Arizona Climbing Appreciation thread

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Messages 921 - 940 of total 1122 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
ontheedgeandscaredtodeath

Social climber
SLO, Ca
Jan 22, 2013 - 03:36pm PT
D.L. and finally tried to give the Mushroom ago. We hiked in (later realizing we missed a major drainage, thereby inflicting on ourselves a horrific approach even by backcountry AZ standards) and started climbing.

We were doing fine until we got to the 5.8 A2 "scary" section. It was also getting late and so we retreated.

We came back later, got the approach right and made it to the top! We found the summit register--only Mish and Middendorf's names were in it--saying that lightening was blasting all around them- Yikes! We had no lightening but finished rapping the dark.

Doug on the ledge before the last aid pitches

Credit: ontheedgeandscaredtodeath

Me at the roof leading to the last pitch and a half or so..

Credit: ontheedgeandscaredtodeath

Doug cleaning the last or second to last pitch..

Credit: ontheedgeandscaredtodeath

Summit....

Credit: ontheedgeandscaredtodeath


Blakey

Trad climber
Sierra Vista
Jan 22, 2013 - 05:17pm PT
This pinnacle was up a wash on the West Side of the Stronghold. We fou...
This pinnacle was up a wash on the West Side of the Stronghold. We found a mungy line on the right hand side of the face. Climbed before we found one bolt. I recall it being about 10c. Anyone know what it is?
Credit: Blakey
Blakey

Trad climber
Sierra Vista
Jan 22, 2013 - 05:19pm PT
Looking up the first pitch.
Looking up the first pitch.
Credit: Blakey
Blakey

Trad climber
Sierra Vista
Jan 22, 2013 - 05:25pm PT


The Wasteland

Looking up towards The Wasteland.
Looking up towards The Wasteland.
Credit: Blakey

Looking down the dinner plates......
Looking down the dinner plates......
Credit: Blakey

Courtney on what i think is the penultimate pitch
Courtney on what i think is the penultimate pitch
Credit: Blakey

Steve
Blakey

Trad climber
Sierra Vista
Jan 22, 2013 - 05:28pm PT


Whale Dome and Moby Dick

Looking across to Whale Dome from Warpaint. Parties are on Moby Dick.
Looking across to Whale Dome from Warpaint. Parties are on Moby Dick.
Credit: Blakey

Steve
drljefe

climber
El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Jan 22, 2013 - 07:38pm PT
Nice contributions there ontheedge!

Summit of the Fortress.
Credit: drljefe
MisterE

Social climber
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 22, 2013 - 08:33pm PT
The Dry, west of Cochise:

Welcome to Arizona!
Welcome to Arizona!
Credit: MisterE

The Dry
The Dry
Credit: MisterE

Cave at The Dry
Cave at The Dry
Credit: MisterE

The Doctor leading at The Dry
The Doctor leading at The Dry
Credit: MisterE
Blakey

Trad climber
Sierra Vista
Jan 23, 2013 - 08:45am PT
I had a few trips to 'The Dry' it was a tad loose I recall?

Back in 2002 there was a prominant lump above the road between Sierra Vista and Patagonia that I explored - found a hanging fixed line and some bolts and a very large and active bees nest which discouraged any close attention.

Does anyone know if that was that 'developed'and recorded?

Steve
drljefe

climber
El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Jan 23, 2013 - 08:48am PT
Blakey, it is known as The Mustang.
ontheedgeandscaredtodeath

Social climber
SLO, Ca
Jan 23, 2013 - 12:36pm PT
The Mustang is/was being developed by, among others, Jim Scott. I met Jim after returning from Pakistan; he had just relocated with his wife to Tucson. He was getting established in Tucson work wise and lots of time to climb. I was a seasonal forest service worker and similarly had time on my hands. We met through the bulletin board at summit hut. Jim is super funny, climbs hard and bold and is very motivated.

Not near a scanner but here is Jim on Forest Lawn:

Credit: ontheedgeandscaredtodeath

Neither of us had climbed much around Tucson so it was all new. Jim rope gunned me up all kinds of classics- Cripple Creek, Mean Mistreater, Lizard Marmalade, Valhalla, etc. I found the climbing on Lemmon tricky at first, and the pro is much more fussy than, say, Paradise Forks. After a couple of months of climbing Jim suggested Leviathan Dome.

Here is a picture and description lifted from Mountain Project:

&#40;Picture taken from route description page of Mountain Proj&#41;
(Picture taken from route description page of Mountain Proj)
Credit: ontheedgeandscaredtodeath

Description:

""This climb is a serious undertaking with some big runnouts in places. Most notably the 4th pitch with 60 feet of unprotected 5.7, the fifth pitch which has a 110 foot traverse with widely spaced pro so the second can enjoy it too, and the 8th pitch where falling could lead to a big swing into a corner.""

