Trip Report
The Magic Of Cochise Stronghold, With Rudy McWonderBoy
Thursday November 18, 2010 11:16am
Check out Mr. Lizard, doing the same moves as Doug!!
Check out Mr. Lizard, doing the same moves as Doug!!
Credit: survival

Magical venue-check

Low key camping scene-check

Low crowd scene-check

Warmer weather-check

Stout partner-check

Good stone-check

Kitchen pass-check!!

I have wanted to return to the Stronghold ever since the Brave Little Toaster and I had a brief visit in January. It was mid-year when Doug McDonald and I talked and decided to head there this fall.

Doug and Bruce chomping at the bit the first morning.
Credit: survival


Doug and I have a long climbing history together, including El-Capitan, but we have only reconnected in the last 3 years. It has still yielded some really good climbing. For a trip like this, he clearly could have found a stronger partner, but I had a couple aces in the hole. I was available, Doug had never climbed at the Stronghold, and I at least knew the basics. So it was on! We were joined by Doug's friend Farland and her dog Gnomie. Farland climbed hard, cooked some great food, and took some killer photos. I'll be including some of her pix later when she sends them to me.

Gnomie standing guard for ticks, cows, ravens and of course n00bs.
Credit: survival

What a blast. There were plenty of Fish and Tarbuster tales and other yarns. We had "Check for ticks!", sheep and goat and cow sounds to keep the dog on alert,
and lots of laughs. We had Jack Black singing "Wonder Boy" in our heads, which created a whole persona for the climbs. Thus, Rudy became Wonder Boy.

Mellow camping is a must.
Credit: survival


We headed for Absinthe Of Mallet first. (Whatever that means)

Wonder Boy following pitch 1







And leading pitch 2







The guardian of the crack was giving Wonder Boy a hard time....



Pitch 6
I had to give Doug some shizz about never getting the camera out! He did much better after this route.









Farland in the solar oven.



The view out the back of camp!




We saw some dykes.



And some good colors.




The next day it was off to the The Isle Of BaaaaaaHH, where we could all have some fun.














Farlands Turn!









We even got to do a little climbing on Mars.....



I'll be back later for the Rockfellow Group, wow...
Next up, ENDGAME!

But first, a special thanks to Steelmonkey for some key beta, and to JMC for the "Oilfield" Boreals!!
That boulder is probably 250 feet down, and the size of a freekin' hou...
That boulder is probably 250 feet down, and the size of a freekin' house!
Credit: survival







  Trip Report Views: 5,192
survival
About the Author
survival is a big wall climber from A Token of My Extreme.

Comments
Did you like this Trip Report? Got something to say? Don't hold back...
Comment on this Trip Report
eKat

Trad climber
  Nov 18, 2010 - 11:21am PT
GoodOneFarmerBruce!

TFPU!

ox

eKat
Mike.

climber
  Nov 18, 2010 - 11:22am PT
Nice! Show us how it's done, going for the fun.
Skeptimistic

Mountain climber
La Mancha
  Nov 18, 2010 - 11:24am PT
Fantasmagorical! I've always wanted to go there. One day...one day....
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Author's Reply  Nov 18, 2010 - 03:05pm PT
If you've never seen this Tenacious D video, you MUST!
If you see it, you'll totally get how we were riffing on it the whole trip.
Wonderboy:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FL4HSiGvk68

It's even got climbing in it!

"Wonderboy, what is the secret of your power?"

"Won't you take me far away from the MuckyMuck land!"

"With powers comparable to Wonderboy!"

"It's levitation homes."

"The power to kill a yak from 200 yds,......with MIND BULLETS!"

"There! The crevasse, fill it with your mighty tunes!"


justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
  Nov 18, 2010 - 11:52am PT
I *(heart)* Cochise.

Definitely ranks in my top 3 favorite climbing areas. Thanks for posting!

I'd post some pics but Photobucket is not cooperating.



mooser

Trad climber
seattle
  Nov 18, 2010 - 12:03pm PT
Great TR, Survival! Thanks! Sitting here in Seattle right now, Cochise looks pretty dang good.
Jeremy

climber
  Nov 18, 2010 - 12:21pm PT
MORE BABY MORE!!!!!!!!

Whipper pics?

HELLO???

Nice...
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
  Nov 18, 2010 - 12:23pm PT
Sweet! I love that place.
sac

Trad climber
Sun Coast B.C.
  Nov 18, 2010 - 12:29pm PT
Thanks! Good stuff!

