There are two exceptional “longer” routes located in the Dry Creek Spires area. Both are situated on a large wall whose western tip is labeled as the “Dry Creek Spire” itself. But this whole wall is really just part of a large buttress coming down from the height of this area. Both are 5.10 routes, Black Arrow and Happy Ending, and are on the south facing wall of this buttress. Black Arrow is just to the left of a large corner chimney system, Happy Ending is several hundred feet to the right in its own corner chimney system. Corn Dog Tower, offering a decent 5.10 two pitch route, is independent of the wall and is located in between the two before mentioned routes. Combine these three routes with Free Beer (5.10-) and you have a fantastic full day of 5.10 climbing in Sedona.
The topo in Bloom’s guide intrigues you with the “crawl in” showing a climber diving in head first and tunneling through on the first pitch. Sorry to say it is not that dramatic of a move. Reality is that you can climb this off-width pitch all the way to the top by staying to the outside. I placed three pieces on the entire pitch which included a C4#4 before I slid into the wideness and a C4#.3 in the back of the chimney before I double slung it and came back out to climb the outside. There is a fixed station at the top but the first pitch lead can bypass that station and traverse around the tower to the right to a single bolt belay thus keeping it a two pitch route. The second pitch is the crux. Some stout face moves get you over a bulge to a bolted finish to the top. Single 70m rope makes this rap no worries. Burcham and Newman were the FAer’s.
Dry Creek Spires are divided into three sections, left, middle (Dorsal Fin) and right. These sections are divided by heavy brush. The majority of the routes are on the right side along with this route. Park at the paved trail head and walk down just a few minutes to the first wash and head southeast (right) up the wash. Take a right at the first fork and follow this wash all the way up until you can easily see Corn Dog tower from below (independent slim tower in front of a south facing wall). Bushwhack up the hill side and circumvent the tower to the left. The route starts at the northwest corner below one bolt that leads to an obvious wide crack.
Route DescriptionCorn Dog, 2 Pitches, 5.10
1st Pitch- 90’- 5.8/ Climb past the bolt and into the chimney. Fix a small piece (or a C4 #5 or #6 would fit inside to the right) in the back wall and climb back to the outside off-width crack. Easy but steep limestone climbing gets you to the large ledge above the limestone band. Traverse the thin ledge past the fixed rap to a single bolt belay in about 30’.
2nd Pitch- 70’- 5.10/ Set a decent directional off of the belay due to the exposure for a high factor fall and make a move at the grade to get up a short crack. If you are short, you might not be able to clip the bolt that protects the crux move out of the crack and over a bulge, although the crack protects well enough. Make a high left step up the face to a stance. Several more bolts run directly up the face to the summit. This pitch is no gimme, particularly for crack climbers.