I was daunted but agreed to give it a go. The approach was brutal- steep, tons of cactus, full on AZ back country conditions. I was horrified at the light rack Jim arranged (old school!!) and secretly put some extras on my harness. The first pitch was mine, a .10c slab. I'd never really been on a true slab and took a long slider onto an old Leeper- yikes!! Jim took over and sent the pitch.

We swung leads, Jim led the mental crux pitch-- a steep sort of boulder problemish crux--mid 5.10 or so-- with serious consequences in the event of a fall. I reckon the chances of a timely technical rescue in back country AZ at that time (and probably still) were about zero. Jim sussed it out and sent.

We topped out had a pretty epic hike back to the car- full night thrash through the desert, getting cliffed out, etc. You all know the deal. Then off to Z's pizza for food and beer!

Blakey

Trad climber
Sierra Vista
Jan 25, 2013 - 03:57pm PT


A selection from Warpaint, a route that lives up to it's reputation for quality.....

Pitch One
Pitch One
Credit: Blakey

The 'crack in the corner' on pitch two.
The 'crack in the corner' on pitch two.
Credit: Blakey

The belay below pitch three
The belay below pitch three
Credit: Blakey

The slab and crack on pitch three.
The slab and crack on pitch three.
Credit: Blakey

Looking down to the belay at the top of pitch three.
Looking down to the belay at the top of pitch three.
Credit: Blakey

Coming up pitch four.
Coming up pitch four.
Credit: Blakey

The alternative, arete finish.
The alternative, arete finish.
Credit: Blakey

deuce4

climber
Hobart, Australia
Jan 25, 2013 - 04:09pm PT
Nice job on the Mushroom!

I started up the second-to-last pitch in a light rain, and very quickly dark clouds moved in and the lightning began. Huge booms and blinding flashes crept closer and closer--my rack was buzzing and I could swear the pitons were vibrating like something out of a science fiction movie. I didn't think I could retreat back to the belay very easily, as the pitch had started by traversing over a void to the final headwall and I had no trail rope, so I removed the rack from my shoulders, clipped it into the bottom of my aider, and hung it as far as possible below me, two aider lengths down.

I could swear the rack was crackling and popping sparks. I crouched as low as I could, hanging on a rivet on the steep wall, getting drenched by the rain and buffeted by the wind, and waited for the lightning to pass. What seemed for hours--with lightning hitting the rim several times--finally it mellowed, and we continued. There was no where to go but up at that point.

Blakey

Trad climber
Sierra Vista
Jan 25, 2013 - 04:41pm PT
While I was living in Sierra Vista a friend came out to visit and do some climbing, mostly in the Western Stronghold.

Pretty much straight off the plane we went up to the Rockfellows - a bird ban was about to come into force and we wanted to do at least one route on the formation. We opted for 'Days'. It was very cold, the first pitch went free avoiding some weaping ice. Cold!

Loz on a very cold pitch two of Days of Future Past. The sun was tanta...
Loz on a very cold pitch two of Days of Future Past. The sun was tantalizingly close, warming the rock to our left. These early pitches were Baltic!
Credit: Blakey

At last in the sun I set off on pitch three...
At last in the sun I set off on pitch three...
Credit: Blakey

Loz on the runout final pitch.
Loz on the runout final pitch.
Credit: Blakey

Loz enjoying the architecture on the summit. Snow and sun. I'd told hi...
Loz enjoying the architecture on the summit. Snow and sun. I'd told him to expect heat, and that wasn't what he was getting!
Credit: Blakey

An atmospheric descent.
An atmospheric descent.
Credit: Blakey

We did a couple of routes on the Sheepshead, at the top of Peacemaker there's a number of options. We took a steep slab to the right on the normal finish. This was Loz's first experience of this type of slab - once he realised he couldn't slip off he giggled his way up!

Loz high on the Sheepshead.
Loz high on the Sheepshead.
Credit: Blakey

Dem Bones was one to do...

Loz on the crux, pitch one.
Loz on the crux, pitch one.
Credit: Blakey

Looking down pitch three. The photo of this in the Kerry guide is reve...
Looking down pitch three. The photo of this in the Kerry guide is reversed - always a good way to confuse a visitor.
Credit: Blakey

Looking down the long, runout 5.6 slab.
Looking down the long, runout 5.6 slab.
Credit: Blakey

The bones....
The bones....
Credit: Blakey

A few things on the Isle of You

Credit: Blakey

Credit: Blakey

Jill Lawrence was there instructing an Outward Bound group. Here she's...
Jill Lawrence was there instructing an Outward Bound group. Here she's leading one of the 5.11s.
Credit: Blakey

We did a couple of routes on Stronghold Dome, Beeline and Big Time.