I am always amazed of how sooo BLUE the sky is in the Cochise pics.

AZUUUUUUUL!!!

Cheers.
Bowser

Social climber
Durango CO
  Nov 18, 2010 - 12:29pm PT
Thank you for the post Survival.

I have visited the strong hold a long time ago and plan to go back someday and do Whats My Line, Wasteland and a few other classics.
susan peplow

climber
Joshua Tree, CA
  Nov 18, 2010 - 01:49pm PT
What exactly is that thing on Rudy Vandumbpack's back? Is that a pack for Absinthe of Mallet? Say it isn't so, is that how the boys in Castle Valley do it?

So glad you guys had fun. Doug (aka Rudy) is a sullen bastard but a great guy, good friend and excellent climber. Nice to see you got Farlin on the rock too.

Next time you'll need a bigger campspot!

~Susan
Prod

Trad climber
  Nov 18, 2010 - 02:16pm PT
Cool TR.

We're thinking about heading there for Christmas. Any advice? Guide book etc???

Cheers,

Prod.
drljefe

climber
El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
  Nov 18, 2010 - 02:18pm PT
NICE!
susan peplow

climber
Joshua Tree, CA
  Nov 18, 2010 - 02:57pm PT
"We're thinking about heading there for Christmas." Perfect that time of year, enjoy!

"Any advice?" Beg your friends and start searching MP for info
"Guide book etc???" Pfff
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Author's Reply  Nov 18, 2010 - 03:30pm PT
Is that a pack for Absinthe of Mallet? Say it isn't so, is that how the boys in Castle Valley do it?


Hell yeah girlfriend! I know you JTree folks would rather clip your shoes to your harness, take no food or water, and have no jacket when the wind howls on top, but this AK boy likes a bit more pro. PLUS, you've got Russ humping your sh*t around, PLUS I've heard tales of freezing ones *ss off at Rockfellow!!
Thanks for posting Susan. We talked about you guys a lot. Were your ears burning?

survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Author's Reply  Nov 18, 2010 - 03:45pm PT
OK, off to Endgame. This route was recommended to me by Peter Croft, so how could we not give it a go?





Early morning light. Following Rudy and Farland up a trail is about as bad as trying to follow Jeremy up a trail!








Rockfellow Group coming into view, with End Pinnacle on the left side, all 5 pitches of it.







Cochise Dome coming into view also.








Cochise's revenge, part one.....







Farland at the base. I can't wait to get her pics in here too!







Doug leading pitch one.







Steep!







And sustained!







Survival following pitch 1. Getting....pumped....already....














By this time, my elbow hurt, my shoulder hurt, and my mangina especially hurt, so I gladly sent Rudy off on the sharp end again!
5.9 my rosey red *ss.















Survival geeking his way up pitch 2.















Doug, Pitch 3.
































Survival gladly clawing his way into the sun, pitch 3!






Note the poly, the windbreaker, and the hat, that came from the PACK!



Got errand to run, More later......



mike m

Trad climber
black hills
  Nov 18, 2010 - 04:14pm PT
Awsome thread and great pictures that seem give you a very good feel for the area. Thanks Mike
BMcC

Trad climber
Livermore
  Nov 18, 2010 - 04:35pm PT
Very nice!
rbolton

Social climber
The home for...
  Nov 18, 2010 - 04:41pm PT
Buttshot Mcnugget is still alive!?
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Author's Reply  Nov 18, 2010 - 05:37pm PT
Can you find the party on Cochise Dome?





Doug wondering when the sun is actually gonna heat things up!







I like the pinnacle in the background.







The ice cream scoop.







I didn't realize I was gonna be quite so blue that day....
I like!
Pitch 4






Finally a little warmth!
But the real wind is lurking just above.











Note the chalk bag pointing straight out as we step into the notch!







Doug pitch 5.











Nearing the top in some serious wind.
























ontheedgeandscaredtodeath

Social climber
SLO, Ca
  Nov 18, 2010 - 05:29pm PT
Cool! Nice pictures. The wind sure can howl up there. Looked like you approached the Rockfellows from the west side, how long did that take?

