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Routes in Northwest Face

Black Sheep T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Fisherman's Elbow S 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Twice As Nice S 5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c
Type: Sport, 250 ft, 2 pitches
FA: JSt,EFR,'08
Page Views: 2,683 total, 24/month
Shared By: 1Eric Rhicard on Sep 27, 2008
Admins: Greg Opland, Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick

You & This Route

21 Opinions

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Closed to climbing March 15 - June 30 Details


5.8 cruxes on both pitches, good rock, a comfortable belay, and some nice exposure.


On the West face of the Fortress. Load up your gear and leave your pack at the spot where the ridge of the rock meets the hill. Drop down the right side staying close to the rock. Look for bolts 15ft. or so to the right of a black water streak. 1) Follow bolts up easy ground to a short headwall then easier ground leads to a nice belay ledge. 2) Straight up a short steep section to easy ground then a short headwall then easier ground, then a great section of steeper gold rock.




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Tucson, AZ
Hendrixson   Tucson, AZ
Just a reminder that the Summit Crags, including this climb, are closed due to Peregrine Falcon nesting March 15 - June 30. Mar 29, 2016
Dan Evans
Phoenix, AZ
Dan Evans   Phoenix, AZ
Really well bolted with two 20 ft runouts over easy climbing on huge holds (5.2), one right before the P1 anchors and the second while topping out. Rope drag is an issue on the top of the second pitch but the holds are so big that once you start to experience the drag you can easily pull through it. I would say the last 15-20 ft was when the rope drag really became noticeable, but then you summit.

I don't understand why the FA party only put one bolt at the top of P2 for an anchor. SRENE anchors - redundancy. Really no excuse for it in my opinion but to each their own. So bring some cams .75 - 2 (if I recall correctly) and a coordalette (22 ft) if you want to back it up. P1 has two bolts for an anchor.

The "walk off" involves some potentially serious unroped climbing for 25 ft to get to the saddle of the Fortress. However, if you bring some larger cams #2 - #3 (maybe a four?), an experienced leader could climb up and set up a gear anchor in a prominent crack towards the left side for the rest of the party. Would highly recommend if you have beginners with you or anyone that doesn't feel comfortable soloing a 5.6. There is a ramp on the right side that is easier (5.2 ish) but the start to get off the ground is a pretty difficult boulder problem. We boosted everyone up on the easier ramp to the right past the boulder problem, and had the most experienced climber solo the 5.6 section to the left.

All in all, it's a great climb (5.6 jug fest with a few 5.8 cruxes) with awesome views and exposure - highly recommend. Mar 28, 2016
Scottsdale, AZ
  5.7 PG13
Wendel   Scottsdale, AZ
  5.7 PG13
The route going up the mountain was fun. Very mellow, 5.6 climbing with a 5.7 crux in each pitch. The rock was nice, though myself leading and my partner each had foot holds break, so the route still has a little cleaning to do. The route had partial sun in the afternoon, with the belay ledge at the top of P1 being entirely shaded and very comfortable.

Issues encountered.
The crux's are almost overbolted, without ideal placements causing substantial rope drag even with long draws and alpines. Then there are 3? run outs, probably 30-40ft each. The runouts are over barely 5th class scrambling, however, were you to slip, or mess up climbing before the next bolt, after the scrambles, you'd have a very high chance of fatal falls- the best case scenario would be a 60-80ft whipper over ledges.

So, without being a jerk, a few bolts should be pulled and moved to get rid of the rope drag, and another 5-6 bolts added in the runouts- again, it's scrambling, but my partner is new to leading, and would have enjoyed leading this, but refused to because of the runouts. On a 5.10 or higher, a little unprotected scrambling is often part of the game. But on a 5.7 climb, which would be great for new leaders, there's just no need for that kind of unnecessary risk.

If the bolt issues were fixed, this would be a really enjoyable climb, and a perfect route for new leaders. Oct 16, 2015
Jon Ruland
Tucson, AZ
Jon Ruland   Tucson, AZ
Walk off Aug 9, 2014
Tucson, AZ
mikehilbert   Tucson, AZ
How long is each pitch? Will a 60m suffice to rap off? ...or is it a walk off? Jul 9, 2013
Jon Ruland
Tucson, AZ
Jon Ruland   Tucson, AZ
this is a really fun climb on some cool rock. thanks eric & co! Sep 27, 2009