Type: Trad, 650 ft, 5 pitches, Grade III
FA: Z.Harrison, J.Snyder
Page Views: 7,327 total · 130/month
Shared By: J. Snyder on Oct 6, 2014
Admins: Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick, Greg Opland

You & This Route

33 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


Touched By An Angel climbs a heavenly crack system on the hidden North Face of Earth Angel. Guarded only by a short section of north face garden swacking, the climbing and unique quality will not disappoint.

P1. Simple belay takes small nuts. From belay bubble, step right into a finger crack and up toward the steep potato chip flair with a crack in the back. Pull the wild lip, and move up into varied terrain on quality stone. Belay at tree ledge. 125'. 2 bolt belay. 5.10

Move belay left 40ish feet left to giant ledge and a finger crack on a pillar. Belay takes medium nuts and small cams.

P2. Climb obvious finger crack to a small stance, boulder up noob jugs towards protection bolt. Take space ramp with varied low angle crack up and right to optional belay (.75" - 3") outside of the closet or continue 30 feet up and into the tunnel vortex. Rebirth onto a glorious ledge. 130' or 160'. 2 bolt belay. 5.8+

P3. Why you came to the Pearly Gates. Leave belay and climb casual leftward 5.7 ramp out and under the Zion splitter. Enjoy varied crack and unique face holds through single and twin cracks. Angelic. 140'. 2 bolt belay. 5.10

P4. Sedona Classic but in the most classy way. Move up steep hands into the wide. Squiggle Squirm up the wiggle room. Wide climbing for beginners, wild features, fun, 5.9. Mantle onto large ledge. Boulder up patina jugs up toward thin crack and eventually a bolt, slightly heads up and run out*. Belay at tree is best to watch the sports action, but it is possible to climb to actual summit and belay. 150'. Tree belay. 5.10 PG13.

  • It is possible to escape right and join the regular route at the large ledge, bypassing the incredably classic albeit exciting direct finish.

P5. Prom night jug haul on quality stone to actual summit and two bolt belay. 50'. 5.6-

2 bolts and chain rap station on the North side of the summit. Rap the route.


Touched By An Angel. Direct North Face of Earth Angel Spire.

Park at large parking area at Jordan Rd. trail head.
Walk upstream and North in Mormon Wash for about 45min.
Eventually pass the original route approach gully and take next gully up towards 'Made In The Shade' Buttress and towards the North Face of Earth Angel. Thrash and herbivore up Earth slabs and eventually onto the first pitch belay tier. Traverse out onto rock from veg-town. Slightly primitive. IV. 60-90 min.

Double 60M
Rap from summit to top of P3. 200'
P3 to the top of P2. 130'
P2 to the top of P1. 150'
P1 to Earth. 130'

  • *NOTE** Smaller rap chains make pulling a thicker diameter rope difficult. If you are using a thinner tag line, use this to run through anchors, it will help avoid a heavy pull.


Singles #00 C3 - #.3 C4
Doubles #.4 - #3 C4
Single #4 and #5 C4
2 x 60M


Greg Opland    
George Lowe and Paul Gagner did a boltless few pitches over here a few years back when they missed the actual start of the regular Earth Angel route. They joined the route a few pitches up. Oct 7, 2014
Zach Harrison
Zach Harrison   Flagstaff
Then we likely followed in their hand jams for a while. From the top of the second pitch, an easy 30 foot chimney(?) would put you at the top of the crux OW pitch on the regular route. Its a pretty obvious line, too bad they missed the splitter pitch! Oct 10, 2014
Trevor Bowman
Flagstaff, AZ
Trevor Bowman   Flagstaff, AZ
Got on this rig last Sat. for what we assume was the 2nd ascent? It was an excellent outing as advertised above which offered a wide variety in the climbing. The beta posted is quite good for approach, route and gear. A few random thoughts/comments...

We ended up approaching up the drainage that accesses the standard Earth Angel route, and cut out of that drainage once the downhill toe of the tower was reached. The going up to this point is pretty straightforward, the schwack above was unpleasant, but not terrible. We maintained a pretty good clip, but it took almost 2 hrs to reach the rope-up spot, the final jungle was tedious and slow.

