Flying Buttress in Sedona is not really a tower, but this feature offers up some stellar corner/roof climbs on its two broad south faces. The name “flying buttress” becomes obvious when you look at this feature from a “birds eye” point of view. Epitaph (5.9++) is no doubt the most popular climb on the Flying Buttress but Technicolor would run a close second. Both run up right facing corners below huge roofs. The big difference is that while Epitaph takes its roof via its second pitch, Technicolor traverses out right to avoid the roof above. In either case, the third pitches of both climbs are rarely done nor considered worth doing. The run-out rating for Technicolor comes due to its third pitch. However, the first two pitches are well protected and a must do if climbing in the vicinity. We actually combined Technicolor with Arch Enemy (5.11c) for a full day of climbing. Lawson, Bensman and Dunn established Technicolor in 1983.
Where Epitaph lies on the southwestern face of the Flying Buttress (west wing), Technicolor is located on the southeastern face (east wing). Approach from the Cowpies trail-head via Schnebly Road. Follow the trail across slick rock up to the col between the Flying Buttress and Mooses Butte, in less than 30 minutes. Cut right and up to the notch between what they call the Teapot and the Flying Buttress’s southeast face. Technicolor is the obvious right facing corner with a huge roof above.
Technicolor, 3 Pitches, 5.10+ R
1st Pitch- 60’- 5.8/ A partner of mine has run into a rattlesnake on this pitch before. Head up the chossy blocks above making your way to the base of the corner on a comfortable ledge (gear belay). It protects good enough and covers easy ground despite the looseness.
2nd Pitch- 100’- 5.10+/ This is a typical solid clean corner pitch for Sedona. The crux is lay backing at a bulge below where you make your traverse right to the fixed anchor. The crack is a bit wide, you will do better with large hands. It is not as challenging as Epitaph’s 2nd pitch which ironically the locals have at 5.9+, but it is punchy at the crux.
3rd Pitch- 120’- 5.8/ The third pitch of Technicolor is a “junk” pitch and what draws the run-out rating for this route. It consists of run-out slab past rusty homemade hangers to the top of the formation where you can rap from a pine tree. Not recommended.