Type: Trad, 2 pitches
FA: unknown
Page Views: 13,935 total · 92/month
Shared By: Marcy - on Oct 28, 2006 with improvements by Henry Braun
Admins: Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick, Greg Opland

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Pitch 1: Scramble up the left-angling ramp/crack to the base of the flake. Continue diagonally up left in crack to a right angling crack. Follow this crack to a 2-bolt hanging belay. 100'

Note - this belay is also the location of the 2nd rap.

Pitch 2: Make a thin move from the belay into a crack diagonaling right. Follow this crack as it becomes slightly steeper and heads straight up. Go left on easy cracks and face to the top. Gear belay. ~130'.

Descent: Locate bolts for the 1st rap to the left (climbers left). Two double rope raps back down to your the base - watch out for other parties coming up the route!

Alternately, the descent can be completed with a single 70m rope. You can rap from the top of Hanging Gardens to an anchor on another route, a little bit climbers right of where the rope naturally hangs. From there, rap to the ground. You get near the end of the rope, but just tie stopper knots and there's nothing to worry about.


Begin below the large, right-leaning flake in the middle of the wall.


Small to medium cams, doubles of BD #1-3 helpful. Could use a #4 near top of P2, but climbing gets fairly easy here.


Tim Heid
Tim Heid   AZ
If you don't want to drag up a second rope all the way up to Gardner's Wall, you can do a 3rd class walk off the back (to the climber's left of the top rappel bolts). From there you can head up West to Tom's Thumb, or walk West to a trail and make your way back to the base of HG.

Alternatively, you can do 2 raps down Ren. Direct with 1 70m rope. Nov 24, 2010
Cody Ferguson
Durango, CO
Cody Ferguson   Durango, CO
Or, if you have a 70m rope, you can walk left (east) to the top of Renaissance Direct and make two single rope raps (about 115' each) to the base. Jan 13, 2011
We attempted to rappel from the second anchor to the first with one 70m rope and were about 10 feet short of the first anchor. Bring two ropes or scramble around back. Nov 29, 2011
Micah Kurtz
Denver, Co
Micah Kurtz   Denver, Co
I did this route today with a friend. I thought it was a lot of fun. The scariest move for me was the first exposed move coming into the hand crack on pitch one but its not too hard. I also lead the second pitch, for my 4th trad lead and I had a blast. It just keeps going and going. I would definitely advise bringing larger gear for the crack at the end. Its long and takes large gear, but not very hard if you do need to run it out. So fun! Two double rope raps to the bottom. Dec 27, 2011
Nate Young
5.6 PG13
Nate Young   Phoenix
5.6 PG13
I took a couple videos at the second belay, sorry for the shaky cam work. Need to invest in a go-pro :)


Ran up this climb with a friend on 1/29/2012 and it was a great trip.

The hike up was interesting b/c we took a few wrong turns hiking the wash and got lost. Make sure you turn left at the fork in the trail and start the hike up the hill towards Tom's Thumb rather than going right and hiking up the wash. About two miles up the Tom's Thumb Trail there will be a marked trail on the right past the first saddle. It will take you around this mountain and down into a gully with gigantic boulders that you need to hop around. If you go up higher into the ravine the boulder field is easier to manage.

Remember to bring enough pro unless you like a run out. I had 4 BD cams with me (#.5, #1, #2, #3) I would leave the bigger pro at home and only take up to a #3 at the most. I only used the #3 to protect a runout at the top of the second pitch, but that was because my left calf was giving out. If you can, double up on the #.5 and the #1 to work the crack a little better. The second pitch is great for a #1-2 cam placements until you get to the top. Leave your micro-stoppers at home since the crack doesn't taper down that much. I used a couple of medium hexes on the first pitch, and a few larger ones to protect the vertical hand crack. This was my frist true lead climb so I probably over protected it, but I wasn't confident in the passive pro-placements just yet.

I would leave the second rope at home and just do the 3rd class walk off from the back, there is no reason to hike up all of that weight. The rope drag on the second rope is incredible in some places and the extra drag weight definitely felt like a hinderance. Hook up with the Tom's Thumb trail on the way back to the car, or hit up another climb on Tom's thumb while your up there.

The drag is the worst on the first pitch, where the left angling 45 degree finger crack transitions into the right 45 degree. make sure you put at least a 4 foot runner on the corner pro to straighten out the angle a bit. The second belay is great. The ledge is nice to lean back on and the chains look brand new. I didn't bother building a gear belay on the top of the second pitch. If you step around left of the big boulder at the top, there are the rap anchors that you can belay from without a problem. Again, drag can be an issue here so use some runners in the vertical crack placements.

