Muttonhead has two aliases. The more common is "middle sister" as it is situated between Sheepshead and Hootgoat. Supposedly Scott Ayers gave it the name "Sheepshit" originally but it did not stick. I suppose one could rationalize the name Muttonhead in that this peak appears headless when compared to Sheepshead. Mutton is the proper name used for the carcass and/or meal portion of a sheep being prepared for food. It is actually a much taller peak than it appears on approach as Sheepshead is broader and in the foreground. Like Sheepshead, Muttonhead mostly just sports one decent climbing face, its west side.
Mystery of the Desert, 5.9
Mystery of the Desert (5.9) is by far the most common route on the west face and offers six pitches to the summit. I consider it as solid a trad route as any on Sheepshead. Another notable route is the Inevitable Awaits You (5.11a), a three pitch sport route to the left of Mystery. There are a few other routes on the west face, mostly unnamed bolted lines.
From the parking area for Sheepshead, follow the established climbers trail past Absinthe of Mallet and continue past the base of the west face of Sheepshead for the west face of Muttonhead. A well-established trail crosses the shared gully. Continue to the north corner of the west face. A large left facing corner is followed by a much smaller one. The smaller one is the start of Mystery of the Desert. A bolt line follows up the face on the right side of the crack (2012).
The Routes are Listed Left to Right as you Face the West Wall
This first pitch is not the obvious left facing corner. Rather it follows the next corner/crack to the left. The second pitch is much more challenging with a fun roof pull via a solid hand jam and finishes off through what they call the “wedge” for the more comfortable belay. The fourth through fifth pitches (broken down into three pitches on RC.com) involve the most sustained climbing of the original route. What looks like a simple hand crack, shallows out and turns into a layback reach for the dike traverse above. After traversing left, a few thoughtful slab moves above lead to the top of the wall. Another pitch has been added to the summit of Muttonhead. It is directly behind where you top out and is considerably harder than any of the climbing below. It is a mix of bolts and gear following an arching steep crack. There is a fixed rappel on top to return to the summit gully and thus walkoff below. Dow
Wells Fargo RV Park Cochise is best enjoyed by camping along the dirt road anywhere from Sheepshead on to the north. However, if you want to do a night in Tombstone or day trip it every day, this is the best of the three available with clean showers and walking distance to downtown.
Big Nose Kate’s Saloon Best place for beers in Tombstone. Drop in for karaoke on Thursdays to meet the locals.
""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.""