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beginner cliff--whaddyall think?
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By Jon Ruland
From Tucson, AZ
Jan 3, 2010
sending Hard Day at the Orifice

it's awesome that so many people offered to help develop easy/moderate climbing areas. instead of contacting you all individually, i thought i'd just start a new thread here.

so this is the nice little cliff eric was talking about in this thread :



it's the one right across the road from green slabs. i'd bet almost every single one of you has seen it but not given it a second thought.

so my first question to you all is, do you think it's worth it? my second question is of course, who is willing to help me?

it looks like we could squeeze in 4 or 5 routes in the 5.3-5.6 range, 35-45 feet in height--there's even kind of a crack system for a really, REALLY easy gear lead. setting up topropes without leading anything is doable, but it might be worth it to add a few lead bolts to a single route for convenience so a stronger climber could set up the top ropes in the span of a few minutes.

the cliff is south facing so it will be climbable on even the coldest days. the approach will take maybe 5 minutes, and despite having to cross the road i think the approach could be very "kid-friendly". here is the base of the cliff in relation to the road:



the base of the cliff will need a lot of dead brush to be cleared away. someone with children will have to tell me if it's kid-friendly, or what we need to do to make it kid-friendly. the only obstacle here i think would be the vegetation--much of which is dead anyway.

i would estimate with 2 people the total effort required would be 2-4 days. with more people, of course, it would take less time.

so, what do you all think?


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By Jim Gloeckler
From Denver, Colo.
Jan 3, 2010

I do not live in the area, but I think that you could do better. 35 to 45 feet of 5.3 to 5.6 is free solo stuff for good climbers. And any bolts would IMO be a waste of time and hardware. Keep looking and you will find better.


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By Jimbo
Jan 4, 2010

Go for it John. Once your done and people know about it, many will climb there.

I think if you do some stuff on the other formations on the same hillside you could get more than 5 routes.

Comfy and safe belay stances are a big concern if your thinking small kids will go there. So give that some real thought before you drill.


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By Brigette
From Seattle, WA
Jan 4, 2010
At the anchors.

Sign me up to help on Saturdays.


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By Bawls E. Climber
Jan 4, 2010

I think it's a great Idea. There are so few areas that are "kid" friendly. A couple of years ago I worked on developing and area for my kids to climb, it's off to one side of a popular climbing spot that no one used due to it being low angel. Throughout the project which took 6 weeks all I got was ridicule. Why are you wasting your time and money on an area that no one else wants to climb, was the most frequent question. I ended up with 7 routes ranging from 5.2-to 5.6 with a height between 45 to 65 feet, all could be set up for top rope.

When finished I started taking my boys and some of their friends (along with their non climbing parents)to use the new area. Within a few weeks more people started showing up to use the area. Some of them were from the same group that thought I was wasting my time and money developing this area.

So I say do it! People will use the area once word gets.


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By flynn
Jan 4, 2010

As somebody who teaches climbing as part of a public high school class, I recommend you go ahead and do this. My crack climber side says don't bolt the cracks, but by all means set up this little cliff. It looks like quality climbing at easy grades, very difficult to find.

Beginners can learn here without being intimidated by the
'scene' and the people at more popular, more crowded areas.

The fact that these climbs are short makes them easy to set up with one rope, a real consideration if you have way more students than gear.

Do take care of the approach: it'll get trashed faster than anything else if it's used by people unaccustomed to careful, thoughtful (non-skid, non-shortcutting) hiking.

Have fun!


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By Jon Ruland
From Tucson, AZ
Jan 4, 2010
sending Hard Day at the Orifice

Jim Gloeckler wrote:
I do not live in the area, but I think that you could do better. 35 to 45 feet of 5.3 to 5.6 is free solo stuff for good climbers. And any bolts would IMO be a waste of time and hardware. Keep looking and you will find better.


haha awesome jim, you ever come down to tucson look me up and bring some of that good weed! =)

thanks for the support all. brigette--email sent.


