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The Hand
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Razor's Edge T 

Razor's Edge 

YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b

Type:  Trad, 3 pitches, 250'
Original:  YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b [details]
FA: Bill Forrest, and ??? , 1965
Season: Fall through Spring
Page Views: 9,369
Submitted By: Orphaned on Mar 21, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (61)
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Andrea Gordon on The Hand. Photo Todd Gordon



People who climb the Razor's Edge route sometimes don't even know that's it's name. More likely than not, they'll just say they climbed The Hand. This route is synonymous with the formation and probably accounts for 98%-plus of the ascents here.

1) Climb gully, stepping up and left at it's top to gain the top of a small buttress where you'll find a fixed anchor.

2) Climb up slope on the fin clipping bolts to gain Chicken Ledge at the top (fixed anchor). Lots of climbers try to cross the last very exposed bit of Chicken Ledge by walking. Give it a go!

3) Continue up the arete of the fin, clipping the occasional bolt, to the top. A short crack move will be found at the top. You might want a medium sized cam for that.

Descent: Rappel (double rope) down the southern side of the formation back to the ground off the south face.


Found on the Hand and basically climbs the eastern arete of the fin.

The route starts downhill on the southeastern corner in a gully between "The Thumb" and the main part of the fin.


Light rack of mediums cams/nuts, quickdraws, two ropes.

Photos of Razor's Edge Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: My 9yr old topping out!
My 9yr old topping out!
Rock Climbing Photo: Jeff Mayhew stops for a pic while leading the seco...
Jeff Mayhew stops for a pic while leading the seco...
Rock Climbing Photo: silhouette
Rock Climbing Photo: Kimberly Bailey on the "Edge"
Kimberly Bailey on the "Edge"
Rock Climbing Photo: The Hand with the Razors Edge following the right ...
BETA PHOTO: The Hand with the Razors Edge following the right ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Start of the second pitch.
BETA PHOTO: Start of the second pitch.
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking down the Razor's Edge on The Hand, Sup's, ...
Looking down the Razor's Edge on The Hand, Sup's, ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Casey straddling the 2nd belay ledge.
Casey straddling the 2nd belay ledge.
Rock Climbing Photo: Hike up to the main headwall.
Hike up to the main headwall.
Rock Climbing Photo: View from midway up the 3rd pitch
View from midway up the 3rd pitch
Rock Climbing Photo: Sunset on the superstitions
Sunset on the superstitions
Rock Climbing Photo: Climbers on the 3rd pitch belay ledge.
Climbers on the 3rd pitch belay ledge.
Rock Climbing Photo: Third Pitch Belay Ledge
Third Pitch Belay Ledge
Rock Climbing Photo: Used two 60m ropes for rappel.
BETA PHOTO: Used two 60m ropes for rappel.
Rock Climbing Photo: The route with the most webbing wins.  :-)  This i...
BETA PHOTO: The route with the most webbing wins. :-) This i...
Rock Climbing Photo: Superstition Spires
Superstition Spires
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 2
Pitch 2
Rock Climbing Photo: Rap
Rock Climbing Photo: Belay at chicken ledge
Belay at chicken ledge
Rock Climbing Photo: The Hand is one of the most prominent features in ...
The Hand is one of the most prominent features in ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Tell me more about this exposure you speak of...
Tell me more about this exposure you speak of...
Rock Climbing Photo: The hand landscape
The hand landscape
Rock Climbing Photo: Notice the headwall on the Third Pitch above Chick...
Notice the headwall on the Third Pitch above Chick...
Rock Climbing Photo: Jimmy Purcell looking up halfway up the second pit...
Jimmy Purcell looking up halfway up the second pit...

Show All 25 Photos

Only the first 24 are shown above.

Comments on Razor's Edge Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Nov 29, 2016
By Sam Prentice
Mar 15, 2009

Proud old school mini on a lesser formation. Worth doing once a year, but never again on a weekend.

This is a two pitch climb. Ascend the east ridge starting in an east facing class 4 gully. Pitch one ends at the obvious saddle belay with a shiny new 3/8" and two mank 1/4" rawls. The double rope rap descent is well protected.
By Taylor Morgan
From: Draper, UT
Jul 22, 2009
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

Fun climb, but some very shady rawls. For as many ascents as this route sees, a local with time/resources should look into replacing manky bolts. Rap anchors also questionable...
By Patrick Mulligan
Dec 7, 2011

I thought this route was OK. However, its only OK for its novelty and not it's climbing. When I climbed it the bolts were horrible at best and the rock somewhat suspect. I wouldn't climb it again.
By Nate Young
From: Phoenix
Jan 2, 2012
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

We climbed the hand on New Years Eve day 2011.

We got to the climb at 2:30pm or so, and had to wait around a little while for some other climbers to finish.

The first pitch was about 60 feet of Class 4 scrabbling, without any bolts or pitons to clip into, so that was kinda cool. The second pitch was runout in places, sometimes with 20-25 feet between the bolts, but was easy climbing for the most part. The third pitch was belayed from a 3 foot wide ledge, and was the easier of the two real pitches. There are a few placements for nuts and cams that were pretty solid, so bring some pro from .05 - 2 cams.

