Type: Trad, 450 ft, 4 pitches
FA: John Rupley, et. al., 60's?
Page Views: 4,435 total · 21/month
Shared By: Orphaned on Dec 31, 2001
Admins: Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick, Greg Opland

You & This Route

19 Opinions

Your To-Do List:

Add To-Do · View List

Your Star Rating:

     Clear Rating

Your Difficulty Rating:

-none- Change

Your Ticks:

Add New Tick
Access Issue: Potentially unavailable to climbing February through July if raptors are breeding here. Details


The Rupley Route is a great mixed face and crack line that runs all the way up the Fortress. Although rated a moderate 5.9, the short crux face bit on first pitch was a little surprising in it's difficulty. It felt harder to me than some of the 10's at Munchkin Wall. Having said that, the bolts are pretty close together and you can always yard on the draws to get through the hard part if you get stuck.

The route starts kinda left-middle at the base of the south face. The route Steel Crazy starts at the same place (and crosses over the first pitch of the Rupley line). The Rupley Route starts about 30 feet up a gully from a ledge with lots of bushes. Belay up to this spot if you think soloing up there seems risky.

Pitch 1) Climb on good holds out left off the bushy ledge, clipping a series of bolts. As you move out, it starts feeling very steep and the holds get smaller, but they're mostly good. Once you pull onto the main face around the left, things get easier. Climb up, following the good holds. The wall goes vertical to get up to the belay. Follow the Steel crazy bolts up an arete to gain the big ledge system above with anchor bolts and chains.

Pitch 2) From the belay, go right up a ramp towards a small tower. Climb up (slightly runout) this tower past a couple of bolts and then continue above to reach an alcove where you can get good gear and belay just below the nice-looking third pitch crack.

Pitch 3) Make an airy move on good holds out of the alcove to gain the main crack running up the wall. Excellent crack and knob climbing straight up the wall to where the crack kinda peters out a bit. Old bolt and gear here to set up a hanging belay.

Pitch 4) Climb up (yet more knobs!) and over the steep stuff above the belay (5.8+) past a couple of bolts. After the fun climbing, the wall starts to roll off. Run on up to a pair of rusty bolts on the shoulder near the top and belay.

Descent: Getting off the Fortress is a bit tricky and care should be taken, especially if you're not sure where you're going. From the top of the Rupley Route, head up and towards the right. A deep cleft kinda splits the top towards the right. You want to get up on top of the right half here, which may require either some soloing or belayed leading. Again, BE CAREFUL! Once on top of this hump, you can easily scramble along it all the way to the back of the crag and the ground. Follow the easiest path.


Standard rack up to #3 Camalot, draws. Maybe take a #3.5 Camalot to help with the belay at the top of pitch 3 if you don't mind the weight.


Jeff Fassett
Jeff Fassett  
If you have a 60 meter rope, you can just squeek out the last two pitches and avoid the hanging belay. If you don't have a 60 meter rope and try this, you will be hosed, as the knobs would be hard to tie off for a belay.Communacation may be difficult if there is any wind.Jeff Nov 5, 2003
Descent: If you don't want to do the 5th class over the hump steelmonkey describes (and it didn't look very appealing to us), there's another option, but it may or may not be much easier. As you top out follow the cleft back and down to the left. There will be a point when it looks 5th class, look down about 15-20' there's a sling (obviously, check the condition of this sling). You may want a belay, we didn't, but climb down a slightly tricky stepdown section to the sling and do a single rope rap down to slabs. Pick your way through the easiest sections of the slabs to the north.

Watch yourself on the downclimb, where it gets easier it's a bit slick. Nov 5, 2004
Lauren Blank
Lauren Blank  
The start was a bit confusing and the first pitch seems a bit contrived. I would recommend a short pitch up the to overgrown bush to the right of Steel Crazy. From there you can see 3-4 bolts that trend left and cross over Steel Crazy. The moves are fun, but then the pitch wanders way left into a gully. I would start at the bush to avoid rope drag. This climb has a stellar 3rd pitch. This is a 3 pitch climb! Link pitches 3 and 4! Oct 24, 2011
manuel rangel
manuel rangel   Arizona
Brigette and I started on Steel Crazy to join the low angle crack of Rupley's. We broke the rest into three pitches but we wandered about some. It was a great finish. I tried not to pass any chickenheads on the final headwall. Great climbing. Jul 16, 2012
Jon Ruland
Tucson, AZ
Jon Ruland   Tucson, AZ
p1: pain in the ass. just do the first pitch of Steel Crazy instead.
p2: 100-foot belay transition.
p3: might be the best 5.8 trad pitch on the mountain (5.9 move at the top of this pitch is protected by a bolt). Aug 10, 2014
Antoine Horness
Tucson, AZ
Antoine Horness   Tucson, AZ
My first time doing this climb. Very fun climb
P1 Steel crazy to belay bolts
P2 climb on the right side rock above the obvious gully to an alcove in the gully
P3/P4 Did both pitches as 1 on a 60m rope. Climb out of the alcove straight up on a crack to some bolts then a run out area on chickenheads to the top with a two bolt belay
Great exposure, rock and a fun onsite! Jul 15, 2017