The Overlook Rock Climbing
|GPS:||35.03, -111.732 Google Map · Climbing Area Map|
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|Shared By:||JJ Schlick on Jan 19, 2006|
|Admins:||Greg Opland, Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick, Brian Boyd|
The Overlook is a firmly established traditional crag perched high above Pumphouse Wash and the head of Oak Creek Canyon, just south of Flagstaff. Long broken basalt columns line the rim of this area, and the result is a plethora of moderate trad climbs. Folks began exploring these cliffs in the late 1960’s but it wasn't until the middle 70’s that it started to resemble the crag we know today. Moving into the early 80’s the list of first ascentionists reads like a roster of this generation’s best talent. Guys like Scott Baxter, Paul Davidson, Tim and Larry Coats, Lee Dexter, Karl Karlstrom, Steve Grossman, Jim Haisley, Ross Hardwick, Dugald Bremner, John Gault, Mark Force, and John Flemming all opened up classic routes at this crag.
These routes were cleaned by the hands of a thousand ascents. Pulling on hollow blocks is the norm, though always check them first as blocks can shift over time. The ledgy nature of the climbing here makes it a great place to learn how to lead trad but not a good place to fall.
There are no fixed anchors anywhere on the main wall of the crag. The normal procedure is to rig a separate rap line from a gear anchor, rap in, then climb back out. However, there is a trail on top of the far east side of the wall which leads down to the base. rappelling is optional. If trees are used for a rap line, please pad the tree, and then place a piece of gear near the edge of the cliff to take the full load of the rappel, leaving just enough slack in the line so the tree is never directly loaded. This way you don't have to have a full bombproof trad anchor, just a piece or two and the tree simply offers you an ultimate back up, without being affected.
A standard rack of doubles from #.3 through #3.5 and a single set of wires will get you up almost everything here, though smaller and larger pieces are demanded on certain routes, and extra hand sized pieces can be nice.
The Overlook is basically a kinder, more gentle version of Paradise Forks and has a reputation for drying up quicker than the Forks during the monsoons. The wall faces south east and gets plenty of morning sun, then rolls into the shade around 2:00 in the afternoon.
ACCESS NOTE: Please note that the forest service has restricted climbing for any routes past the area of Red Wagon (just left of the Trinity Cracks) due to tourist safety.
You can park in the paved lot, but if you plan on staying later than 4:30 in the afternoon, you will want to park across the Hwy, as they lock the Overlook gates at that time. It is not uncommon to hear of people getting locked in so plan accordingly.
There are restrooms and water available during hours of operation.
Classic Climbing Routes at The Overlook
Days w Precip