The quality of the climbing is great throughout, but this is fresh Coconino, and crumbling edges and silty cracks are to be expected until it sees more traffic cleaning. The crunchy stone gave it an added spice for sure, especially on the final arete on the 4th pitch. This finish is for sure heads up! You launch off a large ledge (could easily walk right and finish up the standard route) on bouldery moves into good jugs for the majority of the rest of the pitch. However, these are flexible Sedona jugs that have scarcely been tested and have a very dubious feel. You gotta pull on them too, it's steeper than you'd think. The first pro is 15' up or so, small and fiddly, better pro appears a body length further. Once you're committed, you have to just keep climbing and hope the jugs stay rooted--it's spicy. Anyway, this was a cool, exposed stretch of climbing that afforded a fully independent line, but it was much bolder and potentially dangerous than the rest of the route...

One other thing was the rope drag that accompanied every pitch. We slung long on most pieces, but still got bad drag. The 2nd pitch draws the rope into the ramp crack and eats it. It may be worth it to belay short and finish the tunnel vortex separately... The final pitch might be best broken up it you want to do the arete with a more vigilant belay.

Nice work on this one boys, it was a great adventure that provides a more "full value" summit bid on this awesome tower! Oct 23, 2014
Casey Niggemyer
Flagstaff, Arizona
Casey Niggemyer   Flagstaff, Arizona
had a great time climbing this route a few days ago. I second Trevor's input on the approach, and current condition of the route. expect at least a two hour approach, with some mandatory jungle mountaineering towards the base of the spire. The route itself was a blast, with each pitch offering quintessential sedona style; awkward chimney spin arounds, tight vortex squeezes and splitter Zion quality cracks. that being said, it is a new route so be careful what you pull on. Once this things sees a little more traffic it will be a classic for sure, but is well worth climbing in its current condition. So rad that this thing went ground up in a day, must have been quite the rewarding adventure. Go out and get on it! Jan 19, 2015
Tim Heid
Tim Heid   AZ
What a crazy fun route! Hell of a job fellas!

The exposure right off the base belay was great and that potato chip flare was wildly fun. Then some fun(read: kind of awkward) OW above to the chains made for a great long pitch.

Pitch 2 had some so-so rock, but it is significantly easier so it was still lots of fun. The spin move in the vortex was super cool! Plus that ledge on the top of pitch 2 is amazing! We unroped and hung out for a long time, enjoying the view and watching the Helo's run through the canyon below us.

Pitch 3 was certainly the best pitch in Sedona I've done so far. The ramp leading up to the base of the splitter is casual, but it felt a tiny bit spicy. Once you set up under the splitter it was just a wonderful series of varied jamming, crimping, and even some saver jugs for a long way.

We had the suggested rack and found it just about right on. For an onsight, you may want a 3rd #1 & #2 C4, but probably not necessary. It does get a little wide at the upper section, so save those 3's & 4 and maybe even a 2 for the last bit.

I left a couple of biners at the top of P3 and someone prior had left sets on the other anchors, which is always nice when rapping. We also replaced the webbing at the top of pitch 1.

On a personal note- we all decided to lead pitch 3, giving up the summit, but sharing a super cool experience right before I get hitched in 2 weeks. A lasting memory for sure! Mar 24, 2015
Mitch Y  
As fun as the usual Sedona bushwacking, jungle boogeying, or cacti skirting approaches are, one variation to avoid the approach is to try the Touched By An Earth Angel route. Climb Earth Angel, rappel Touched By An Angel, climb Touched By An Angel, and finally rappel Earth Angel. This route offers a 'big wall' climbing experience of 1350' in one excursion, Sedona style! The crux for us was rappelling TbaA, getting our ropes stuck in a couple of cracks. However, the climbing is phenomenal for the entire route but receives very little sunlight except for the summit, making this a warm weather endeavor. Start early, bring your headlamp, hardhat, and lunchpail (as Z. Harrison and J. Snyder say) and plan for the full moon escape! Sep 27, 2015
Only got to do the first three pitches of this route before running out of time, but it was fantastic. We misread the approach beta and ended up on the wrong side of the tower(!), but still ended up at the base of the route in 2hrs. Didn't find the approach too heinous by Sedona standards, just long. As for the line itself thought it was a blast. Again we didn't read the topo throughly and Lee climbed the large roof to the right of the "potato chip flake" on pitch one and found it to be doable at about 10+/11-. The rest of the line is pretty damn straight forward. Be forewarned the exit of pitch 2 is tight! Good luck. Jun 15, 2016
Miguel D
Miguel D   SLC
Good, good route! If this was better known and had a shorter/more straight forward approach it would probably be a classic. I'm glad it isn't and I like it the way it is, but it really is pretty good.

