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Redwall in 75mi creek, AZ
mini location map2023-01-14
8 by photographer avatarshelby147
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Redwall in 75mi creek, AZ 
Redwall in 75mi creek, AZ
Backpack27.00 Miles 7,000 AEG
Backpack27.00 Miles3 Days         
7,000 ft AEG24 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Replicated Harvey's route in 75mi canyon. This was a 3-day loop from Tanner.

Days 1 & 2: normal stuff. We were surprised and annoyed to have dew. We didn't have tents so our quilts were wet. Saw some boaters but no hikers.

Day 3: We were highly motivated to finish our hike today and not bail out New Hance... wet quilts, incoming weather, no tents, best snacks eaten. We didn't realize how much snow the canyon was about to get so I'm doubly glad we didn't have to bail out new hance and hike back to the car in a foot of snow.

The 75mi route is very interesting but not necessarily an efficient exit. Walking up the drainage is straightforward. We reached the tapeats break upstream of our redwall exit and caught a sheep trail. Then we contoured high on the shale with plenty of lousy footing. There were some narrow traverses above cliffbands. Might have been a better way to do this. We finally reached a ridge of rubble and clay where the map suggested we climb the redwall and I would have missed our break if not for Harvey's detailed notes:

"This route is east of the main part of the Redwall gorge in this bay.... the [west] side of the point was easier. We backed up and came down the ravine he recommended. It seemed awfully steep and I had to move very slowly and accept some direction about footholds.... The lowest 15 feet is the worst and we lowered our packs on a rope. Ellen and I held on the rope too and chimneyed down, but from below I saw that it is possible to find hand and toe holds here too, but one must hang by the fingers to find the next step for his feet.

This brought us down to a great landslide section where erosion has left a ridge of clay and boulders
between two ravines. Jim pointed out some fossil footprints on a big slab of Coconino. They were mostly
badly blurred, but they were about the size of my palm and had claw marks like the good one I found in the Coconino at Mile 19."

I don't know much about the ravine Harvey talked about, but "clay, boulders, fossil footprints, and chimney" were unmistakable. On the ridge there is a large flat-topped Coconino boulder with excellent tracks about 100ft from a 15ft chimney leading at the saddle of the ridge. After a good look we resolved that a route was probable and the bottom was indeed the hardest. I'm not a climber but Nat taught me how to chimney my feet up. After this short climb there were several more very exposed, slightly easier scrambles that allowed us to follow higher ledges, almost like switchbacks. When these switchbacks ended and we reached a higher section with more shrubs we traversed around to climber's right and found a longer, very exposed scramble which lead to a proper talus slope. These were certainly class 4/5 sections and they're easier to do with a partner.

The redwall ascent was capped with another long traverse. Several sections were quick walking and some bays were pretty loose. There are two ravines that lead to the Tanner saddle. I chose the nearer, harder one and had a few more interesting scrambles which might have been avoided if I'd looked harder. On my very last move onto the saddle I placed my full palm on some spiky little plant that left spines like the little ones on prickly pear. We had a break to fuel up and remove spines then quickly hiked up Tanner in increasing gusts and snow. The ravine sheltered us but the gusts on the rim were ridiculous. We reached the desert view gate as it was being closed - for good reason - and luckily didn't have to wait to be let through.

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