The Lucky Nuts area is comprised of a lone pinnacle (tower) located high up on the south slopes at the entrance to First Creek Canyon. The Lucky Nuts route itself (Anderson-1977) is easily indentified by a loose block blocking an obvious (wide looking) crack half way up the north face of the pinnacle. It along with Mudterm (Herbst-1976) offer two fairly spectacular 5.9 trad pitches, albeit located in white and sandy rock. Unfortunately, until the loose block is cleaned out of Lucky Nuts, I cannot recommend that route although it is a great single trad pitch besides this objective danger. There is a fixed rap at the top of both of these routes that reaches the ground with a 70m rope. There is a slung tree to the east that reaches the ground with a 60m rope.
Lucky Nuts makes for a great warm up or finish to any number of route combinations further in First Creek. The approach burns a few calories relative to the climbing available, but of course there are a few of us hard core alpinist looking for those opportunities.
Park at the First Creek Canyon trailhead 6.5 miles north of the 159/160 junction (4-5 miles south of the Loop Road entrance). Hike the main trail into the canyon. As it narrows there is an obvious black buttress rising on the left side (Lotta Balls Wall). About 400 yards to the east is a white triangular pinnacle with the obvious hanging block on the left crack. This is the Lucky Nuts wall. There is no obvious trail to the base and it is a bit of a hump through cacti for single pitch climbs.
The Routes are Listed Left to Right as you Face the Wall
Lucky Nuts- 120’- 5.9X/
I really enjoyed this pitch, fantastic desert climbing really. However, the loose block about 2/3rds up creates issues.You have to mantel it to continue and then face a stiff move (for the grade) off of it with decking potential. It is larger and looser than you might imagine, creating serious potential hazard for anyone below. Start out in a wicked multi-walled chimney/off-width section. I placed no gear until the left crack closed down to hands. Stay in the left crack for the most part, jamming and stemming at times through pretty stout climbing at the grade. Handren calls it quite burly for the grade and I would have to concur. Once up to the before mentioned "death block", surmount it and climb the left finger crack (crux move) which reaches an easy finish above to a fixed belay/rap. Dow
Mudterm- 120’- 5.9/
Another stellar looking pitch (finger crack) to the right of Lucky Nuts heading for the same rap anchor minus the death block.
Critical Cams- 60’- 5.10d/
Lucky Nuts and Mudterm can be rapped with a 70m rope from a fixed anchor atop the formation. You can also scramble east to a slung tree that makes for a 60m rap.
70m rope works best. You need a full on desert rack for these routes. Lucky Nuts and Mudterm are long sustained pitches. Single to 4”, extra 2”-3” for Lucky Nuts. Mudterm requires much smaller gear, Single to 3” with C3s, triple .75-1”.
""You cannot stay on the summit forever; you have to come down again. So why bother in the first place? Just this: What is above knows what is below, but what is below does not know what is above. One climbs, one sees. One descends, one sees no longer, but one has seen. There is an art of conducting oneself in the lower regions by the memory of what one saw higher up. When one can no longer see, one can at least still know.""