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Chimney Rock
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Standard Route 

YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b

Type:  Trad, 5 pitches, 200'
Original:  YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b [details]
FA: Unknown
Page Views: 8,250
Submitted By: Almonzo Wilder on Jan 5, 2003

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (77)
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Probably this climb is not supposed to include a t...


This is a great moderate route to learn about multi-pitch climbing. Both cruxes are bolted, so all gear placements are on 5.5 rock or easier, making this a good climb for beginning trad leaders. The route has 5 very short pitches with a variety of face, crack, and chimney climbing. To get to the climb park about 1/4 mile above Chimney Rock at a small pullout. Walk back down until almost the far end of the rock, where a steep trail leads to the base of the crag (below George's Buttress). From here, walk back up about 30 yards to the base of the climb. The route starts at a large boulder that's fractured from the main rock. The face above this has two bolts below a large overhanging flake.

Pitch 1 (40 ft): Face climbing with two bolted mantle moves. The second is the crux of the climb (5.7). Belay off natural pro at the base of the chimney.

Pitch 2 (50 ft): Climb the fun chimney (by fun, I mean relative to most chimneys) until you can exit out onto a face with several old pitons. Cross into alcove at right side of the Garden Ledge and belay of natural pro.

Pitch 3 (20 ft): Move belay to a big tree at the left side of Garden Ledge. The route exits up short layback crack (easy 5.7). Belay from tree.

Pitch 4 (80 ft): Move belay left to the end of the big ledge. Climb the fun, easy and airy buttress to its top. Sling a boulder, or belay off natural pro.

Pitch 5 (20 ft): Climb the short spire. Belay off natural pro.

Descend left with some scrambling and a short rappel.


Bring along a full rack including a good range of cams and stoppers. Both cruxes are bolted, and there are a few old pitons at the top of the second pitch.

Photos of Standard Route Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Be sure to protect your second by throwing a cam i...
BETA PHOTO: Be sure to protect your second by throwing a cam i...
Rock Climbing Photo: Traverse just before the "death crawl". ...
Traverse just before the "death crawl". ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Jake at the top of pitch one
Jake at the top of pitch one
Rock Climbing Photo: Standard Route topo
BETA PHOTO: Standard Route topo
Rock Climbing Photo: 2 raps down the front with 70m rope, go through th...
2 raps down the front with 70m rope, go through th...
Rock Climbing Photo: fun fun topping out of 4th pitch
fun fun topping out of 4th pitch
Rock Climbing Photo: 4th pitch. Airy Buttress and fun crack
4th pitch. Airy Buttress and fun crack
Rock Climbing Photo: Garden Ledge before going into 3rd pitch layback
Garden Ledge before going into 3rd pitch layback
Rock Climbing Photo: tisk tisk tisk...
tisk tisk tisk...
Rock Climbing Photo: Kelly Mathis topping out on the Standard Route.  L...
Kelly Mathis topping out on the Standard Route. L...
Rock Climbing Photo: The two mantles of pitch one.
The two mantles of pitch one.

Comments on Standard Route Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Nov 26, 2015
By James DeRoussel
From: Tucson, AZ
Jan 9, 2003

The crux move on pitch one is NOT 5.7. Yes, its only one move, but it is definitely harder than 5.7
By Dingobitme
Sep 7, 2003

Previous comments have the 2nd mantle as harder than 5.7. That is true if you are less than 5 foot 10. I am 5 foot eleven and think it is right on, but my 5 foot 3 girlfriend ( a solid 5.9 - 5.10 climber) had a tough time with it. Can't mantle a ledge you can't even reach!
By James DeRoussel
From: Tucson, AZ
May 28, 2004

Old pitons at the top of pitch 2 chimney have been removed. Too bad...they really added a bit of character to the route.
By jwhitney
Jul 12, 2004
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