Careful on the second half of the 4th pitch, after getting on the ledge. The face climbing is spicy for sure and a bit run out. Description is spot on. Be on your A game, a fall could here could be bad.

With that said, get on it! Oct 4, 2016
Zach Harrison
Zach Harrison   Flagstaff
Hey if you are heading out to climb this, I have chain for the first pitch raps. It would be cool to get the cord off out there and have a more permanent solution. On the FA we ran out of chain and bolts. Nov 11, 2016
Mike   Phoenix
Zach how much chain is needed? Nov 14, 2016
James Xu
2005 Ford E-150
James Xu   2005 Ford E-150
Felt good to stand on the summit once again. Did Earth Angel a couple years back and this was well worth the return trip. The vortex and P3 made it so worthwhile.

We donated some carabiners for the 3rd pitch anchor and summit anchor, please don't booty them (or at least replace them) or experience the insta-karma of getting your rope stuck in those tiny chain links (it won't be worth it) ;) All rap stations are now equipped with carabiners for your abseiling pleasure. Apr 11, 2017
Derek Schad
McCarthy, AK
Derek Schad   McCarthy, AK
I'd second Dean's comment about the roof on pitch one. Probably goes at about .11- but rad none the less! Recommend as a way to get the blood moving early. Apr 11, 2017
Dave Spies
Sedona, AZ
Dave Spies   Sedona, AZ
Wow, what a fun route. Every pitch is fun. We climbed it in June on a 95 degree day. I thought we would roast, but felt comfortable the whole time. Not a bad outing for a summer day. Jun 8, 2017
In case you wanna know... this route, as of June 9th, does not go into shade until closer to noon. The approach is well cairned and pretty easy to follow. The face climbing on the fourth pitch with the bolt has severe consequences if you blow it. The climbing is in your face, the gear (besides the bolt) is suspect, and you are relying on flakes that you'll be praying to the ol' angel about. Jun 9, 2018
Scott Krankkala
Flagstaff, AZ
  5.10 PG13
Scott Krankkala   Flagstaff, AZ
  5.10 PG13
Awesome route. The 4th pitch is high consequence but the moves are all there, 5.9+. Not a bad idea to bring belayer to the ledge for a more heads up belay. Mar 25, 2019
Tyler Mattix
Flagstaff, AZ
  5.10 PG13
Tyler Mattix   Flagstaff, AZ
  5.10 PG13
Base Coordinates: 34.905636, -111.765762

TBAA video making us look cooler than we are... - youtu.be/A2j-SOaxKw8

Approach Beta: Follow cairns up to Earth Angel base from wash (see photo). Once at base of wall, follow the climbers trail left around the base, which eventually breaks further left to begin the real jungle bushwhacking. Trail will go far left and up before gradually breaking back right at the top of amphitheater area. Highly recommend hiking poles, pants and long sleeves.

P1 - P3: What climbing wet dreams are made of. Absolutely phenomenal. These pitches are all well protected and did not have as much choss as I would expect for the area.
P4: Face climbing section is not worth the risk. Pitches 1-3 are the reason you come to climb this route. The rock was brittle and crumbly with little to no protection for 30ish feet. I highly recommend skipping this portion of the pitch and reaching the summit via the alternative finish. Not worth a ride with Sedona S&R.

Rappel Beta: Don't tie knots in the end of your ropes and wear a helmet (especially when pulling rope from P2 to P1). May 6, 2019