Type: Trad, 700 ft, 6 pitches, Grade III
FA: Scott Baxter and Ross Hardwick
Page Views: 16,886 total · 105/month
Shared By: Will Cobb on Apr 12, 2006 with improvements by Matt Enlow
Admins: Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick, Greg Opland

You & This Route


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Description

Earth Angel is an awesome route that climbs what must be one of the largest sandstone towers in the United States. The first two pitches are laden with loose rock, so use caution. The last four pitches are four stars for climbing quality. This is also one of the best summits in Sedona.

Pitch 1 - Walk to the left edge of the large starting platform. Climb a short crack then wander up broken rock and ledges to a nice belay ledge next to the Chimney. (5.7 ~120') Watch for loose rock on this pitch.

Pitch 2 - Climb chimney off belay being mindful of loose rock. Belay at nice ledge on left at the top of the chimney. (5.7 ~180')

Pitch 3 - Step across chimney and climb off-width crack above. Jam, stem, off-width, and face climb past one bolt (pitch crux) to the top of this excellent pitch. Everytime this pitch starts to really become difficult a Red Rocks style face hold seemed to magically appear. Belay from a huge ledge at the top of this pitch. (5.10- ~150')

Pitch 4 - Climb the left side of a pillar up a hands to fingers crack. Belay at the top of this pillar. Some say this is the best pitch on the route. The first asensionists tunneled behind/through the pillar and climbed the right side. (5.9 ~100')

Pitch 5 - Traverse up and right to a finger crack that is not directly visible from the belay ledge. Climb up this crack and then onto the face above past an old bolt and pin. Once through the major difficulties trend up and right over large chickenheads to another huge ledge and belay. (5.10- ~140') This pitch carries some serious climbing above an old bolt and pin. Send the best lead head and face climber up on this pitch.

Pitch 6 - There are many ways to climb the final pitch ranging from 5.7 to 5.10x. The described way was our path of least resistance, but there are probably 5 or 6 different ways to climb this last pitch. Climb a moderate crack system directly off the belay ledge until an easy traverse left leads to the tower's north face. From here 5.6 face climbing takes you to one of the best summit's in Sedona. Look for the first rap anchor on the far side of the summit.

Location

Turn off of highway 89A onto Jordan Road. At the "T" junction turn left and drive past the Adobe style homes following Forest Access signs and onto the dirt road. The parking area at the end of this road has been recently renovated and the old shooting range is gone. Park, drop into the drainage on the right and turn left. Mormon Canyon is accessed by hiking up this wash. After about 30-40 minutes of hiking the wash will make a right turn (east) and the tower will come into view. From this point stay in the wash until you are almost directly under the tower. At this point follow a climbers trail with some carins up and right. Hike beyond the route's base, then double back to the starting platform. Total hiking time is 1-1.5 hours.

Descent - Rap 1 is about 110' off a multiple bolt anchor to a nice ledge. Rap 2 is about 180' off a bolt anchor to another nice ledge. Rap 3 is about 160' from yet another bolt anchor to a large ledge near the ground. Scramble left just a little to the final anchor. Rap 4 is about 80' to the ground. There is an enormous poison ivy patch growing here so if you are allergic use caution. Scramble down and right for 5-10 minutes back to your gear.

It is a good idea on the first three rappels to have the second climber down work the knot over the lip of each ledge to prevent stuck ropes.

Protection

1 set Stoppers
1 x 0 Metolius TCU (Purple)/Blue Alien
1 x 1 Metolius TCU (Blue)/Green Alien
2 x 2 Metolius TCU (Yellow)/Yellow Alien
2 x .5 Camalot
2 x .75 Camalot
2 x 1 Camalot
2 x 2 Camalot
1 x 3 Camalot
1 x 3.5 Camalot
1 x 4 and 1 x 4.5 Camalot
or
2 x 4 Camalot
1 x 5 Camalot Optional
Draws and Slings

Photos