the first time i tried the standard route at chimney rock was about 4 years ago. I was between climbing partners, because most were in school or had to work weekends or had left tucson for some reason or another, etc. anyway i had met this dude at the boulders at gates pass. he seemed pretty much alright at the time and spewed traditional climbing knowledge and claimed to have experience. I have pretty good experience with mixed and traditional climbing up to about 5.8 maybe a little more depending on the day. Well to make a long epic short he asked to lead and I talked him through the features and fixed protection according to the first "squeezing" : the two mantels, the up to the right chute, the squeeze chimney, the face with two pitons (not described this particular way in the guide's text) and then the garden ledge. He top belayed me there and then proceeded up the layback to the next area and then explained to me that this was a decent rappel to what he thought was the base of fiutt. He started a single rap down and near the bottom told me that it was super easy and no more than five feet of a downclimb. Well to tell the truth, this was one of the most disturbing days of climbing that I had ever encounterd because when I got to the knot at the end of my rope I was still at least 30 feet off the ground and the downclimbing was 5.11 and really thin. The only holds were 1/4 inch wide at most and it was an overhanging area of the wall. Believe me when I tell you that if you want to bail, for whatever reason, after the first pitch of the standard route at chimney rock, make sure that it you do It at the large tree on the garden ledge. It will give you plenty of extra ground rope (i was using a 60 meter at the time.
By Christian
From: Casa do Cacete
Jun 23, 2006

There's a bolted belay/rappel station with chains in the middle of the Garden Ledge now..Must be more for rapping or toproping? I guess, since it's not well situated for belaying the second up pitch 2 or the leader up pitch 3, which has a bomber tree belay anyway

By kBobby Hanson
From: Spokane, WA
Jun 23, 2006
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

I am less than pleased to hear that.
By Jerry Cagle
From: Tucson, AZ
Jul 17, 2006
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

That mantle at the second bolt is tough. I'd give it a.7d+/.8a-
By Timothy Roehr
From: Tucson,Az
Nov 7, 2006

I am a little under 5-8 and can only get a couple of finger tips on the mantle. Of course, my 6-2 partner has no problem.
By kBobby Hanson
From: Spokane, WA
Nov 8, 2006
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

By Christian
From: Casa do Cacete
Feb 19, 2007

The only gear belay now is at the top of the first pitch, everything else has bolts..
By Braxtron
From: ...
Mar 8, 2007
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

If you're looking for a 5.7-8ish multi-pitch climb, don't let this discussion scare you off. The first pitch is well protected (bolts), so you don't have to worry about sketchy moves after a run-out. If you want that, head to the Stronghold! Also, it sounds appealing to combine P2 & P3, since P3 is so short, but don't. You'll likely have some bad rope-management issues if you do. However, I did combine P4 & P5 without too much problem. Just be sure to use some 2 footers to limit rope-drag.
By Braxtron
From: ...
Mar 12, 2007
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Also, the second mantle is more like 5.8-9 for people who are closer to 5' than 6' tall.
By jbak
Mar 12, 2007
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

What's that I hear.....a siren ? Yes, it's the grade inflation police ! A factoid....this route was originally rated 5.6. And no one (that I knew of) thought it was sandbagged.
By jbak
Mar 14, 2007
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

Good point greg. Maybe someday I'll post a forum thread showing original ratings (from old summit hut guide) for many well-known S. AZ. climbs. That guide was a bit conservative but I resist seeing people add TWO number grades to the original ratings.

In fact, maybe I'll scan some pages...that would be an interesting historical document.
By Pete Hickman
From: Tacoma, WA
May 11, 2008

It would have been nice to run into a couple of old pitons. Maybe then I wouldn't have had to do a stomach crawl from the top of pitch two to the anchors. Did we get off route?
By RyanJohnson
From: Tucson, Arizona
May 12, 2008
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

I've never encountered the old pitons on pitch two and just managed the stomach crawl.

I vaguely recall being able to place a few pieces of pro above little cutaway before I inched myself across.
By Pete Hickman
From: Tacoma, WA
May 13, 2008

The last spot for pro I found was at the very top of the chimney before the crawl. Its not really all that sketchy. It looked like to me that maybe the route kept going up over the bulge instead of the crawl exit left, and since I hadn't run into any pitons yet I thought that I must be off route, but then I found the anchors at the end of the crawl.
By Jerry Cagle
From: Tucson, AZ
Sep 7, 2008
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

FYI: For those who thought they were possibly off-route - The pitons mentioned in the description were STOLEN...
By Todd Savoy
From: Flagstaff
May 20, 2009

Attempted this route today in light rain and combined P1 and P2 and was belayed from the chains on the garden ledge. This belay location offers an interesting crawl traverse for the second when reaching the ledge especially if he/she is carrying a second rope or other gear on his/her back because it can be difficult to fit in the horizontal squeeze. If the second chooses to carry a pack or something, I would suggest passing it over to the belay ledge before attempting the crawl..probably best done from the top of the flake. Unfortunately we had to bail at this point because it was too wet...definitely need to try it again.
By Julie Messier
From: Tucson, AZ
Dec 12, 2009

