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North Face - 5.10c

Average Rating = 3.33/5 Average Rating : 3.33 out of 5
Route sequence (left to right): 1
Route Summary | Ascent Notes (3)
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Aliens to orange, camalots to 4, nuts. Std rack
Consensus Ratings
  Difficulty 5.10c
  Safety Rating R
  Exposure 4.67/5
  Rock Quality 3.67/5
  Scenery 5.00/5
  Fun Factor 3.00/5


This route is a bit loose, especially if you don't know where to go after the 5.7 traverse. The bolts on P2 are OK but old and small, but the P1 belay has a new bolt (2001?) The 5.7 traverse is well-protected, after which you head up a grassy crack/corner, not the 5.11 steep corner to the right! The route's crux move is maybe 5.10b face after physical 10a crack, and easier than the second pitch slab move. Good crack climbing on this route, especially at the top.

Submitted by: billiebob on 2002-09-28
Views: 1924
Route ID: 21904

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3 Ascents Recorded

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  Difficulty 5.10c
  Safety Rating R
  Rock Quality
  Fun Factor
Onsight Onsight ascent by: markguycan on 2010-05-03 (View Climbing Log)

3 out of 5 stars R in noRth face! 0+0=1

w/ sed- see his description which is pretty accurate.

The run outs are long if you don't count marginal pro of which there is ample.
After all 0 + 0 = 1, right? ~as in a couple marginal tiny cams equals one good piece, at least it does psychologically/if you don't fall!

We carried more water than we needed(5-6L ea), especially since the creek was running and we could have treated some.

The wind was bitter cold the afternoon we camped at the base but a clear calm day as we climbed allowed me comfort wearing Tshirt, long sleeve shirt and fleece vest- a little warm those few times we were in the sun, a little cool on shady belays.

I also would take less big gear: 1 #3, 1 #3.5, doubles of smaller and a good selection of nuts,maybe a few hexes, and many slings rather than qd's. Dont forget your headlamp! & I wish I had stashed a beer in the creek for the hike out!

The descent: rap from a tree to the far SE of the summit. rap one is almost 100ft, rap two is about 115ft to relative safety.

Added: 2010-05-05

  Difficulty 5.10d
  Safety Rating R
  Rock Quality
  Fun Factor
Hang Dog Hang Dog ascent by: sed on 2010-05-04 (View Climbing Log)

2 out of 5 stars Whirlwind adventure

A few notes about the northwest facing north face route. First, I lead the odd numbered pitches (recommended) and Mark led the even numbered pitches (not recommended!). If you are interested in leading the 5.10 pitches you should be regularly leading solid 5.11 due to the run out and poor gear. I wont give detailed beta on every pitch but i'll make a few comments.
p1: I'd say this pitch is like 5.7 and only about 80 feet - a pretty easy stroll with decent pro.
p2: you can keep this at about 5.10b if you veer left a bit from the bolts then traverse back right but any way you look at it is kind of scary. The bolts are oddly placed and there is some decent run out before you make it to the flake. The crack above the flake is kind of dirty and pro isn't great but a short 10a move and you are soon on easier, though poorly protected rock.
p3: In my opinion the most enjoyable pitch on the climb, nice rock, good pro and pretty long.
p4:Not as runout as we expected, if you bring a nut tool you'd be amazed what cracks you will find with a little digging.
p5:We belayed at the tree then I traversed straight right from it, did a bit of wandering up and down and a lot of route finding but not that difficult, good rock and decent pro.
p6:Mark let the jagged crack left of the dihedral. The dihedral looked really filthy. The jagged crack was a nice pitch, 5.9 starting move and a nice flake, around roof to right then bolts a bit higher up.
p7;scary flakes, if you look underneath them you'll see they are all just stacked on top of each other. A crowbar would release them all. Dance gingerly, pull down and not out.
p8: The actual difficulty of the climbing on this pitch is (in my opinion) 10d but you are leading left and above two pieces of crappy gear to a flake that will take another piece of crappy gear. If you blow the moves to the flake you can assume that neither your tcu, nor the old pin will stop you and you will be taking a long pendulum fall into a corner. I would rate this pitch as X, not strictly due to the length of runout but the poor quality of the protection below the runout as well. This pitch is why I would recommend the leader should be comfortable leading solid 5.11/+ to lead it. It would be a great service for someone to replace that pin, either with another pin or a bolt. It might have inspired confidence 25 years ago but it certainly doesn't now.
p9:A long pitch of chimney, hands, and offwidth, you'll need all your gear on this one. This pitch is continuous in difficulty and i'd rate it 5.9+, but being that you've already climbed a few hundred feet it will seem longer and harder than it is.
p10:The chimney starts off fun, easy with good stemming. The exit from the chimney sucks, climbing past a yucca and trying not to slip on grassy and dirty slab for another 30 feet.