I think J.Scott and I did the FA of that little pinnacle you point out in your picture. I have a photo of me on top at home I think. Grainy .10c if memory serves...
telemon01

Trad climber
Montana
  Nov 18, 2010 - 05:56pm PT
great place, great pics, great TR

Cochise is the real deal

Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Nov 18, 2010 - 06:16pm PT
Stellar TR survival,

Man that sky is blue. What does that first route go at????
Thanks!
-e
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
  Nov 18, 2010 - 07:52pm PT
Super Survival- have to show you how to throw in a quick reef with that kind of wind!
Off White

climber
Tenino, WA
  Nov 18, 2010 - 07:59pm PT
I'd always assumed that "absinthe of mallet" is what came out of Scott Ayer's mouth trying to say "absence of malice" after too much absinthe...


Does anyone climb out the the East Stronghold anymore?
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Author's Reply  Nov 18, 2010 - 11:00pm PT
Ezra, the first route goes at 9+. Quick safety tip, if it says 9+ around there, you better watch out!

Yes Guido, we could've used sailing lessons....for sure.

Offwhite, yeah I think the Beanfest was on the east side last weekend, and Zappa Dome sounds pretty popular, for a sport crag.
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
  Nov 19, 2010 - 12:43am PT
Survival! Another stellar trip report. Great area that I want to go to.

I love the scenic shots --------and shudder at difficulty on most of the routes you folks did.
telemon01

Trad climber
Montana
  Nov 18, 2010 - 11:50pm PT








Jello

Social climber
No Ut
  Nov 19, 2010 - 12:07am PT
I always heard good things about Cochise. Thanks for providing the evidence, Bruce.

-Jello
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
  Nov 19, 2010 - 01:15am PT
You missed a great Beanfest fella! More than a hundred practitioners showed up! Great time.

Jello- The Stronghold is the heart and soul of southern AZ climbing and the best of the thrillers are located on the Rockfellow Domes group. You would have eaten the place up and still wanted more had you visited BITD!

Dem bolts is the Absinthe of Mallet!
Walleye

climber
The Hot Kiss on the end of a Wet Fist
  Nov 19, 2010 - 01:19am PT
and here I thought I was the only one that called him Buttshot McNugget..
BeerBreath

climber
Spokanistan
  Nov 19, 2010 - 03:07pm PT
Wow, that place looks cool! I have to get down there someday. Nice pics Bruce.
rhyang

climber
SJC
  Nov 19, 2010 - 03:27pm PT
Cool !
JMC

climber
the land of milk and honey
  Nov 19, 2010 - 03:42pm PT
Weakmo pack carrying foolz, it never gets cold or windy out there, you sure that was Cochise? You give the lichen a serious run on the dayglo factor with them shoelaces too, hehe. Great pics & narration Bruce, thanks.
BrianH

Trad climber
santa fe
  Nov 19, 2010 - 05:19pm PT
Nice TR.

The one time I went there it had rained, a classic desert frog throttler. For three days you could hear the water, but never see it. On the afternoon of the third the sound dropped an octave and a half hour later it was silent, as the water had all drained away.
Winter

climber
  Nov 19, 2010 - 05:35pm PT
Great TR. I spent the last week of October in Cochise as part of a month-long desert road trip and loved the place. We climbed and camped on both the east and west side with a scenic drive over Middlemarch Pass. Cool place.

And Halloween weekend in Tombstone was hilarious!
Zander

climber
  Nov 19, 2010 - 05:37pm PT
Noiyce!
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Author's Reply  Nov 20, 2010 - 11:17am PT
Looked like you approached the Rockfellows from the west side, how long did that take?


Ontheedge, I think about an hour and a half, give or take. And whether you get lost......

Hey JMC!! Thanks a million man, those shoes were the money!

Great pics Tele, thanks!


Starting the descent from End Pinnacle.






Raptor to the east.






Rapping into the canyoneering part!






Shadow of Rockfellow Group.







In the belly of the beast!





Last rap station.
























Wonderboy in shadow.




More to come.
Dirka

Trad climber
Hustle City
  Nov 20, 2010 - 11:46am PT
Nice Post Thanks!
Peter Haan

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, CA
  Nov 20, 2010 - 12:04pm PT
Really stunning photos! I actually have never been there. Loved the TR but there is a dog (Gnomie) on plate three--- wait till Donini finds out.
telemon01

Trad climber
Montana
  Nov 21, 2010 - 12:28am PT

Thanks for so graciously accepting my pics on your TR Survival, I was hoping that wasn't poor style on my part.

I am proud to say those shots were taken by my daughter, who was 14 at the time.

What a magical place. Like so many climbing areas, there is just something special about these natural environments.

Being from Montana, our desert time is.... well, you can fill in the blank.

