This beautiful area is located less than 10 minutes downhill from Munchkinland, and is accessed by a faint trail that continues down to the bottom of upper Sycamore Canyon from the south end of the Wall of the Dancing Dwarfs. Troll Tower is the first formation that is encountered, and is identified by its clean, steep west face which hosts two quality sport climbs. Across the canyon stands the Wall of the Trundling Trolls, and its impressive southeast face is a spectacular sight with its myriad quality crack systems. Add to this idyllic scene a stream that runs virtually year round, and you have one of Mt Lemmon’s finest climbing areas. The original batch of 17 routes (and two variations that were incorrectly labeled as routes) established on the Troll Wall were put up in a flurry of activity between 1980 and 1982, mostly by Michael Strassman, John Steiger, and Ray Ringle, among others.

The rock quality on the Troll Wall is comparable to the very best stone on all of Mt. Lemmon. Loose holds, which are commonplace at most areas in the Santa Catalina range, are nearly absent on the highly compact stone. The absence of the sharp, crystalline rock typical of the higher elevations of the mountain, combined with the generally large size of the handholds makes this crag very finger friendly (muscles will become sore long before skin gets worn thin!) The far more abundant loose blocks that originally gave the wall its name have all been trundled, leaving incredibly clean, safe routes from one end of the wall to the other.

The crack systems are some of the most protectable found on Mt. Lemmon, with solid placements usually being no more than five to ten feet apart. Perhaps the biggest difficulty now will be locating the desired route from the closely spaced crack systems that cover the face! The few bolted routes that are found one the Troll Wall ascend interesting features found on the faces between the prominent crack systems. Nearly all of the new routes have bolted belay/rappel anchors, and many of the original routes either have anchors at the top or can easily utilize nearby anchor stations for belays, rappels, or top-rope anchors.

The season for climbing here runs from March through early November, with pleasant temperatures being found by staying either in the sun or shade depending upon the time of year. The summer monsoons can deliver sudden, intense storms, and it is not uncommon to be caught on a route in a downpour. These rains also bring intermittent seeps that drain from various cracks in the face, especially in the upper left portion of the wall where the highest concentration of moderate routes are located. Although the stream runs nearly all year, it is not advised to drink the water without using a purifying filter. The routes described here are listed from left to right while facing each of the particular formations.

Getting There

Although the Troll Wall used to be approached by a poor trail that descended from Rose Canyon Dam down to the confluence of Rose Canyon and upper Sycamore Canyon, the excellent trail from Munchkinland makes the old trail only useful if looking for a longer, or alternative hike into the area. The trail from the Wall of the Dancing Dwarfs down to the canyon bottom has not been drastically improved in hopes of keeping tourist traffic from discovering the area, as tourist travel to the top of the Munchkinland walls has increased the amount of trash found on those expansive rocky summits.

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Classic Climbing Routes at Wall of the Trundling Trolls

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
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Update: This area is covered in Squeezing the Lemmon III. Thanks EFR! Mar 17, 2008
Braxtron   ...
Many thanks to Scott Ayers for submitting route descriptions for most, if not all, of the climbs on this wall!

Area description updated with text from Scott Ayers. Aug 8, 2008
1Eric Rhicard
1Eric Rhicard   Tucson
This is a great area with lots of great routes. The effort put forth by SA and his friends to clean off the death blocks and grunge in the cracks is unprecedented. With Geir's topos and these descriptions you can have a blast at this crag. Sport or trad it is a destination crag for all who seek 5.11+ and under. Aug 8, 2008
susan peplow
Joshua Tree
susan peplow   Joshua Tree
Scott, this is so much better than paper napkins! Thanks for all the hard work in development as well as actually putting the info into a text format.

Somehow I suspect that there are routes that just got named yesterday.

