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The Sheepshead
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Dark Horse T 
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Get The Flock Out Of Here T 
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Hardskins of Our Forefathers T 
Ides of Middlemarch T 
Last Roundup, The T 
Mad Cow Disease T 
Peacemaker, The S 
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Tombstone Stripper, The T 
Unmitigated Audacity S 

The Tombstone Stripper 

YDS: 5.10- French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a

Type:  Trad, 6 pitches
Original:  YDS: 5.10- French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a [details]
FA: Scott Ayers & Bart Murphy (1987). Scott Ayers & Tanya Bok (2007)
Page Views: 1,704
Submitted By: Geir on Mar 4, 2010

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Josh Parafinik leading pitch 1. Photo taken from ...


This is a fun route that climbs over a few interesting features. It actually starts LEFT of Ides of Middlemarch and crosses over it at the end of pitch 1. To locate the start, scramble up and left about 40' from the start of Ides. Two bolt lines depart from this area, you will use the one headed to the right.

Pitch 1 (5.8, 90'): Follow bolts up and right on slabby 5.8 terrain. A few pieces of gear need to be placed on this pitch. Ends at the anchors for the first pitch of Ides of Middlemarch.

Pitch 2 (5.10-, 100'): Climb up and slightly right to a crack. Place a few pieces of gear to protect moves leading out to a bolt line on your right. (Be careful here as a fall would result in a nasty swing.) Move to the bolt line (10-) and climb up a neat arete to a ledge. Traverse right on the ledge about 20 feet to an anchor.

Pitch 3 (5.10-, 100'): Follow two bolts up over a bulge, then walk 15' right across a neat detached arch in the rock. Once across, climb straight up past two bolts, then head up and left for 15' protecting with gear and bolts. After reaching a shallow hole in the rock, head straight up to a two bolt anchor.

Pitch 4 (110', 5.8): Climb up and right following three bolts. After the third bolt bear up and left a few feet into an easy crack. Follow it up easy terrain with great rock. Protect with 1"-3" cams and nuts. At 110' there is a white patch of chickenheads left of a round boulder perched on a rock. Belay here on nuts or link the next pitch.

Pitch 5 (80', 5.7): Continue straight up on 5.7 terrain protecting with a couple of medium size cams and nuts. Belay at a two bolt anchor.

Transfer the belay up and left 100' on easy terrain (stay roped up) to a large ledge. Stop at a two bolt anchor at the top of pitch 5 of Peacemaker. See the topo for details.

To continue to the top, the original route bears right as described below. I checked out this ending after it was reported in January 2017. Frankly, it is not that great but I added it to the topo for historical accuracy. I suggest finishing on the final two pitches of Peacemaker.

Pitch 6 (5.9, 170'): Clip the first two bolts on the right hand line of bolts (Mad Cow Disease), then traverse right on a narrow vegetated ledge to a tiny pine tree. Climb straight up from the pine tree, passing two bolts, to a large vegetated ledge. Traverse right on the ledge past its end and another bolt, finally stepping down into a vegetated notch. Belay at a nice big pine just above the top of the notch.

Pitch 7 (5.5, 50'): Climb up and left on chossy rock to a prominent notch. Body belay in the notch or go to the back of it and belay from trees.


Download the updated topo using this link:


Singles to 3.5" and stoppers are plenty to protect this mostly-bolted route.

Photos of The Tombstone Stripper Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: I think I remember forcing him to do this weird ru...
I think I remember forcing him to do this weird ru...
Rock Climbing Photo: Daryl on the usual Cochise drill.  November 2010
Daryl on the usual Cochise drill. November 2010
Rock Climbing Photo: Chawn Harlow on belay, looking down from pitch 4.
Chawn Harlow on belay, looking down from pitch 4.

Comments on The Tombstone Stripper Add Comment
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By Justin York
From: Phoenix, AZ
Apr 8, 2010

Did a direct start to this route which is a bolted line (50-100 ft?) to the RIGHT of Ides. I guess this is Mad Cow Disease?? After two great pitches with thought-provoking moves, we continued up the unknown route described here. Highly recommend the linkup for a more direct line!
By Geir
From: Tucson, AZ
Apr 8, 2010


i believe that you did start on mad cow disease. when i first did this climb i started that way, too. i agree it makes a good start.
By Aerili
From: Los Alamos, NM
Dec 1, 2010

Pitch 3 is the money!
By Hendrixson
From: Tucson, AZ
Jan 18, 2014
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

This route is called "The Tombstone Stripper" and was established by Scott Ayers.
By arjunmh
From: Phoenix & Prescott, AZ
Mar 27, 2016

Another gorgeous route, though next time we'd probably do the first pitch of "Ides" instead simply to enjoy those bulges again. I prefer "Ides", but this has some super fun and airy face climbing in pitches 2 & 3. For sure the funnest pitches and well worth doing just for them.
By cochiseclimbing
Jan 16, 2017

Just so you guys know Geir and toofast topos have the information for the route wrong. Please see the above notes I have added for P4 and P5 as they are the way the route was established and a great way to surmount the top part of the Sheepshead.
By Geir
From: Tucson, AZ
Jan 16, 2017

Actually, the route descriptions that I have are completely correct as I have personally led every route that I have in my book. The left hand variation of the lower pitches are detailed in the topo. It looks like the FA chose a slightly different way to end the "The Tombstone Stripper" than what I chose. This information just made public; I climbed this ending and have added it to the description. (Previously I finished on Peacemaker and Mad Cow).

To clarify, this route was originally posted as "Unknown" as the FA did not wish to share details about the route at the time. The name of the route was later applied to the description of what I climbed. I am happy that the original ending of the route is now updated here.

I'll add the original ending in Toofast Topos II.
By cochiseclimbing
Jan 16, 2017

The FA didn't "choose" a different ending to the route then you.
This is the route.
You climbed pitches on the Sheepshead and you combined them as you wanted to climb them. That is fine but it is not the route and should not be listed as such.
By Geir
From: Tucson, AZ
Jan 16, 2017

No worries, I was happy to add the description of the ending you described today just as I did for the route's name in 2014. I updated the free topo to match.
By Daryl Allan
From: Sierra Vista, AZ
Jan 23, 2017

cochiseclimbing wrote:
Glad to see I was able to make your topos accurate finally-guess you can take that claim off your work.

Ouch. Really? Guideline #1 perhaps?

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