Bump for a great thread.
AKTrad

Mountain climber
AK
  Nov 21, 2010 - 01:54pm PT
A great pile of photos! Makes me want to fly down from Alaska and warm up on desert rock.
Plumbbob

Mountain climber
Juneau, AK
  Nov 21, 2010 - 05:13pm PT
Thanks for the trip report. I'ts been 21 years since I climbed Days of Future Past and the memories of the decent into the "canyon" came quickly back with your photos. Much beter than rapping the route.
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Author's Reply  Nov 21, 2010 - 05:00pm PT





Sunset hike out.












Chillin' at camp.


























Next up, Peacemaker!
Grinching

Trad climber
Happy Valley, Oregon
  Nov 22, 2010 - 01:10am PT
Kuhl!

Beeyouteeful!
drljefe

climber
El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
  Nov 23, 2010 - 04:22pm PT
We're ready for the next installment...
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Author's Reply  Nov 25, 2010 - 11:45am PT
OK Jefe, here ya go!



Farland having some fun on pitch 1.
Credit: survival



Doug pitch 2
Credit: survival





pitch 2
Credit: survival





More Martian climbing!!
Credit: survival




Jefe, I don't know how I cruised this with the Toaster. I almost fell off pitch 3 this time! I guess I was so psyched and didn't have 3-4 days of pulling behind me last time....
Credit: survival



right about....... here.....
Credit: survival




Credit: survival




More later, gotta go help with the chow!!









survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Author's Reply  Nov 26, 2010 - 10:41am PT
Eat that Lepton....
Disaster Master

Social climber
Born in So-Cal, left my soul in far Nor-Cal.
  Nov 26, 2010 - 11:22am PT
Wow, it looks like a climbers' fun house! I was hoping to visit NOW for the first time. Too many appointments near home though.

How does the rock compare to other granite areas? It looks yummy.

Greaat TR pix. Thanx!
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Author's Reply  Dec 2, 2010 - 08:52am PT
Climber's fun house indeed!! There are so many formations, but some of 'em would be the full GNAR to get too....keeps the weenies out.

Pitch 5 Peacemaker.
Credit: survival



again.
Credit: survival





Pitch 6 Peacemaker.
Credit: survival





Credit: survival





Credit: survival
Patrick Oliver

Boulder climber
Fruita, Colorado
  Dec 3, 2010 - 03:08pm PT
This "trip report" or virtual guide to this beautiful area
brought back many very tender memories I have about my first
days of climbing, how we waiting (agonized) the week at school
away, and then the weekend came, and off we went with some
senior person who knew what he was doing, and every step, every
hold, every slant of sky or rock was a new adventure. There was
a sense of happiness and discovery. We were doing something almost
no one else was. We were up there alone... wow. These photos...
make me think this would be a wonderful place for some young new
climber to discover rock and adventure and friends... Very beautiful
when it takes you deep into your own memories. I feel so far gone
now from being able to have such feelings again, although now and
then I amble up through forest into the Amphitheater, above Boulder,
and just scramble around where I did as a kid, or walk from route to
route, each with a memory attached to it.... Thanks, Bruce.

Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
  Dec 4, 2010 - 08:15pm PT
Just back from my first ski tour of the season; nice to return to some warm 'n fuzzy desert scenes for juxtaposition's sake.
Neat stuff, RudyMcStinkStain, intriguing shapes 'n colors and all that rockclimby-goodness.

You could have worn your climberweenie-backpacks to the beanphest ... a real missed opportunity -fer shure.
(I am wearing mine right now; Camelback=AdultSippyCup™™™)
Alpinista55

Mountain climber
Portland, OR
  Dec 6, 2010 - 03:27pm PT
Hey Survival -

Great in-depth TR, compadre! I'd love to get down there someday, for the trippy colors if nothing else. Did you feel the presence of the Chiricahua warriors of old as you wandered around their stronghold? There would have been considerable objective hazard to climbing there in, say 1860. Lots of history there, for sure.

JK

survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Author's Reply  Jan 18, 2011 - 01:12am PT
Did you feel the presence of the Chiricahua warriors of old as you wandered around their stronghold? There would have been considerable objective hazard to climbing there in, say 1860. Lots of history there, for sure.

Jay, I make a point of trying to find and experience the feel of the history of a place. And of course that place reeks of history!!

When you are hiking around in the rough stuff there it's no surprise at all that they couldn't root ol' Cochise out of there. He never was defeated in there. The Army finally signed a treaty with him.
Bugg

climber
  Feb 10, 2011 - 02:40pm PT
I don't climb, But, That's my Brother!! Happy Birthday!! Love ya, Doug!!!
Love,
Natalie
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Author's Reply  Feb 10, 2011 - 04:01pm PT
Bugg, Natalie? Happy Burfday??


