Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Mace, Sedona

The Mace via The Original Route
5.9+ trad, 5 pitches, Grade III

The Mace is one of the most well-known climbs in Northern Arizona. In fact, I heard about it within a week of moving to Flagstaff last year. The route climbs a double spire that requires a wide step over a 300 ft. gap on the final pitch, which makes for an exciting finish to a challenging and adventurous route.

Richard and I climbed The Mace yesterday in 65 degree weather, it was perfect. We alternated leads and started climbing around 8 am.
15-minute approach at 7:30 am to the Mace, the furthest left spire(s) (400 ft.)
1st Pitch:
I lead the first pitch up an insecure flaring crack and over a small limestone roof to an eyebolt anchor. 5.8
Richard coming up the first pitch
2nd Pitch:
Richard the second pitch up a crack with a tricky start and into a chimney and a short off-width crack to the belay. 5.9
3rd Pitch:
The third pitch begins with an exposed traverse, then climbs another awkward crack system. 5.9 
4th Pitch:
Richard leading the 4th pitch through the slot between two different spires. 5.9+
The beginning of this pitch required stemming both walls, eventually Richard put some gear in the crack on the right side 
Close to the crux on pitch 4 (steep offwidth)
Mid-climb pic of this cool mushroom rock
5th Pitch:
Richard crossing the gap between the lower summit and the true summit on the 5th pitch.  Fortunately it is well protected by a bolt and there is a small flake for your hands (not much feet though!) 5.9
Rappelling from the lower summit.  You can see the gap we crossed to get to and from the true summit.