Beeline
Beeline
Credit: Blakey


The trickiest thing we did though was Serenity Slab, this seemed much harder than the other slabs I did in my time there. Hard and exciting but great fun!

Credit: Blakey


ontheedgeandscaredtodeath

Social climber
SLO, Ca
Jan 25, 2013 - 05:33pm PT
Holy crap deuce4! I didn't realize you had to hang on the top pitches during all of that! FYI, Jim Scott and I went back and tried to do a free variation. We freed the first aid pitch and at the bottom of the final pitches traversed left and tried to get into a corner that goes to the top- no go. Later DDC (a Tucson local) and I did a new route on the other side where I had my own experience of going out over the same abyss to the point of no return-- I'll post pictures and description some time when I have time to scan.

Blakey- Warpaint and Days of Future Past are great routes. Did you do Cotamundi Corner on the way down from Warpaint? Another good one.



Blakey

Trad climber
Sierra Vista
Jan 25, 2013 - 07:04pm PT
^^

No and sadly never got backup there to do it. So much rock, so many routes, never enough time.....

I remember it all with great fondness - a fantastic place to climb - rarely saw anyone else!

Steve
ontheedgeandscaredtodeath

Social climber
SLO, Ca
Jan 25, 2013 - 11:45pm PT
Are you back in the UK now? So awesome you got to climb in the stronghold as much as you did. Totally agree about the crowds-- it was almost surprising to see another party in the area and it always has a sort of desert quiet about it. Special place for sure.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jan 26, 2013 - 01:06am PT
Days of Future Past is a Stronghold classic!

I will post a long version of this story with images on the Abracadaver FA thread when I have time.

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=329103&msg=1812287#msg1812287

When Dave Baker and I arrived at the base and began dumping out our packs we had a #4 Hexentric and the next smallest piece a #8 and a passle of Bongs!

The next surprise was only three 1/4" Rawl split shafts for a clearly substantially blank tower! And for dessert, one rope!

Dave owned and operated the Summit Hut and had NO excuse.

The End Pinnacle had been climbed via Cap'm Pissgums only once but Dave reasoned that we could leave some gear and get down the descent with one rope.

Dave drilled the bolt to protect the challenging opening traverse with me below making sure his heel toe jams didn't budge.

I lead the traverse with the bolt in and was happy to find lots of good large placements to suit our rack. Dave lead the second pitch and belayed off bongs about thirty feet short of the obvious end of the crack system.

With two bolts left I headed up the third pitch and placed a bolt right at the current belay point and headed left. Three bolts protect the face above as the route is now. I stopped in the second bolt is now and placed my last.

Once I got to the belay ledge I had to wind well around to the left until I was able to find an ear that would hold a couple of bongs. With no small hardware it could easily been a belay from footholds!

We took a good look at the final headwall and escaped right into the Son of Gums chimney.

The next time we came back with Rich Thompson who also worked at the Summit Hut. We reclimbed the first three pitches and added bolts to make a station at the cracks end of pitch 2. I added two more bolts to the now shorter third pitch and placed a two bolt station at our highpoint.

So Rich comes up and then Dave and we take stock of the situation. We need two to three bolts to go directly up as the route goes now. Dave has been tasked with the bolts and starts fishing around in his pockets for them.

No sooner does Dave suggest the escape hatch than Rich with a wry smile pulls a single 1/4" spiral drill bit and Leeper-hangered bolt out of his pocket and carefully but firmly places them into Dave's still-gesturing hand with a solemn "Your lead Dave."

Peer pressure at its finest sent Dave over into the chimney and out onto the gravelly stone above until he finally placed the precious bolt, now the third and last one!

Days of Future Past
Blakey

Trad climber
Sierra Vista
Jan 26, 2013 - 11:42am PT
^^^

Steve,

On the first rap from the summit you follow the line of a shallow sort of off width runnel, not very deep, which had (I think) a solitary old bolt near the top. It looked neither protectable, or deep enough to wedge into. I assumed it was part of Capt Pissgums?

It looked really nasty and insecure......and way harder than 5.10

Was it Pissgums or something else?


Edit:
So looking at my Kerry guide what we rapped down was way to the left of Pissgums....Any ideas what it was?

Steve
justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
Jan 26, 2013 - 11:50am PT
Missing Cochise Stronghold badly.

Thanks for the great pics.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jan 26, 2013 - 01:29pm PT
Blakey- The original rap route goes down Son of Gums which is a variation of Cap'm Pissgums which heads left after the crux opening pitch.

An unrepeated tower tour called the Tour du Jour takes in all the summits in the main Rockfellow group and accesses the End Pinnacle with a rappel and clever giant hexentric throw to gain the final summit. Son of Gums is the finishing line once you can get to it.
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