Type: Trad, 420 ft, 3 pitches, Grade II
FA: Brandon Gottung and Drew Chojnowski
Page Views: 172 total · 10/month
Shared By: Brandon Gottung on Apr 14, 2018
Admins: Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Marta Reece, Drew Chojnowski

You & This Route

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Access Issue: Power drilling is prohibited in the Organ Mountains Wilderness. Details


Careful With That Axe climbs the perfect corner to the right of Gertch's Arch. Pitch 2 is a four star pitch, but pitch 1 climbs up some nasty rock, detracting from the quality of the line. If pitch 1 could weave through better rock at the start, this route would warrant a solid three stars.

Pitch 1. 40 meters. 5.9. Start to the right of the dihedral below the arch making committing moves up into some broken rock, a cholla and a shrub. Easy, runout climbing leads to a faint, slabby corner system and a cool hand traverse rightward to a mantle and a comfortable ledge below the corner. There's a convenient thread for an anchor that can be backed up with small cams.

Pitch 2. 35 meters. 5.10. Climb the corner with wonderful fingerlocks and handjams making sure to be careful with that axe-like flake. The corner is steep and sustained 5.9+ with an awesome 5.10 crux moving out the final roof bulge. Belay on the large ledge the corner terminates at.

Pitch 3. 50+ meters. 5.5. Best scrambled but a rope may be desired. Traverse east to a clean gully system and climb the nice low-angled corner to where it's possible to angle over to the top of the gully between Gertch's Half Brother and Gertch's Arch. Watch for a large oak tree equipped with webbing for a single rope rap (70 meter recommended) to the ground.


Find Gertch's Arch and locate the perfect corner to the right of the arch. Pitch one is less obvious, weaving up to access the corner.


A double set of cams .2 to #2, single #3, optional #4 and set of stoppers. 70 meter rope is nice for rapping the descent gully.