Route: Granite Mountain (AZ)

Submitted by Travis.Soares on Thu, 08/12/2021 - 04:07pm
Arizona, US
12 mi
Vertical Gain
2,260 ft

Granite Mountain (Wi:kvte:wa as called by the indigenous Yavapai people) is not only a beautiful desert sky island but also a wonderland of rock. It is located in a high desert pinon-juniper woodland wilderness area and is undoubtedly one of Arizona's finest climbing destinations. The main wall consists of Yosemite quality multi-pitch granite crack systems. It is truly an awe inspiring landscape for climber and hiker alike. The adventurer may find old growth alligator juniper groves, deep granite caves carved by ice, and large prickly pear patches. Despite it being a popular wilderness area the 7,628ft summit remains a somewhat bushwhacky trail-less journey. 

Summit TH-TH:

The objective is to reach the summit starting from the lake, and get back. The route starts at the northside of the lake at the beginning of mint wash trail 345 and ends where you start for consistencies sake. The details I believe should be up to the adventurer. There are many different ways to go and I believe the most efficient path has yet to be uncovered. Finding the quickest way through the agave surprises, thick oak branches, and large boulders will most likely take lots of creativity, trail and error, and a bit of luck.

This is what I decided to do. Follow mint wash trail 345 until reaching the large mint wash drainage on the left. Put your bushwacking boxing gloves up because its about to get thick! Continue up the drainage until you are able to reach a ridge on the left. Navigate the boulder hopping and cactus dodging ridge. Eventually you will reach a small valley with old alligator juniper trees. Follow the valley to the summit. Enjoy the summit! On the descent I chose to find the blair pass 261 trail. To get there bushwack west along the ridge and eventually it will appear. Now that your on trail give everything you got! Once back at the lake run to the northside where you began and call it a day!

I am excited to see what other creative routes people come up with. This mountain is a special place and fun to explore no matter what the objective is! Enjoy!

Dislocation Buttress (YDS 5.4 or Direct at 5.6)

This climb is located on the far left side of the main cliff, known as the swamp slabs. Dislocation is splitter crack climbing, sustained at the grade, and one of the longest on the slabs (5 - 7 pitches). It was first climbed by Prescott College legend David Lovejoy in 1971 and remains a classic to this day. The Direct route is rated at 5.6, however climbers should know Granite Mountain is notorious for its sandbagged grades. This climb is truly awesome, get after it!  About 5 miles TH-TH with 1750' elevation gain.