Follow the driving instructions to the base of Elephant Head. Per "Backcountry Rockclimbing in Southern Arizona", by Bob Kerry: Park when you see the "slabs" at the start of the West Gully. The "Slabs" start right of the [dirt] road... as you drive past them, you will see them on your left and wonder why it's the "WEST" Gully, as it appears to be a little more to the south... but whatever! Just climb.
Bob Kerry's description: Head up toward the big gully. There are eight pitches or so (depending on where you belay, etc.) of roped climbing. No move should be harder than 5.6. If it gets real hard, you are probably off route. Move out of the gully when you encounter huge solution pockets and it steepens.
Descent: continue over the top to the Elephant's "neck" (the saddle between the elephant and the ridge) then head down to your right down the slope/gully and back around to the start.
This is backcountry climbing. Where a HELMET! A couple of ropes will do nicely, one would probably suffice. Taking a standard rack of active and passive pieces should allow you to use your imagination and be as safe as you dare...
If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.
Okay, so Bob Kerry's description was a little vague, but it was enough to get us to the top. We got a little ambitious when we arrived at 11:30 am, with no previous intention, during the morning at least, to climb the West Gully. But we somehow got it in our heads and found it to be quite an adventure... we actually did a lot more of 3rd and 4th class scrambling than technical climbing, but we managed to "rope up" for five pitches, 3 of which were a full ropes length, two were about half. Following the path of least resistance, as naturally as you can to the small saddle near the top was basically our route of choice. It worked out nicely, and the saddle proved to be quite a daunting place... As we climbed out on to the narrow slot, the other side dropped off nearly vertically for a thousand feet as we scrambled up exposed 4th class to the last rope up spot. Most of the climbing was pretty loose, so we had to be carefull not to pound each other with rocks- or not to take a nasty tumble. The views were amazing. I felt more like I was in a maze than "just climbing a mountain." We felt like a couple of mountain goats gradually finding our way up the terrain... that's pretty much how it should be done I suppose. I think summiting this peak was one of the best feelings of "topping out" I have ever experienced. Getting down was another story...
Posted Dec 23, 2002 12:16 am
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""Oh Earth, What changes hast though seen? There where the long street roars, has been the stillness of the centural seas. The hills are shadows, and they melt from form to form and nothing stands. They melt like mists, the solid lands. Like clouds they shape themselves, and go.""
--Tennison (My best recollection.)