~Susan Aug 8, 2008
Well… between getting knee surgery recently (which supplied plenty of down time to sit at the computer), and seeing how popular this wall has gotten over the last two years, it seemed the time was right to help get out definitive route information about this place.
The Wall of the Trundling Trolls (a.k.a. The Troll Wall) is a likely candidate for the most complex crag on Mt. Lemmon, as it is covered from one end to the other with soaring crack systems, some of which are only 10 feet apart or less. Adding to the potential confusion caused by so much climbable rock is the fact that most of these crack systems aren’t continuous for their entire length, with many routes switching features along their way to the top. Virtually all the cracks lean heavily to the right, adding a final, perplexing element to route finding.
After having climbed all but two of the routes multiple times (most of them over a dozen times) and having consulted with all the different partners from these excursions, the routes submitted all reflect a consensus of opinion about the difficulty and quality of both the original routes, and the newer climbs.
It should be noted that both the rating scale and the stars given to the routes are based on the system utilized in the guidebook, Squeezing the Lemmon. Therefore, numerical grades only receive a number, accompanied by a minus or plus sign if applicable. The original Mt. Lemmon three-star scale is the basis for the suggested quality ratings, as the Mountain Project four-star system seems too broad.
Finally, a number of suggestions for combinations of different pitches, and recommendations for specific protection demands, are offered in the relevant descriptions.
Hope these additions help with folks’ enjoyment of the wall! Aug 9, 2008
Stan Wichser
sierra vista, az
Stan Wichser   sierra vista, az
Geir Hundal wrote: Mission Accomplished :)

what mission was that, mr. bush? Aug 12, 2008
A.P.T.   Truckee,Ca
Thank's to "Scott Ayer's" for getting out the proper info and some history for this Awesome Wall! As noted this place is very complex and would have been nearly impossible to figure out without firsthand knowledge.

The only thing I really remember about this wall is following most of these routes! With some professional guidance I managed to make my way up some of the harder climb's here while "Pouring sweat, grunting and cursing." Oh ya, falling too. Aug 22, 2008
Proper ....yeah. Many thanks to Geir for his countless hours of work on his topos; a side benefit was inspiring SA to write something up. Sep 8, 2008
Jeffrey Gagliano
Pennsburg, PA
Jeffrey Gagliano   Pennsburg, PA
Thanks for giving us the tour of this magnificant wall when we visited on 4/25/09. May 1, 2009
I just finished another round of updates on the topos for this terrific wall. Links for downloading them are above.

Geir Jul 6, 2009
Jon Ruland
Tucson, AZ
Jon Ruland   Tucson, AZ
is my nut still fixed about 10 feet below the roof? let's just say there was...a lot of force to wedge it in there and even though this is a fairly popular climb (for hard trad on mount lemmon) i wouldn't be surprised if it's still in there.

my nuts, my nuts...where have they gone? Aug 10, 2009
ryan dillon
Tucson, AZ.
ryan dillon   Tucson, AZ.
Found a pair of glasses today at the base of the slab up to the Sudden Death. If your looking for them I have them. Jun 16, 2010
Mitch Beiser
Tucson, AZ
Mitch Beiser   Tucson, AZ
Has anyone ever considered an alternate trail that goes more directly at Troll wall? Instead of meandering up and around the main munchkinland area? May 6, 2016
Casa do Cacete
Christian   Casa do Cacete
Read the "Getting There" section above, provided by SA himself.

I think the Steiger guide has a slightly more detailed description of the old approach?

One time I hiked straight from the Troll Wall to Waltzing Witches, and was definitely discouraged from trying to head directly to the lake from there.

It may be a slightly shorter distance as the crow flies, but definitely not a shorter hike. May 6, 2016
Charles Vernon
mind & body in Colorado, he…
Charles Vernon   mind & body in Colorado, he…
You can hike the drainage directly down from Rose Canyon Lake to where it hits the main drainage just below the Troll Wall. I thought this was fun, and maybe more direct, but it doesn't save any time and may have involved some bushwacking in places. May 6, 2016
jbak .
jbak .   tucson,az
Charles... that's the way I went the very first time. 33 years ago. There were no routes at Munchkin then. May 7, 2016