Hell is for Heroes, 5.9R***, 2 Pitches

Hell is for Heroes, 5.9R***, 2 Pitches

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 32.36890°N / 110.71286°W
Additional Information Route Type: Trad Climbing
Seasons Season: Spring, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Time Required: Half a day
Additional Information Rock Difficulty: 5.9 (YDS)
Additional Information Number of Pitches: 2
Sign the Climber's Log


Dow leading the 2nd Pitch
Dow leading the 2nd Pitch

Cripple Creek, 5.10-, is one of just a few classic multi pitch trad climbs available on Mount Lemmon.  It offers three decent pitches led completely on gear up the gut of a prominent feature aptly named the Pharaoh.  If you find yourself climbing Cripple Creek, it would be foolish not to climb Hell is for Heroes located just a few meters to the west on Pharaoh.  The "R" rating (from the local guide book) for Hell is on the upper, less sustained, portion of the route.  MP.com gives it a PG13 rating.

The first pitch (1st pitch of the Standard Route, 5.7) climbs out of the brush laden base up the left side of a significant roof, a much larger roof to the left of the roof you bypass on Cripple.  Climb the relatively easy arete and traverse right along easy ground to a gully and set up a gear belay.  Hell is for Heroes is a long pitch with an exposed start out of a gully.  It is full on for the grade, traversing out right and making a physical mantel up and into the crack above.  When the crack peters out, it can be a bit unnerving as the ground is still vertical and you have little vision of what is above.  But after a few more meters of climbing the angle eases off and then you traverse out left and up slab through a singular bolt on the route.  The use of extension on your pro is critical to avoid rope drag on this long pitch.

The Pharaoh and its neighboring wall, Ripple, make for a full day destination.  Ripple Wall features tall sport routes of which Fear of Frying, 5.10**, is an exceptional choice at the grade. You can access these side by side walls from below or above.  They sit due east of Windy Point (a popular pull out for tourists driving up and down the mountain).  The recommended approach is to drive past Windy Point and pull off on the right past mile marker 15.  Descend over the guard rail on the west end of this pull out and follow an indistinct trail along a ridge line down to the col between Ripple Wall on your right and Pharaoh straight ahead. Both face due south.  Descend to the east to reach the base of Pharaoh.  Cripple Creek starts to the left of a relatively small roof.  The "Standard Route" runs up the left side of a much larger roof to the left, then traverses back right to access Hell is for Heroes.

Route Description

1st Pitch- 80’-5.7/ Climb up the arete to the left of the massive roof.  Traverse right along a 5th class ledge to the base of a gully and do a gear belay there.

2nd Pitch- 180’-5.9R/ Traverse in from the left on a horizontal and make a physical mantel up and into the vertical crack above.   Sustained climbing at the grade up the finger and hand crack until it terminates.  Then jug climbing above for several meters of more vertical before the angle eases off.  Extend and traverse quite a distance left spying an old bolt (2020) leading you up a bowl.  Extend it and continue trending up and left via 5.7 slab to the top.  You can use the fixed rap off the back end as your belay.


Short rap off the backside. The east side of the Pharaoh is a much easier descent/ascent than the west side offers (tons of brush).

Essential Gear

60m rope. Single to C4 #2 with a selection of wires and/or off set cams.  Plenty of alpine type draws for extension on the traverses.  Haul shoes to the top for the walk back down if doing other routes.  You could also leave your packs at the col between the Pharaoh and Ripple Wall.  Full sun, south facing wall.



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