|Route Type:||Trad Climbing|
|Season:||Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter|
|Time Required:||Most of a day|
|Rock Difficulty:||5.5 (YDS)|
|Number of Pitches:||7|
This is a fun and pretty easy way up Crazy Quilt Mesa. Although there are bolts on some pitches, this is a trad route, and you will face massive runouts, sometimes a full pitch worth, if you show up with only quickdraws.
It's also important to know that the sandstone here is soft and crumbly. In July 2020, P3 was missing its anchors and P2 had a bolt coming out. It's thus important to know how to build gear anchors and how to get down without leaving gear behind in the event that hardware is missing or unreliable (or you need to be okay with leaving gear).
Finally, the summit is one of the park's Resource Natural Areas (RNAs), which means it is off-limits to usage. Technically, you should begin rapping from the last anchors instead of topping out and walking around.
I climbed this route on a summer morning. Due to concerns about avoiding the heat and the chossy conditions and sparse protection on P5-7, my partner and I followed the recommendation on the Mountain Project page and only did the first 4 pitches, which sound like the best and end at a huge ledge with great views and some shade trees.
Park at a pullout 1 mile from the East Entrance Station (or 0.7 mi from the Checkerboard Mesa pullout). The first picture below is from the pullout. Just cross the road to start the very short approach.
P1-- This is a little confusing because there seem to be different starts. You might notice a fairly low bolt and then another after it, and that is how I started the route, but after that 2nd bolt, there was nothing more, and then I noticed a bolt well to my left, so that's where I went, and then I found a mix of bolts and cam placements to the anchors. If you start to the left instead, just know that the first bolt is about 30' up although it is basically a hike getting to it.
P2-- More bolts and cams to bolted anchors. I found a bolt coming out. Although I clipped it since it was (at the time) probably still in enough to hold a fall, I didn't trust it, and neither should you. Get a piece in as soon as you can.
P3-- This pitch was missing its anchors. I built a gear anchor. On the way down, I lowered my partner to the P2 anchors and then cleaned the anchor and downclimbed, sometimes zig-zagging across slabs to keep it easy.
P4-- This was all gear, I think, but the anchors were solid and the big ledge was a great place to stop and hang out.
P5-7-- These are supposed to be sandy and chossy with sparse protection. Had it not been summer with heat being a concern, I probably would have climbed them, but I'm sorry I cannot provide firsthand information about them. The MP page has some but not a whole lot.
The MP page says the route climbs 800' over 7 pitches. I think it's probably more than that, and it's good advice to have 2 60m ropes. We climbed with a single 70, and it was not enough for a double-strand rappel on any of the first 4 pitches. Since I knew that going in, I had a Beal Escaper with me, but if you don't have one or don't trust it, take 2 ropes.
My rack was a set of Totems, a set of Metolius UL Master Cams, a set of nuts, and a set of Tricams. I never found myself wanting.
Remember to have slings long enough for gear anchors in case bolted anschors are missing or untrustworthy.