This morning we stopped for a quick run up one of Central Arizona’s classic climbs, The Razor’s Edge (II, 5.6R) on The Hand.  Tucked into the hillside above Lost Dutchman State Park on the edge of the Superstition Mountains (just east of Phoenix), The Hand is only about an hour from the parking lot.  We were intrigued by other spires and buttresses that dotted the hillside as we got closer, but we stuck to our plans for The Hand.

The Hand on the approach. The Razor’s Edge climbs the right skyline.

The route is climbed in two (or three) pitches, each of which have eye opening exposure and committing climbing.  Be warned that the protection is mostly inadequate (old bolts have not been replaced due to a bolting ban) and there was an exceptionally bad piton low on the route which made me laugh as I clipped it while looking at a 50′ or longer potential fall. Don’t blow it!

At the belay on Chicken Ledge. So narrow one has to straddle the crest!

Nearing the summit of The Razor’s Edge

We took in the view for a few minutes from the summit before preparing to descend.  One double rope rappel took us back to our packs at the base and a sigh of relief.  What a climb!