This is one of those routes that is enjoyable primarily in retrospect. I'm glad it's done, now I don't have to go back. The area is amazing, so many domes and so much rock. We did it in two days, camped at the base the night before then climbed it and hiked out the next day. The rappel for the decent is over the top of the dome to the back, at the notch between leviathan and wilderness domes. There is one rappel from a failry healthy tree that is about 60 feet, then a 2nd rappel from another tree that we did with one 70m rope. You could do it with a 60m if you don't mind a little scrambling on ledges to the ground.

Added: 2010-05-04

  Difficulty 5.10c
  Safety Rating R
  Rock Quality
  Fun Factor
Onsight Onsight ascent by: luiscis on 2006-09-10 (View Climbing Log)

5 out of 5 stars Best of Southern Arizona - A True Classic!!!!

This is really serious stuff. Each pitch is fun, but technical and very trad. The granite is good (excellent indeed) must of the time, unless you make a wrong choice. Route finding can be actually tricky in a couple of spots, but is a back-country route and there are not many bolted anchors anyway...
If you want some beta, keep reading:

- For the 1st (5.8), some medium size cams are enough. Reach up to bolted anchors in the base of a slab.
- Second is the technical crux (510c-R with friction moves). Pretty scary. There is a new bolt here. Go up and left about 9 feet from the bolts, and then traverse the unbelievable friction section the the right to a vertical crack (hand size gear here) then go up to a ledge. There, do a hard move to right into a jug. This move is scary. It can be protected with a small nut like 10 feet to the left of it. You could possibly also go straight up above the nut over a steep section, but there is no way to place any gear there and looks hard to climb. Even though going to the other way may not feel right at the beginning, because you are pretty far right form the last piece, once you get to the jug, is easy terrain all the way up the ledge and the tree. Awesome pitch!
- 3rd (5.9) some dihedral moves. Take full rack for these one. Is a long pitch. Station under a roof.
- 4th (5.9+) traverse right under the roof, and then up the dihedral with the tinny crack: Nuts and Microcams here. Pretty technical climbing since is hard to fit your fingers in the crack. Station in a ledge with small trees.
- 5th (5.8) the amazing traverse. You have to actually downclimb a little bit from the belay and got way right (about 120') to the base of a dihedral and small roofs. Protection is good and the rock is absolutely perfect. This is a fun pitch.
- 6th (5.10b). I think the original route goes up the dihedral and then right. This pitch is pretty dirty and loose though. We opted to climb a splitter just a little bit to the left. It takes you up to some steep rock and ledges. It turns out to be a great pitch, pretty clean except for a small tree in the beginning of crack. Rock on it is good, but it may have a few loose rocks high up the pitch. I put up a natural belay in a ledge with sharp flakes, but the is a bolted station 30 feet to the right (I didn't see it). Mostly medium size gear on this pitch.
- 7th (5.7) Climb up a dihedral to a ledge.
- 8th (5.10b/c R) This is definetly the mental crux of the route. Sustained 5.10 crack climbing takes you up to the end of the dihedral (finger and medium gear). There is a pretty bad looking bolt there and then an even worse looking pin. After clipping the pin, you can either go up the overhanging section until the crack opens up again, or traverse the delicate face to the right. After traversing, you get to a big flake and you have to go up more balancy face climbing and dominate a 5.10b/c mantle move about 15 feet above the shitty pin. I was able to put a #3 cam behind the flake down bellow. It makes a lot of rope drag without shortening the run out more than just little bit, but at least the protection is under you. Either way, the flake is hollow, so must be used wisely. If you fall and blow it out, you will actually have about 18 feet to the pin. On the other hand, be aware that there is a dihedral on the right, a fall from the mantle will swing you into it like a rocket. A piece of advise, make sure your mantle skills are polish and under control before trying this. I don't need to explain how exiting is this climb! Natural belay in the small ledge a bit higher (Dildo Ledge).
- 9th (5.9) you can make it to the top in a single long pitch from here. Take as much medium-large gear as you can get your hands on, without dismantling the station, and be ready to more real cracking... fun is not over yet! from finger cracks to chimneys, you'll find everything in this pitch.

Descent by walking to the back of the dome. There are some trees where you can rap down to a shoulder and bush-whack your way down to the base of the climb.

Added: 2007-04-10