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By RobR
Jan 4, 2010

Looks like a good spot to develop for TR. Maybe anchors that can be reached by walking around. Setting up sport routes seems a bad idea though, if gear is available. Also, because it is short and low angle most falls would end in decking on the ground or a ledge, even with lots of bolts. Best to have beginners TR this type of terrain until they are confident enough to not fall.

Rob


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By Joe Kreidel
From Tucson, AZ
Jan 5, 2010

Looks like a good beginner cliff, Jon. I don't know how to install hardware, but once you guys start doing that I'll be glad to go up there and help with other chores like cleaning loose rock and clearing a nice belay spot.


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By jbak
Jan 6, 2010
A steep climb too.

Existing routes at Bear Slabs
Existing routes at Bear Slabs


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By Jon Ruland
From Tucson, AZ
Jan 6, 2010
sending Hard Day at the Orifice

heya john, this isn't bear slabs we're talking about. this is a tiny cliff just off the road. i checked it out on sunday and there is definitely no fixed hardware there. we'll be installing some though.

but if you were trying to give us some beta on an existing beginner cliff, then thanks! =)

are you going to be at the dry again on saturday? we've got a crew heading up there.


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By jbak
Jan 6, 2010
A steep climb too.

I wasn't sure if the cliff in question was Bear Slabs or not. I posted the page from the old Hut guide as a joke. As if I would be pissed if you messed with these old "classics". Actually I don't know anyone who has ever climbed at Bear Slabs. It looks and sounds like a pile.

But if there is room for a 2-pitch route there ("Bygone Days"), maybe you should check it out. Beginners might think that was pretty cool.


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By Jon Ruland
From Tucson, AZ
Jan 6, 2010
sending Hard Day at the Orifice

jbaker wrote:
I wasn't sure if the cliff in question was Bear Slabs or not. I posted the page from the old Hut guide as a joke. As if I would be pissed if you messed with these old "classics". Actually I don't know anyone who has ever climbed at Bear Slabs. It looks and sounds like a pile. But if there is room for a 2-pitch route there ("Bygone Days"), maybe you should check it out. Beginners might think that was pretty cool.


i was thinking about looking into it once this first tiny cliff is finished. i think bear slabs would be a small and very appropriate step up from the new cliff, and only 10 minutes' walk away.


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By Adam Block
From Tucson, AZ
Jan 7, 2010

Jon, I wish I would have gone out with you Sunday, if you wanna get up there this Sunday and work on clearing the bottom some I'm totally game. We can figure out some routes we think would be good lines and get some idea what we're going to need. I'm willing to kick $100 into the project, my money is super limited but I think I can get us all the bolts we need for free (I'll have to double check) so that will be of some help.

I'm free Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday so if anybody wants to head up there any of those days let me know.

John, was there room up top to build anchors so we can scope things out safely, clean some rock and so on?

Let me know what you need and count me in!

PS Sorry we didn't get a chance to meet up, I ended up taking out two climbers that had never been on the rock before. We'd talked last month and they were so excited to climb they wanted to get out the first day they woke up in Tucson.


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By Jim Gloeckler
From Denver, Colo.
Jan 7, 2010

Jon Ruland wrote:
haha awesome jim, you ever come down to tucson look me up and bring some of that good weed! =)

Real funny guy! Looking for opinions and then when you don't get the answer that you wanted, you feel the need to be cute? Well develope the choss pile but don't think any good climber will give it many good write-ups. Seems to me that you could do better is all I was saying. And as for the weed comment; you can probably find that just as easily as I since you live in tuscon. After all, you are only about 1 hr. from the border. =)


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By Tradster
From Phoenix, AZ
Jan 7, 2010

