Friday, December 12, 2014

Bell Rock, Mars Attacks, and Priest Draw

December 10-11, 2014

With great weather and couple days in between finals and an academic conference in San Francisco, Sedona climbing was calling.  On Wednesday, Paul, Hilary and I went to scramble up and climb Bell Rock on the south side of town.  We scrambled up a gully on the west side of the formation and climbed one short pitch at 5.8 to gain the summit.  A fun little spire with a nice summit.  

Hilary and Paul scrambling up Bell Rock 
Panorama from Bell Rock
That afternoon, Paul and I went and messed around on some of the boulders at Priest Draw - a world famous bouldering destination.  I'm no "boulderer" but this was a fun time.  Tons of cool problems, mostly too hard for me to even make the first move.  We climbed on and around the Triangle Rock.

On Thursday, George and I climbed Mars Attacks! in Sedona (5.9 trad/sport, 4 pitches, Grade II).  We parked at the Devil's Bridge trailhead (4x4 necessary) and made the 30 minute approach to the base of the route. This route is a favorite among locals, and for good reason!  Pretty solid rock (for Sedona) and varied and quality climbing.  

Pitch 1 - Bolted slab pitch (thin!) up and right to a 2-bolt anchor on the limestone band (5.9+)

Pitch 2 - Bolted traverse on the limestone band to a 2-bolt anchor (5.8)

Pitch 3 - Long trad pitch up a super fun and varied crack, chimney - 2-bolt anchor on the left (5.7)

Pitch 4 - Finish off the crack and bolted slab to the top - 2-bolt anchor (5.9)

Descent: 3 rappels with a 70-m rope  (use chains 30 feet to right of top anchor)

Slabby, bolted first pitch
George coming up the thin slab
2nd pitch - the $$ pitch
Such a unique and awesome pitch
Curious bird
George finishing off the traverse pitch
Third pitch - crack and chimney
George finishing up the sweet 3rd pitch 
4th pitch crack before the slab
Top of the route
Mars Attacked - we won
Agave attacked - I lost
Unfortunately I somehow got a 1 inch long agave spike entirely inside my leg on our hike out.  Also unfortunate, I had to go to the hospital to get it out.