We did this route today and also combined the first 2 pitches... and then we didn't remember where the route was supposed to go... :-). Ended up going straight up after the first bolt above that tree on garden ledge and into a chimney-like section, followed by a discontinuous crack. Our second pitch finished with a bouldering section... Fortunately this alternative route took us to the same set of anchors as the 'standard' Standard Route takes you to. This second pitch was a lot of fun but certainly much harder than a 7. I'd guess it a 9. Anybody else tried that ?
By david krivan
From: truckee
Dec 15, 2009

Yep I was Julie's partner that day. the way we did it was appealing because it is much more direct, and the crack was very nice and took adequate pro but was dirty, indicating I was off-route. We went that way because I did not appreciate the second traverse at the top of the bolted 5.7 layback when I scoped the guidebook. Seemed like a more natural path to take. anway I had no problems climbing from the ground to the end of the first traverse in 1 pitch, and then to the top after that. Its hard to believe this direct crack is not a known variation...
By Dwook
Apr 13, 2010
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

hahaha im 6'4 and thought it was a relatively easy mantle but my partner had a hard time cause he was shorter.
By dale polen
From: arivaca, az
Nov 16, 2010

So I did this climb with a couple of friends. Smereck led the first pitch but went straight up after where your supposed to go left to garden ledge. There is a roof crack up above that goes at 5.8. Its excellent. After the roof he built an anchor in a corner. We then preceded to slab climb left and down to the garden ledge and the start of the 3rd pitch. The first pitch was really fun and not hard. I would agree with the 5.6 original rating. I am 5.10. The chimney was great fun and the roof was the best part. The 3rd pitch was a little ridiculous with the bolt there. It needs to be removed and the hole hidden. The last bit of climbing was spectacular. Lots of bolt anchors on this climb for no obvious reasons, they too need to be removed.Great climb. Very fun and a great beginner trad lead. Skip the bolt on 3rd pitch and make your own anchors.
By Johnny Ice
From: Tucson, AZ
Mar 30, 2011
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

This route can get windy!! I had to bail on the last pitch due to wind. Came home and the weatherman said mt. lemon had 66mph winds, just 8mph under hurricane force winds. Now that's what I call adventure climbing. I should've kept going! Anyways, Just did completed this for the first time last week. From the garden ledge my buddy went inside another chimney to the top. I went back this week and moved left instead to the exposed corner. I had more fun the second time. I also learned there is a reason the pitches are broken up. I was in a hurry and decided to combine the first four pitches as one. The rope drag was so bad I think I spent more time pulling the rope up than if I would've just separated the pitches. Definitely going to do it again. Also, a 70m rope will reach the garden ledge from the top if you decide to rappel that way but a 60m will definitely not.
By Alex McIntyre
From: Tucson, AZ
Jul 19, 2011
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

Myself and a friend did this route yesterday; it was fun! We combined pitches 1 and 2 to the Garden Ledge (has a 2 bolts + chains anchor in the middle, I used those) and after belaying Sean up we moved the belay to a tree on the left end of the ledge. Pitch 3's lieback has 1 bolt that really isn't necessary, and there really isn't a ton of drag if you just run the pitch all the way to the 2 bolt anchor on the far left of the big ledge system so we just did that. From there we climbed up the arete (very fun climbing, has a very rusted old bolt with SMC hangar midway up and a somewhat rotten section near the top). There is a 2 bolt anchor with coldshuts on the last ledge that we belayed from. Looking at the easy last section we untied, coiled the rope into a backpack and just bouldered/free solo'd the 15 foot section to the top... The climbing was easy and if you fell you would probably land on the big ledge so it wasn't too dangerous.

I think this climb takes you to some cool places on the rock and I highly recommend it. Just watch you don't get your rope stuck in the notch on the entrance to the chimney if you combine the first two pitches as I did. There was some sketchy unprotected downclimbing to fix it!
By HTeale
From: Madison, WI
Jan 3, 2012
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13

Beautiful route, loved the chimney and the long 2nd to last pitch. A little weird to break the pitches up so much, but it was nice to be able to communicate with my partner during the climb. The highway noise can be obnoxious at times and the wind was kind of bad.
We aren't from the area but had a really hard time finding our way down from the rap anchors. Once we got down we followed some carins but it looks like everyone and their brother has put up carins that don't lead out.... We followed the stream down and slung a boulder to rap to the highway. Probably not the way to get out, but it worked.
By Chris Horton
From: Tucson AZ
Jan 16, 2012
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

There is a BD #5 irretrievably stuck about 8 feet off the ground, making the first pitch pretty much a sport route. I would have spent more time trying to booty it but the trigger is broken and it had a good bit of blood on it. Other than that, I think it was the first time that thing had been placed.

