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 falls mores 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 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 monitored for potential abuses.
Stigmata was the first crack line Joe Allen and I established in Padre Canyon in 2012. Most of the routes we have established in Padre Canyon are pure crack lines with little to no fixed protection. It is/was our intent to make this area as pure of a trad climbing experience as possible. By doing this, our “rack call” on many of these routes is quite large if you want to protect them well and Stigmata is no exception. I led the route via the FA on site with a single C4 #5 and #6, but suggest double through that size for the arcing off-width on the second pitch to avoid the need to walk cams. Both pitches of Stigmata can be rapped with a single 60m rope via fixed stations. Stigmata has some potential for expansion via a deep varnished chimney that can be reached via a walk north along a broad bushy ledge from the top of the second pitch.
The best access to the Padre Canyon climbs is to park at the southeast corner of Tuacahn High School 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 this 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). This crack makes up the first pitch of Stigmata.
Route Description200’+/-, 2 Pitches, 5.10
1st Pitch- 30m- 5.10/This is a very aesthetic lightning bolt shaped crack but is quite dirty. It runs left to right giving up deep hands in a flaring large crack. After stacking a few C4 #2's, pull out to the right on questionable holds to a comfortable belay ledge with a fixed station below an off-width corner.
2nd Pitch- 30m- 5.9/This wide crack offers pleasant heel to toe off-width climbing. Proceed up the wide corner crack (better rock than the first pitch) and follow it as it turns and bends sharply right. It never relents on size and unless you are as comfortable in off width as I am (I lead the whole pitch with two cams), you should take double C4 #5's and #6's. Nothing else really fits. Continue up the corner above via easier climbing, but lessor quality rock. A fixed station is on the flat summit of this feature.