All in all, if you like finger cracks and have some trad gear, go at it. There are no bolts on this climb save one super old rusty thing half way through the second pitch. Feb 3, 2012
Can be done in one pitch with a 70m, gear belay in pod 15ft from the chains. Rapped it with one 70m too, will not reach chain anchor on route though, there's another anchor climbers right and higher on a different route that will get you to the ground in one more rap. Sep 21, 2012
Ryan Myers
Tempe, Arizona
Ryan Myers   Tempe, Arizona
Climb Hanging Gardens and Renaissance Direct for a great day in the McDowells Nov 10, 2012
Phoenix & Prescott, AZ
arjunmh   Phoenix & Prescott, AZ
Always love this climb as a nice warm up for the thumb! And, yes, if you're comfortable coming off your rope at the end of your rap, holding on to an end and down climbing a few feet to the anchors you can use one 70m rope. Or, send your partner down to the anchors to spot you. Have done it both ways. Just don't slip. Apr 1, 2013
ryan c
Phoenix, AZ
ryan c   Phoenix, AZ
There is a junked cam stuck in the second pitch. If one were so inclined to remove it that would be cool. We were unable to get it out with just a nut tool yesterday. Looks like it took a fall and is all twisted and collapsed over. Ben said he's seen a lot of Rock Empire cams stuck like that... Feb 8, 2014
Cave Creek/Preskitt, AZ
MacM   Cave Creek/Preskitt, AZ
PLEASE DO NOT use a "hammer and a chisel" on the route to remove a piece of gear that may be mangled in there. This was attempted on Trieber's Deception on the Thumb and it failed miserably. Someone also attempted to take a hacksaw to one of the lobs on said other cam to free it, to no avail. The next time I am in Phoenix (this weekend or the next) I WILL go up and remove it, without brute force, so that the rock remains intact and that the people climbing the route do not clip an unsafe piece of gear.

Thank You!

-Mac M, PPG

EDIT: Friend was up there a few weekends ago and he said that he did not see any piece of gear "fixed" on the 2nd pitch anymore. Someone got to it before we could, and got it out cleanly. Thanks! Feb 10, 2014
Henry Braun
Minneapolis, MN
Henry Braun   Minneapolis, MN
I can confirm that Tradoholic's descent beta is a hassle-free way to get down with a single 70m rope. Use the rap anchors just (climber's) left of the hanging gardens finish, but don't rap to the pitch 1 anchors on hanging gardens. Instead look climber's right for an anchor with rap rings. I had about 6 feet of rope left when I clipped this anchor. From there you can reach the ground. I don't think a 60 would work for either rappel.

EDIT - this beta is now included in the route description. Thanks, admins! Mar 21, 2016
One of the bolts on the top of the first pitch is a little loose. Jun 1, 2016
My friend and I went up this yesterday, great route. Only made it up the first pitch due to the heat. For anyone wondering, the first pitch is capable of being rappelled with a single 60m rope, just make sure you tie knots on the rappel, as it would be close if the ends were not even.

As far as hiking up to the wall goes, the directions seem to be uncertain. My friend and I took the main trail out of Tom's Thumb trailhead. This trail is the one that weaves up the mountain directly in front of you as you begin the hike. Right about the time the trail begins uphill, you will see a branch off to the right that cuts into the valley and the wash. DO NOT TAKE THIS. You will find your self bush-wacking for at least an hour. Instead continue up the mountain for about another mile, here you will come upon a second climbers trail that is directed towards Garners Wall. This cuts down the side of the mountain, across the wash, and then directly up to the wall.

On the route, I would recommend bringing mostly cams, although a few stoppers will be helpful. I used a BD 0.4, 0.5, 0.75 and 1 for cams and a size 10 stopper as well as a number 2 BD hex. Jun 16, 2016
Sam Joe Carl
Phoenix, AZ
Sam Joe Carl   Phoenix, AZ
I agree with the route description. You definitely want to double up on sizes 1-3 unless you like walking your gear up with you. Additionally, I was very thankful to have two .75's on my rack. The nature of this large-grained granite lends to some super bomber nut and hex placements. The cracks that this route follow take pro like a champ - the only reason you should have to run it out is if you're out of gear. Dec 19, 2016
I climbed this route with my dad (his first multipitch!) on saturday (feb 25 2017)... I wanted to add in that the bolts at both the first and second anchors are all sparkling new with chains. (as in, they are NOT the bolts you see in the video above). You can see the epoxy putty patches where the old bolts were chopped.
Had a great time. The route swallows gear easily. great comfortable stances for placing pro. I sewed up the thinner traversing crack after the first anchor with stoppers and switched over to cams for the vertical section of the second pitch. I thought the crux (if you could call it that) was turning the first corner. Feb 27, 2017
Ryan Borys
The West
Ryan Borys   The West
Such a fun route. Probably the classic at McDowell. I can’t think of another one. Great for teaching people the basics of managing a traditional multi pitch. Bomber seams with an infinite amount of feet to choose from take you all the way to the top. Walk off the back and up to the thumb and enjoy some more climbing. Check those knots. Oct 19, 2018
Craig Streit
Scottsdale, AZ
Craig Streit   Scottsdale, AZ
As of 1/14/19 - The 2nd pitch crack is full of water, mud, sand, etc making for a little more interesting climb. Still totally worth it, but would be better when clean and dry. Thanks to the guys that was out there today cleaning it. Jan 14, 2019
Oakland Park, Florida
Floridaputz   Oakland Park, Florida
On a recent trip to Phoenix, checked out the Mcdowell Mts and did this climb. A 2 pitch 5.6, you sure get a lot of bang for the buck ! Bullet granite, super good friction. The first pitch has a short hand traverse that is really cool. The belay is bolted and has a nice view of the valley. P 2 is really fun, climbing through the best part of the face in a perfect crack. Top out right next to the rap anchors. Or walk off the back side. Mar 11, 2019