Miles 2.2
Elevation gain 700
Highest elevation 5200
YDS rating 5.9
Pitches 3


  • Singles #0.3-5
    • Or can skip #5 if confident, or doubles of probably #4 if unconfident… Gear is only needed on P1 except for one #3 at the top of P2 as a directional for your follower
  • No nuts
  • Single 70m rope (or 60m but then have to do one extra rappel)
  • 1 webbing for rappel anchor off of Juniper tree
  • Radios not needed, communication was pretty good


1.1 miles, 690 ft gain, 45-60 mins, quite a bit of off-trail travel and route-finding that makes it slower than expected, but you can wear chacos/tevas if desired. Follow the main trail with two left turns, and in about 12 minutes where there’s a fence along the left side of the trail, look for a climbers trail that turns right and uphill. Follow that toward the base of the cliffs and typically keep hugging the cliffs till you find a 3rd class “waterfall steps” gully (about 15 feet long), take that up, then keep hugging cliffs and traversing around. Finally, when nearing the base of the climb, you can ditch backpacks/shoes before rounding the corner (you can rappel back to here from a Juniper tree and you won’t want to take backpacks through the tunnel squeeze). Then walk around to the back side of the cliff, follow up along the side of the cliff till you finally spot the tunnel on the right. Traverse on slabby ledges to the tunnel (the upper slab ledge is better than the lower one but still has one spooky airy step). Squeeze through the tunnel and you’re at the base!


P1 – 5.8, 80′

Emerging from the vortex tunnel, you are reincarnated as a rock climber. Layback or jam a scriptural chunk of sandstone to a two-bolt belay in the scoops. Takes gear from #0.3-5.

P2 – 5.9, 90′, ~6 bolts

Follow bolts trending into a shallow dihedral before mounting a small platform on the broad arete. Step out over the void and scale the sculpted slab, pulling the final crimp ladder to a two-bolt belay on a deluxe vista ledge. Don’t forget to place the directional 3″ cam for your follower at the back of the ledge before walking over to the anchor. This pitch is spooky and airy to lead on delicate holds, but the climbing is no tougher than 5.9.

P3 – 5.9, 40′, 4 bolts

Head up a steepening right-leaning ramp and launch over the height-dependent crux bulge. Continue up low-angle rollover slabs to a big flat ledge with a two-bolt chain anchor. After belaying your party up, untie and scramble 20 feet to Nirvana.

The technical climbing tops out on a huge slickrock dancefloor with superb views of Boynton Canyon and the distant Verde Valley.


Three rappels with single 70m rope or four rappels with single 60m rope.

Rappel 1: Rappel P3 and P2 as one with a 70m (70 just exactly makes it, 60 won’t reach and have to rappel each pitch

Rappel 2: Rappel P1 back to ledge with the tunnel

Rappel 3: To avoid climbing back through the tunnel, rappel off the juniper tree at the end of the ledge (aim your rappel back toward the trailhead).


Nirvana Jan 2022

Time log 1:16 PM – Hiking 2:01 PM – Ditching backpacks (46 min hike) 2:45 PM – Climbing 5:04 PM – Hiking back down 5:52 PM – Back at car (48 min hike) Gear brought Singles #0.3-4 A #5 or double #4 could have been useful for P1, but you only use cams for P1…