Type: Trad, 70 ft
FA: Baxter, Karlstrom, Taber ~1970
Page Views: 7,127 total · 44/month
Shared By: Orphaned on Feb 17, 2006
Admins: Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick, Greg Opland

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Access Issue: Climbing restricted due to tourist safety Details


Isaiah is maybe THE classic at the Overlook and 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. The standard direct start is .10a. Tricky, awkward moves on thin hands, up through a pod and then up to the top via overhanging jams and face holds. Belay from large, squat tree on top.


There is an old pin before you start the splitter. Do not rely on this pin as protection.

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.


Kole DeCou
Flagstaff, AZ
Kole DeCou   Flagstaff, AZ
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.
Mar 22, 2006
Aimee Rose
Bend, or
Aimee Rose   Bend, or
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. Mar 23, 2006
Ease of the opening move from the ledge greatly depends on your hand size. Sep 18, 2006
Paul Davidson
Paul Davidson  
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 ??) Apr 11, 2008
Greg DeMatteo
W. Lebanon, NH
Greg DeMatteo   W. Lebanon, NH
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. Apr 14, 2008
Paul Davidson
Paul Davidson  
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. Nov 26, 2008
Jon Ruland
Tucson, AZ
Jon Ruland   Tucson, AZ
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. Dec 24, 2008
Danger Charles
Flagstaff, AZ
Danger Charles   Flagstaff, AZ
Excellent route, recommend the easily protected lefthand start. May 26, 2012
Nat T.
Fort Collins, CO
Nat T.   Fort Collins, CO
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. Jan 30, 2014
Miguel D
Miguel D   SLC
The 10a start is stiff, but protectable with thin gear. Isaiah proper is some of the best hand jams I've seen out here, but you have some small ledges to rest on and change things up a little bit. Great route Jun 1, 2015
Derek Field
Derek Field   California
May be .9 for those with smaller hands, pumpy .10- for the rest of us. Stitches up well with 1's. Nov 17, 2016
Scott M. McNamara
Tucson, Arizona
Scott M. McNamara   Tucson, Arizona
The metal that makes up half of the eye of the old angle piton appears fractured.

In other words, the old pin may not be safe.

Perhaps it should be yanked or replaced--- locals' preference. May 22, 2018
JJ Schlick
Flagstaff, AZ
JJ Schlick   Flagstaff, AZ  
It is sketchy looking and long past retirement. Thankfully you don’t need it. I’ll add something to the description. May 23, 2018