Jim Gloeckler wrote:
Jon Ruland wrote: haha awesome jim, you ever come down to tucson look me up and bring some of that good weed! =) Real funny guy! Looking for opinions and then when you don't get the answer that you wanted, you feel the need to be cute? Well develope the choss pile but don't think any good climber will give it many good write-ups. Seems to me that you could do better is all I was saying. And as for the weed comment; you can probably find that just as easily as I since you live in tuscon. After all, you are only about 1 hr. from the border. =)


You should read the thread a bit more carefully. It is about developing a cliff so kids can get some climbing experience in a nice controlled environment. I think it is a good idea. Then there is much less conflict between parents and kids and the rest of the climbing community. Mt Lemmon could use something like this. With your attitude, do us a favor and stay up in Colorado.


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By Brigette
From Seattle, WA
Jan 7, 2010
At the anchors.

Jon Ruland wrote:
heya john, this isn't bear slabs we're talking about.



You should call it Teddy Bear Slabs! ;)


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By Boodge Nomchompski
Jan 7, 2010
Ancient wall art

I'm heading up tomorrow (friday) to get started on clearing the belay area and approach, so if anyone wants to help out let me know and we can arrange a time/place to meet.


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By Jon Ruland
From Tucson, AZ
Jan 7, 2010
sending Hard Day at the Orifice

Brigette wrote:
You should call it Teddy Bear Slabs! ;)


oh. my. god.
brigette, that is absolutely...
PERFECT!!!

the crag shall be called Teddy Bear Slabs, unless anyone objects.

well? anyone??


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By Jon Ruland
From Tucson, AZ
Jan 7, 2010
sending Hard Day at the Orifice

Jim Gloeckler wrote:
Jon Ruland wrote: haha awesome jim, you ever come down to tucson look me up and bring some of that good weed! =) Real funny guy! Looking for opinions and then when you don't get the answer that you wanted, you feel the need to be cute? Well develope the choss pile but don't think any good climber will give it many good write-ups. Seems to me that you could do better is all I was saying. And as for the weed comment; you can probably find that just as easily as I since you live in tuscon. After all, you are only about 1 hr. from the border. =)


i wasn't being cute, i seriously thought you were high because "beginner cliff" is right in the title. i'm fairly certain that LOTS of climbers toke up while browsing the MP threads. apparently you weren't, so my bad.


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By Jon Ruland
From Tucson, AZ
Jan 7, 2010
sending Hard Day at the Orifice

Adam Block wrote:
Jon, I wish I would have gone out with you Sunday, if you wanna get up there this Sunday and work on clearing the bottom some I'm totally game. We can figure out some routes we think would be good lines and get some idea what we're going to need. I'm willing to kick $100 into the project, my money is super limited but I think I can get us all the bolts we need for free (I'll have to double check) so that will be of some help. I'm free Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday so if anybody wants to head up there any of those days let me know. John, was there room up top to build anchors so we can scope things out safely, clean some rock and so on? Let me know what you need and count me in! PS Sorry we didn't get a chance to meet up, I ended up taking out two climbers that had never been on the rock before. We'd talked last month and they were so excited to climb they wanted to get out the first day they woke up in Tucson.


thanks for the offer of bolts, adam. i currently have 12 bolts + hangers laying around, which is most likely more than we will need, so i don't think additional bolts will be necessary.

i already sent you an email about meeting up to work on the cliff.


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By Jim Gloeckler
From Denver, Colo.
Jan 7, 2010

If any of you folks read what Rob R said I think that you would understand where I'm comming from. T.R.'s would work there but as for sport routes, I don't think so. The thing has many ledges to hit even if it is bolted every 6 feet. I just mentioned that the rock pictured could probably be beat at many areas that have rock suitable for beginners. I am jazzed that you all are interested in developing a crag for beginners. It shows that you can give back to your community which I think is outstanding. I did not mean to have an attitude but after climbing for over 35 years, I thought that my opinion would be worth something more than a joke about pot. I have smoked plenty of reefers in my life having started well before most of you were born, but at present am taking a sabatical on that stuff until retirement. Maybe my climbing can improve without all of the paranoia involved with climbing while high. Anyhow, Tradster and anyone else that I upset with my imput; I am sorry I came off the way I did. Too much type A personality and Bi-polar and not enough "No Problem mon".