A couple of the bolts are new, but most are really rusty and cringe inducing. Bring some of your own protection for the 3rd pitch if you don't like to run the more exposed sections out. The anchors and RAP bolts on top are really old to, but there are three of them linked together with chains

I wouldn't recommend this lead climb for anyone new to leading or who isn't comfortable with exposure. There are plenty of places on this climb where you are a good 20 feet above a pretty sketchy bolt, without any other protection. It's also extremely narrow in places, so when the wind starts to pick up you'll get blown around a bit.

By 46and2
From: Las Vegas, NV
Jul 23, 2012
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b PG13

We thought the climbing on this was pretty fun, and the rappel off the top is a blast....however, the bolts/protection, especially on the final pitch are less than inspiring. I honestly believe if somebody took a fall up there those Rawls might (probably) would pull. I agree some local should go replace those things, until then I would not recommend climbing this route. PG-13 rating is ONLY for the bolts condition, not the climbing itself.
By matt evans
From: salt lake city, UT
Sep 23, 2012

As usual, I lost something important after my last climb here on the 22nd. It's a small 3cm by 4cm white, disc shaped electronic device that's used to test my blood sugar continuously. It stopped sending a signal to my insulin pump at the first set of anchors, so I'm guessing it's in that area. I'm going to go looking for it sometime this week since it is pretty expensive, but just wanted to post this in case someone finds it and thinks it is trash.

By the way this is a classic route with easy climbing. Just need one piece of small to medium sized gear near the top of the last pitch. You place it in a crack that's next to a bulge (probably the only 5.6 move on the route). The exposure on the chicken ledge and the double rope rap down make this route a classic.
By William Nelson
From: Cave Creek, AZ
Mar 3, 2013
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

Started in right gully on first pitch. Exposed final move left on first pitch is easy but without pro. Once you make this move look behind you for belay anchor (new and older bolt). I missed this and continued to next miserable piton. Fun route with great exposure and some "veteran" bolts. Protected crack at top of third pitch with a #2 Omega Pacific link cam (prob could use #1 BD CD4 cam).
By ldsclimber
From: Santan Valley, AZ
Apr 14, 2013

I was just up there yesterday. The old mank bolts have been replaced. The pitons are still there, but you can get gear between the two in the horizantal crack. The top anchors are still the old ones but they dont look like they are going anywhere
By Mike McDonald
May 11, 2013

As a heads up we went up the first pitch of the hand on 5/9 and heard a hug cloud of bees fly overhead, and when we got up to the 2nd pitch the cloud flew by again. We bailed and told the rangers, keep an eye out for bee activity.
By Creed A
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Dec 1, 2013

I really wanted to climb over the Thanksgiving holiday, so I talked my brother into doing this route. My bro had climbed outside twice, all single pitch. I led to chicken ledge. I brought my brother up. The climbing was easy, but the exposure really got to him. He was very pale and shaky on chicken ledge! We rapped off from there. Just a note in case you're planning to take an inexperienced climber on this!
By D Wilson
Dec 23, 2014

I moved away from Az in 1999 but grew up in Phoenix. Had all kinds of adventures in the Supes, Queen Creek and McDowells. I'm actually a little bummed the manky bolts have been replaced but they were manky when we used to climb it in 1993. Glad they got replaced. Probably should have been a long time ago. Is a fun climb and love the exposure on it. Looking at the Az areas is bringing up all kinds of fun memories. Sad the lower east wall at Pinnacle Peak is closed. Not surprised though. The city is so much bigger than the one I grew up in.
By David Accomazzo
Mar 23, 2015

Gonna double down on the previous comments about bees -- we climbed all three pitches on the hand, and as we got down an enormous swarm of bees buzzed by -- the cloud was my 30 feet high and 20 feet across. Absolutely terrifying.
By walmongr
From: Gilbert AZ
Dec 20, 2015
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a PG13

Route was worth the effort once... I wouldn't go leading this if your a 5.6 climber or don't like runout. Some new bolts some old. They should have replaced the top anchor bolts. 4 junk's linked together with rusting chain We did in 1 pitch with a 60M rope from the top of the "4th" class saddle don't fall on this it might hurt!
By David Kay
Nov 29, 2016
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13

Climbed the Razor's Edge with a Party of 4 on Saturday November 26th 2016.

Overall the climb was fun but don't expect top quality rock on this one. We linked pitch 1 and 2 with plenty of rope to spare on a 60m rope. This is highly recommended because the 2 spinner bolts on top of pitch 1 do not inspire much confidence. These two bolts are your first opportunity of protection @ 25 feet after exiting the gully unless your interested in placing a cam in questionable rock. I used runners on these bolts and had no issue with rope drag climbing up to chicken ledge. Pitch 3 was the best but take care on which holds are used because i pulled off a 5 lb hand hold about 20 feet above chicken ledge. On the top of pitch 3 I used a .3 camlot(You could probably fit any size .3 through #1) to back up the very old pins to protect the run out between the good quality bolts. Definitely worth the climb but not a second ascent.

Gear- Two 60m ropes(for rappel) , 4 alpine draws, 4 quick draws, Single rack .3-#1, no nuts.

Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 1 Gully
Pitch 1 Gully

Rock Climbing Photo: Chicken Ledge belay
Chicken Ledge belay

Rock Climbing Photo: Start of pitch 3
Start of pitch 3

Rock Climbing Photo: Summit!

Rock Climbing Photo: double rope rap off manky anchors
double rope rap off manky anchors

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