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YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI British: E1 5a

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 70'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI British: E1 5a [details]
FA: Baxter, Karlstrom, Taber, ?
Season: Spring,summer, fall
Page Views: 3,857
Submitted By: Orphaned on Feb 17, 2006
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You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (66)
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Joel topping out Isaiah
Climbing restricted due to tourist safety MORE INFO >>>


Isaiah is maybe THE classic at the Overlook, usually acknowledged by most climbers as a wonderful route. The route is located on the left end of the wall, just right of the obvious Trinity Cracks. Three possible starts put you on top of a pedestal and the main crack. Tricky, awkward moves on thin hands, up through a pod (fixed pin) and then up to the top via overhanging jams and face holds. Belay from large, squat tree on top.


Nuts and cams from 1/2" up to #3 Camalot size. If you're doing the uber stiff 5.10+ start to the left, you'll need smaller stuff.

Photos of Isaiah Slideshow Add Photo
The Classic Line, Isaih
BETA PHOTO: The Classic Line, Isaih
Joel Benitez on Isaiah
Joel Benitez on Isaiah
10a start to Isaiah
10a start to Isaiah
Joel Benitez digging deep on Isaiah.
Joel Benitez digging deep on Isaiah.
Max on Isaiah
Max on Isaiah
basalt splitters, mmmmm
basalt splitters, mmmmm
Comments on Isaiah Add Comment
Show which comments
By Kole DeCou
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Mar 22, 2006

I don't think the left-hand start is any harder than the thin hands bit at the start of Isaiah proper. I'd call them both 10- personally. This might be the pumpiest 5.9 I've climbed anywhere. It's my favorite climb at the overlook.

By Aimee Rose
From: Bend, or
Mar 23, 2006
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI E1 5a

Yeah, I totally agree. I cruised the supposed 5.10+ part and then flailed in the 5.9 part. Repeated whippers I tell you. So much so, that my belayer says "maybe you'd like to put another piece in!" Ha, ha.

By David Arthur Sampson
Sep 18, 2006
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI E1 5a

Ease of the opening move from the ledge greatly depends on your hand size.

By Tavis Ricksecker
From: Bishop, ca
Feb 7, 2007

I think the left hand start is supposed to be 10b ish, according to mr karabin anyway.

By Paul Davidson
Apr 11, 2008
rating: 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ E1 5a

3rd Classed by Ross Hardwick in late '70s.
Sorry, didn't mean to imply 1st ascent was solo. Just that Hardwick had soloed it.

First was early 70s or late 60s by ??? (Baxter, Karlstrom, Taber ??)

By Greg DeMatteo
From: W. Lebanon, NH
Apr 14, 2008
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI E1 5a

That makes more sense. I dropped my jaw when I saw it said the FA was ropeless. That seemed pretty unlikely.

I personally find the one move getting off the ledge as hard as any move on the Trinities.

By Paul Davidson
Nov 26, 2008
rating: 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ E1 5a

BTW - I think this is a 5.10 climb for most people. For an experienced thin hands climber, ok 9+ if you want.

When I climbed here a lot, yeah there were times is was 5.9-. But to walk up and onsight this ? It's gotta be 5.10. Calling it 5.9+ is being old school gnarly and is in keeping with the local ratings. 9+ was the Az rating for, "We didn't realize we were 5.10 climbers." (Baxter, Baker, McEwan, Axen, Taber, Trieber, and others, these guys all could lead solid 10+/11 given the right climb and the right day.)

Look at the above comments, repeated whippers on 5.9+ (good on ya Aimee for putting it out there), both starts 10- (I agree), as hard as the trinities...

There's no shame in up rating a climb.

By Jon Ruland
From: Tucson, AZ
Dec 24, 2008
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI E1 5a

i'd say the hard start on the left is 5.10 (maybe 10b but not 10c) and the crack itself is 9+, or maybe a solid 9. calling it harder than that because the one move off the ledge is kind of tricky smacks of grade inflation. once you get past that first move it's all sinker jams and jugs to the top.

By Danger Charles
From: Flagstaff, AZ
May 26, 2012
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI E1 5a

Excellent route, recommend the easily protected lefthand start.

By Nat T.
From: Fort Collins, CO
Jan 30, 2014

WARNING!! Didn't get to do the 10 direct start because of the huge WASPS NEST in the crack! My buddy was about to put his hand right in their nest, fortunately it was a bit chilly out and they looked a little slow but about 20 came out from the crack to say hi and/or piss off.
Be very careful before placing anything. They were in the finger crack to the right of the corner.