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The Blade of Damascus 

YDS: 5.11a French: 6c Ewbanks: 22 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 22 British: E3 5c

Type:  Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 95'
Original:  YDS: 5.11a French: 6c Ewbanks: 22 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 22 British: E3 5c [details]
FA: Manuel R, Mike K
New Route: Yes
Page Views: 633
Submitted By: Mike on Oct 17, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (2)
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A great route up a dike on Stewart Peak. Scramble onto boulder at the base of the dyke near an old hangerless bolt. Reach up and left to place a large nut or small cam in a short, left-leaning crack. Follow crack, then dyke and intermittent crack, past a bolt to a ledge below a sharp arete. Continue up right side of arete past 4 bolts using a multitude of blocky, slopey holds to top, then exit right to anchor. When going up the arete, tall folks should try not to cheat by stemming off of the back wall, which lowers the difficulty on this section to 5.9ish or maybe 10-.


A set of nuts and some small to medium cams, plus 5 bolts. The top anchor is bolted.


Located on East Face of Stewart Peak. Route follows obvious dike to prominent arete. To descend, rap route from bolted anchor with a single 60m rope.

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By J. Hickok
Aug 9, 2012

I have never felt like it is cheating when a climber stems on or uses a rock feature that is reachable from a climb. It is illogical and contrived to avoid using a part of the rock that is obviously reachable or usable - unless you are bouldering and training to get stronger. The climbers who choose to use the handholds and footholds that are present are not cheating, they are simply using the rock features that make the route what it is independent of climber height.

Just my 2 cents.
By 1Eric Rhicard
Aug 13, 2012

By Mike
From: Phoenix
Aug 13, 2012

Hey Joel & Eric. I generally agree, however I mentioned not using the back wall b/c many people will not be able to reach it. Manny & I are on the tall side, with big wing/leg spans. Since many wouldn't be able to stem it seemed a bit like cheating to use it, and frankly IMHO it isn't nearly as much fun that way. Of course everyone is free to climb it however they want.

Also FWIW if one can always use whatever they want then several boulder problems (and all sit-starts) are no longer valid.

Give the route a try sometime. I would enjoy hearing what you think! If people still feel it is contrived then I am happy to change both the info and the rating to reflect that.

By 1Eric Rhicard
Aug 13, 2012

Border Patrol on Mt. Lemmon has the same issue. Fortunately the route grade doesn't change much if one stems behind them. Most people don't even notice the option and climb it without the stem.

Bouldering is a different animal as a lot of bouldering involves eliminates.

With routes I try not to dictate where people climb. You gave us the info so folks can do what they like. The rock gives us the holds be they where we want them or not. Sounds like a good route either way you do it.

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