FA June, 2012
Padre Canyon is located within the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve near Ivins (St. George), Utah. The reserve is managed as a Habitat Conservation Plan administered by Washington County in coordination with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Utah Department of Natural Resources and the State of Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration. The reserve began in 1996 and in 2009 received designation as a National Conservation Area, similar to Red Rock, Nevada. Within this relatively new National Conservation Area, Padre Canyon is included more specifically within the Red Mountain Wilderness area. Mule deer, mountain lion, bobcats, jackrabbits, cottontail rabbits, and fox are the more commonly observed mammals of this wilderness area. However, it is several reptile, fish, raptor and native plant species that drive the protection of this land, the Mojave Desert Tortoise being a critical component of that vision. One of the richest populations of these tortoises can be found between my home located along the edge of the reserve and the climbing routes we have established along the eastern cliffs of Padre Canyon. Please respect the established trail system through this area. It is heavily monitored for potential abuses.
Assisi was the fifth multi pitch route Joe Allen and I established in Padre Canyon in 2012. We placed zero pro bolts and only two rap bolts for one two rope rappel. It is as aesthetic as any of the others crack routes we established in Padre and caught our eye the first time we passed below it. The first pitch is a true fingers-hands splitter up an otherwise crack-void wall spackled with several large huecos. The second pitch has a fun pull through, over a bulge, on a hands crack which continues for another 30’ but eventually gives way to a broken chimney system to the far right that leads to the flat summit of this wall. The climbing of the first pitch is approximately 100’ and the second approximately 130’, but the second pitch is an angled one allowing for one double rope rap from the summit of this wall. We set up a rap just below the summit of the wall that allows for a full 200’ clean rap to the ground, just west of the first pitch.
The best access to the Padre Canyon climbs is to park at the southeast corner of Tuacahn High School and theater in Ivins, UT. Tuacahn High School is a Utah charter school for the performing arts. It is a public school that would rival any private school in the United States. To reach the school, you are driving back to an incredible natural amphitheater. Parking is open to the public. From the southeast corner of the large parking lot, locate a trail that descends into the wash and immediately up the other bank. Cross a well-traveled running/hiking trail and locate a bushy, sandy and loose climbers trail up a rib of sand that breaks through the chossy lower cliff band. Once you gain the base of the steep climbing walls above, head southeast along the wall until you are below an obvious “lightning bolt” crack (left to right). We named this route Stigmata. Continue along the base of the wall looking for an obvious 100’ tall splitter that curves right into broken ground. It splits a large wall that is void of other cracks but has a few large huecos on its left side. You will have a hard time seeing our rap anchors unless you step quite away back from the wall. The first pitch allows for a gear anchor right before the crack bends right and runs through a bulge. Rope drag will prevent you from attempting to combine the pitches with a 70m rope.
Route Description230’+/-, 2 Pitches, 5.10
1st Pitch- 30m- 5.10/This is a very aesthetic splitter right off the deck. Climb the chossy flaring crack with tight hands and ring locks and keep your feet in the crack versus trusting the crumbling walls to the outside or edge. You will pull out of the flare via a C4#.75 placement into better rock and truer hand crack.
2nd Pitch- 40m- 5.9/Pull out of the chossy belay pod into great hands and swing up and right with good feet to a hand crack that slants right. Follow it to a short chimney. You can protect deep in the chimney but extend it long to avoid horrendous rope drag if you do. Climb up the chimney and stem to the left side of a chossy corner and tunnel under a block to the summit. Small gear can make a belay as the fixed rap station is unavailable for the belay on top.