt, I thought it was the anchor and it ended up looking like someone had jammed a pencil in the rock and tied a sling to it!
By ldsclimber
From: Santan Valley, AZ
Dec 8, 2010

This route is a cool way to the summit. There are long run outs between good gear placement. Most placements, I feel, the rock could blow with fall forces applied, so know you are mostly soloing the route. Falls are possible if you pull or step on obvious no no's. For the most part follow the best rock and you'll have know problems. There are 5 belay stations that are bomber. The 1st set of old hangers are are eh.. at best, but the ledge you belay from is great and the odds of them blowing are slim. not complaining just informing.
GO right at the second bolt!! you'll find a very nice belay station after a long run out. I was fooled by that same slung pencil off left on p4, believe it or not i even clipped it (as if it would hold body weight) while got spooked by bees buzzing around me. After asking God to please help me keep my head, I climbed higher left and set up a belay through some cholla and the bees left me a lone. I guess bees don't like cholla either. Looking back, it was kinda pathetic. I think my voice cracked while I was shouting fear/info to my partner (Scott).
There is a lot of good rock on this mountain!!
I'll be back!!
By Taylor Morgan
From: Draper, UT
Dec 30, 2010
rating: 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c PG13

This is a very easy, but fun, multi-pitch route that offers a rewarding summit. The bolted belay stations make it more of a sport than a trad route. Having said that, I actually appreciated the bolted belays, given the extremely poor rock quality.

There are only 3 moves on the entire route that could be classified as 5.4 (not 5.5). The rest of the route ranges from third-class to 5.3.

As ldsclimber mentioned, there are very few good gear placements due to poor micro/macro rock quality. I placed one piece all day - a #1 C4 in the flake on the fourth pitch (still unnecessary) and soloed every other pitch. If you comfortably lead 5.6 or above, I strongly recommend that you leave your cams, nuts, etc. at home and climb light. Also, climbing shoes aren't necessary; a good approach shoe will suffice (again, if you climb 5.6 or above comfortably). Lighten your load and bring only the following gear: two 60m ropes, 3-4 trad draws, and 21' webbing/cord (for emergencies).

Despite the bolted belays, I gave this route a PG13 safety rating due to extremely poor rock quality, constant hazard of rock fall (especially while pulling ropes), and the omnipresence of Cylindropuntia fulgida (jumping cholla). I'm not joking about the cactus - stay clear, as those little bastards will ruin your day!

It's obvious that someone (likely a local guide service) maintains this route. While I didn't mind the webbing and rap-rings, I agree that Fixe anchors would make more sense. That being said, my thanks to them for the bolted belays, as they expedited our descent.

In sum, this is a fun desert adventure that offers easy multi-pitch sport/trad climbing. If you're a beginning trad climber looking to gain experience, I recommend climbing another route elsewhere, as Courthouse Rock doesn't offer much in the way of gear placement.
By Catherine Conner
From: Phoenix, AZ
Sep 11, 2011
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

I love this route-done it many times. Am just packing up to do it via moonlight tonight with the lovely Miss Lauren, otherwise it's still too hot!!!! We've been up this thing many times, once I was there on new years day. First time trying the moonlight ascent. We got shot at once when we took a wrong turn on the way out... don't get lost! Have fun, it's a blast.
By manuel rangel
From: Tempe, Arizona
Nov 4, 2011

We found someone's anchor near the top of Mountaineer's route. If it is yours, email me. I'll get it back to you.
By DesertRat
Dec 28, 2014

Looks like someone added rap anchors. Route is set to rap with double 60 meter ropes. From the look of the dust around the hangers, these were just added.
By david goldstein
Jan 20, 2016

We found this route very enjoyable and found the rock quality to be generally pretty good.

The summit is a long, unobvious way from the end of the primary roped climbing. We found solid, detailed beta on the route here:

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