Elevation: 7,250 ft
GPS: 32.418, -110.753 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 10,606 total · 135/month
Shared By: jbak . on Apr 14, 2014
Admins: Greg Opland, Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick
Access Issue: Fire Closure Details


Back when we were developing The Steep, we used to look down Sabino Creek, and across the canyon, and try to identify interesting crags. Delta was 4th on my list that included Alpha (still untouched), Bing (untouched), Charlie (Charlie Dome), Delta, Echo (now Continuum) and Foxtrot (now Spectrum). We could also see Ireland (pre-development), but it did not look like much from The Steep.  You couldn't get a good idea of the angle of the steep parts of Ireland until the big fire removed enough trees for good viewing.

Delta didn't look that great from The Steep.  Tony Lusk went down and did some routes, but it took me a while to get down there. But finally in 2013 I made it down there.

And what a beautiful spot ! No people, great looking stone, big trees untouched by fire, and you can hear sabino creek running just below. Tony had done several routes, but also left the best-looking face alone, and had never red-pointed one of the best routes. So I drilled a few holes and did some climbing. To my surprise I ran into some of the best vertical routes I've done. The Steep has some excellent 11s (George, Blue Sky, Spiderman), but I think the >>FIVE<< (6 now ?) 11+s at Delta are as good or better.

One of the few Mt Lemmon crags that require technical climbing to reach the summit. The Steep is another. If you are looking for a real, old-school reach-the-summit experience, do the East Crack route, climb past the anchor and belay on top of the crag.

The FIN is a really cool rock feature. It is an (almost) free-standing tower about 100 feet high, leaning against the main dome. Its NE face is made of incredible rock...really nubbly with lots of side-pulls and fingery stuff. It's really fun, a true 5.11 heaven. The FIN is also a natural windbreak against the prevailing southwest wind. You can probably climb comfortably on Fin Arete, and the routes to the right, even on windy days.

Getting There

You can get there from Raycreation. Or from the Steep.

OR... if you're feeling adventurous...

Take the Aspen Loop trail as though you were going to the Steep. After about 10 minutes you will run into a WILDERNESS BOUNDARY sign. The sign is on the right side of the trail. At this point, go LEFT off the main trail onto a climber trail.

The climber trail traverses east up a steep hill side for about 5 min. Then it flattens out, and you are in a grove of small trees. Look for the path to trend LEFT and go over a couple of fallen trees. Follow the faint path east (through the sticker bushes) until it becomes more obvious again. At this point you can see Ireland across the canyon to the east. Look for a very long fallen tree pointing down the hill to the NE. Follow along its north side and then swing south once you are around it.

Now you are into the pines again, and the path continues south and starts heading down to Delta. From this point the path basically parallels the creek to your east. Cairns, blazes, foot-prints and machete-work should show the way. From the long fallen tree to Delta is about 1500 feet and you gradually lose about 200 feet of elevation.

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