Edit: it's gone. Someone more gulley than me was able to booty it.
By Severancepay
Apr 1, 2012

Found gear!!!! On the first pitch below the crux ledge I found a black sling with a rapring on it. Please let me know if belongs to you. Also towards the top near a set of bolts I found more slings and raprings. Please email me if you think they belong to you. Thanks.
By Steve Pulver
From: Williston, ND
May 7, 2012

The last two times I've done this route, I've had a 70m rope which works great for rapping down the front of Chimney rock. On the final summit blocks the chain anchor intended for rapping off the back can be used for rapping off the front all the way down to garden ledge. You need to have a full 70m rope, however (not a 70m where you've cut a few feet off the end). The final rap off garden ledge of course gets you right back to the start of the route; saving you the 45min. walk around the formation.
By Sheryl Miller
From: Tucson, AZ
May 9, 2012
rating: 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

I climbed the standard route with Steve for my first time and had a real fun afternoon. We got started late in the day and were afraid we would be in direct sun but it turned out perfect in and out of the rocks squeeze chimney's and off-widths. The pitches were short but kept my interest as they weaved back and forth. The long rapps down the front face of the wall was spectacular and perfectly fit to the 70m rope.
By Christian
From: Casa do Cacete
Dec 10, 2012

People seem to get lost on this climb a lot, like a couple of kids yesterday. Posted a topo in the pictures section, hopefully will help (sorry to whomever I stole the picture from).
By Micah Kurtz
From: Denver, Co
May 9, 2013

I do not think this route deserves so many stars. I found it to be contrived and short lived. If the pitches were longer perhaps it would have been better. And the death army crawl on second pitch...
By Scott Ferguson 1
From: Denver Colorado
Mar 21, 2014
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Climbed this route just the other day and had a blast! It served as my first multi-pitch leading on gear and it really gave me a great place to hone my placements. The mantle on the first pitch was a bit intimidating but not that hard. I stuck it after a couple tries (I am 5 ft 9in). The ledges are huge and comfortable to belay from. A 70 meter rope worked great for the rappel down the front of the route.
By jaspur Chafer
From: tucson,az
Aug 27, 2014
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Added new 9/16 slings to the old 1 inch sling July 2014. And left a couple biners for the rap off the top. My 70m is only 63m and made it to the ledge above the tree. A 60 might jus make it with stretch. Might. Be careful. Also it's easy to run pitches 1&2 together watch the flake at the bottom of the chimney. And use lots of runners. And 4&5. If you link 4&5 don't clip the anchors. Jus save some bigger cams to belay up top. Think I used a 2 and a .75. Plus a 13 bd nut if I member right. There's places for anything from a .5-3 though. Don't stress the death crawl on pitch 2. It's nothing. I've done it in the rain. Just save a number 2 or 3 to protect your second in the flake above it on climbers left of the crawl. Also on the 3rd "pitch" I think it's best to belay of the tree and a cam on top the layback. Coil the rope and just 3rd class to the pitch 4 anchors. I always get off rap halfway down in the weird chimney cave above the garden ledge and chill for a bit with my partner. Super Cool spot to hang. Fun route. I think 5.7 is fair. Second mantle. One Move at theTop of the chimney. And one move on the layback. The rest is 5.6 or easier. Don't clip any bolts after pitch 1. They're all unnessicary
By Austin Sobotka
From: Tucson, AZ
Feb 20, 2015

To reiterate points regarding some previous comments: I don't know if the mantle(s) on P1 are 5.7 or not. However, if they are harder (by which standard?) then apply Jerry Cagle's comment. I'm offering this simply for the sake of those who would like to climb the route but may be tentative about the mantles (due to prior comments).
Also, the "death crawl" is entirely unnecessary. In fact, I realized only once I finished the route that I never engaged in any distinctly chuckwalla-like movement. So, don't let that scare you off either.
Overall the route wasn't all that special. But, for a beginning trad leader it would probably function as a nice little trying-ground.
Nov 26, 2015

Hi Eliot,

I sent you a private message regarding the gear you found. Please contact me. Thanks

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