Could Wonderboy really have a sister named Natalie that goes by B-U-Double Guh??

*{Twilight Zone music}*
Bugg

climber
  Feb 10, 2011 - 05:46pm PT
Yes, he does. Don't have his number. Wish him a very happy burfday for me and tell him to call his sister! Thanks.
scuffy b

climber
heading slowly NNW
  Feb 11, 2011 - 09:06pm PT
Hey, I never saw this before.
Good thing it's Mr.McNugget's Birthday (Happy Birthday, by the way).
Thanks for putting up this fab report, Bruce.
Really awesome.
Mimi

climber
  Feb 11, 2011 - 10:04pm PT
Yes, great TR! Great to see Doug still crankin' and having fun, especially in such a great place. Miss you, Rudy!
Mike.

climber
  Feb 11, 2011 - 10:08pm PT
Bountiful thread...nice exposé, survi. TFPU (gosh, I had to try that once).
philo

Trad climber
Is that the light at the end of the tunnel or a tr
  Feb 11, 2011 - 10:38pm PT
Mcnugget burfdaybump.
Poignant sentiment Pat.
This was super, Super SUPER!
I love the Stronghold and want to return ASAP.
History is alive and well there.
Jay, I make a point of trying to find and experience the feel of the history of a place. And of course that place reeks of history!!

The reek of history is better than the waft of porta-johns.
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
  Feb 11, 2011 - 10:54pm PT
What a cool looking place, and a great TR.

A question for the cognoscenti: is it possible to have a good trip there in mid-March? I gather there are peregrine falcon closings. Are these extensive enough to really limit the possibilities? Are all the classics on closed formations?
guyman

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
  Feb 11, 2011 - 11:18pm PT
Outstanding TR. Thank you for sharing with us. The drive from LA is huge, 3 visits in a year for me, am sorry I never went BITD.



Wade Icey

Trad climber
www.alohashirtrescue.com
  Feb 11, 2011 - 11:56pm PT
nice
Bugg

climber
  Feb 15, 2011 - 11:01am PT
Great pictures! Way to go Farland. What a photographer! Gnomie is my favorite! More pictures of Gnomie please!
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Author's Reply  Feb 16, 2011 - 12:54pm PT
is it possible to have a good trip there in mid-March?

Of course! Although there are those better qualified to fill you in on the details than myself. I have only been there in Nov and Jan.


Bugg, the OTHER thread is the Farland photos! This one is all me. Thanks for noticing though....

Your brother is the best.
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Author's Reply  Jul 18, 2011 - 06:26pm PT
Feckin' Doug BUMP!!!
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Author's Reply  Nov 2, 2011 - 04:25pm PT
In the spirit of mike m.


TR's FOREVER!!!!!
Gal

Trad climber
going big air to fakie
  Nov 2, 2011 - 04:47pm PT
Great TR-love all the pics-just got back from there, it's amazing!
westhegimp

Social climber
granada hills
  Nov 2, 2011 - 05:21pm PT
Nice TR. Awesome pics!

Thanks

Wes
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Author's Reply  Nov 2, 2011 - 05:29pm PT
Bumpage with some Farland pix!!
Credit: survival




Credit: survival





Credit: survival





Credit: survival







Credit: survival






Credit: survival
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Author's Reply  Nov 2, 2011 - 07:54pm PT
One of my favorite trips for many years.

Credit: survival





Credit: survival






Credit: survival
chez

Social climber
chicago ill
  Nov 2, 2011 - 08:49pm PT
Rudy McMethane rules!
Blissab

Trad climber
Westhampton, MA
  Nov 2, 2011 - 09:36pm PT
Visited Cochise two Springs ago. Loved every minute of it. Great climbing and great camping.

AB
Jeremy

climber
  Nov 2, 2011 - 10:12pm PT
FANNY PACK WEARING HOMO BUMP!!!!
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Author's Reply  Nov 3, 2011 - 10:56am PT
FANNY PACK WEARING HOMO BUMP!!!!


Shut yer man pleaser J!!!

(Thanks Hankster)

Jeremy, meet me in Cochise next year? Next fall?
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Author's Reply  Jun 5, 2013 - 11:48am PT
BBST
Did you like this Trip Report? Got something to say? Don't hold back...
Comment on this Trip Report
Go