I did first ascents of several short rock climbs in Slate Canyon, but this was the big one.
The route is 6 pitches long and about 5.7ish. I did it with Chris on April 26, 2010. We named it Cactus Ridge because there were several small cactus plants on the ridge. Lower down on the climb, Chris was saying how much it would suck to reach up and grab one. That happened to me on I believe the second-to-last pitch. We did the climb after Chris got off work and we almost ran out of daylight. I thought the ridge was going to be like 400 feet long. Turned out to be closer to 1000. Oops.
I led all the pitches. I probably took 1.5 sets of cams, a set of microcams, and a set of nuts. Bring helmets. We forgot. Oops again.
Approach: Hike up the canyon for about 45 minutes until on the the left (north) side of the trail is a steep 10-15 foot-high dirt slope. It looks like the steep dirt embankment of a stream, though I think the stream here is on the south side of the trail. The top of this steep dirt slope is covered in thick vegetation. Keep walking past the steep dirt slope until it becomes not-so-steep and you are able to scramble up. Bushwhack northwest to the start of the ridge.
The best place to view the ridge is a little bit further up the trail from the dirt slope. Keep looking back up and to the left over your left shoulder as you’re walking up the canyon and you should see it.
Descent: We scrambled down one of the steep gullies to the west. Some easy downclimbing was involved.
[Click on any photo for the larger version.]
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