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Sedona Area Rock Climbing

Picture of the Mace
picture of the Mace
I climbed 2 desert spires near Sedona with Brian Taylor. The Mace Jan 11, 2003 and "Dr. Rubo's Wild Ride" on Feb 9, 2003. All of the pictures of the Mace were taken by Brian Taylor. I was the rope-gun for these expeditions.

The Mace

The original route on the mace is 5 relatively short pitches, 5.7, 5.9, 5.8, 5.9+, and 5.8. There was a fair bit of squeeze chimney squirming and even some dreaded offwidth (including the crux). Each pitch had something exciting, either stiff moves, exciting exposure, or runout sections. All of the anchors contained at least one solid looking bolt, and there was a bolt just below the crux, although a big fat cam might have been easier to clip. The final pitch involved leaning across the gap to clip a bolt, then laybacking up a short flake onto the summit of the mace. The lavish summit register with custom made book served as a belay and rappel anchor. It looked like a flag pole base with 4 huge bolts anchoring it to the top of the mace. Brian opted to rap while I went for the jump, I did downclimb a bit before leaping to avoid bruising my feet. The full jump would have involved a drop of about 10 feet, but I jumped down only 5 or so. We could have rapped down with only one rope, but the first rap was close with Brian's rather long 60 M rope. (the Falcon guidebook says it is a 120' rap, which I doubt.)

Picture from the Mace looking Northish
picture from the Mace

Dr Rubo's Wild Ride

This route ascends the summit block rock, a spire near coffee pot rock with a huge bulge on the top. The climbing involved 4 short pitches of 5.8+, 9+, .7, .9. It wasn't as physically tiring as the Mace, but the second pitch got me sweating and the last pitch had a pretty hard mantle move. The business on the second pitch was a hand crack in the back of a shallow dihedral. Too shallow to properly chimney, but too tight and deep to get both hands to the crack at once. It was easy to stay put, but a bit of work to place pro or to move upwards. The 3rd pitch had some of the flimsiest holds I've ever seen that looked like they were used. I had the feeling I could have easily pulled them off with one hand yet they were covered with chalk. Maybe someday I'll have some pictures from this climb, but don't hold your breath as we didn't have a digital camera, and it will be a while before I finish the roll of film, develop it, and get near a scanner.

We cleverly rescheduled this climb from Saturday to Sunday to avoid some nasty weather. Definitely a good move, as it was nice and sunny, but still cold when the wind blew and the fingers in the crack could get a bit cold.

For gear I would suggest extra cams in the 3 to 7 cm size and 2 ropes for the rap. Also some long slings might save some rope drag on the wandering 3rd and 4th pitches.

Looking at the mace summit register
picture of the Mace summit register
sucking powergel at pitch 2 belay
picture of me eating on the mace
Peeking through the 4th pitch chimney
picture from the Mace chimney

Brian Taylor on the Summit
picture of Brian on the summit
topo of the top of the mace
picture of the top of the mace w/ route