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By Tradster
From Phoenix, AZ
Jan 7, 2010

Jim Gloeckler wrote:
If any of you folks read what Rob R said I think that you would understand where I'm comming from. T.R.'s would work there but as for sport routes, I don't think so. The thing has many ledges to hit even if it is bolted every 6 feet. I just mentioned that the rock pictured could probably be beat at many areas that have rock suitable for beginners. I am jazzed that you all are interested in developing a crag for beginners. It shows that you can give back to your community which I think is outstanding. I did not mean to have an attitude but after climbing for over 35 years, I thought that my opinion would be worth something more than a joke about pot. I have smoked plenty of reefers in my life having started well before most of you were born, but at present am taking a sabatical on that stuff until retirement. Maybe my climbing can improve without all of the paranoia involved with climbing while high. Anyhow, Tradster and anyone else that I upset with my imput; I am sorry I came off the way I did. Too much type A personality and Bi-polar and not enough "No Problem mon".


I retract my comment. Jim, come on down to sunny AZ!


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By Jon Ruland
From Tucson, AZ
Jan 7, 2010
sending Hard Day at the Orifice

Jim Gloeckler wrote:
If any of you folks read what Rob R said I think that you would understand where I'm comming from. T.R.'s would work there but as for sport routes, I don't think so. The thing has many ledges to hit even if it is bolted every 6 feet. I just mentioned that the rock pictured could probably be beat at many areas that have rock suitable for beginners. I am jazzed that you all are interested in developing a crag for beginners. It shows that you can give back to your community which I think is outstanding. I did not mean to have an attitude but after climbing for over 35 years, I thought that my opinion would be worth something more than a joke about pot. I have smoked plenty of reefers in my life having started well before most of you were born, but at present am taking a sabatical on that stuff until retirement. Maybe my climbing can improve without all of the paranoia involved with climbing while high. Anyhow, Tradster and anyone else that I upset with my imput; I am sorry I came off the way I did. Too much type A personality and Bi-polar and not enough "No Problem mon".


i am glad to have your input. i think there was simply some confusion because of the way it was presented.

i agree with you that bolting routes here would be a waste. we are not going to be turning this into a sport crag--at a maximum, only 1 route would be bolted for convenience sake to make setting up TRs on all the anchors easier. but we may not even do this if it turns out there is an easy way to get around to the top.

as for the quality of the crag, i would say this is about the same quality as the practice cliff at windy point where many people in tucson have their first climbing experience--or at least it will be once it's cleaned up a bit. as has been said before, beginners have little or no notion of quality--they just want to get off the ground a bit and get to the top of something that is slightly challenging. this cliff is good for that because the climbing is very easy and it is low-angle and continuous enough that it will teach them to push with their legs instead of pull with their arms, which is the foundation of proper climbing technique.

but perhaps the most alluring aspect of this cliff is its proximity to the road and climbability in winter. it is literally 5 minutes' easy walk from the parking spot, and will be warm on even the coldest tucson winter days, provided there is sun to warm the rock.

considering all of these factors, there really is no other cliff on mount lemmon that has very easy routes, an easy approach, is climbable in winter, and is kid-friendly. believe me, i've looked. so i'm going to have to disagree with you that we can do better.

again, thanks for your input. i'm sorry if we showed any disrespect.


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By Jim Gloeckler
From Denver, Colo.
Jan 7, 2010

well thanks for the understanding all! I was down in AZ. last year south of tucson, in a little town called Green Valley. while I was there I couldn't help but notice the fairly large rock just E.S.E. of there. I looked it up in M.P. when I got home and found it to have a 5.6 on it. I would like to give it a closer look someday. Wow; what a beautiful piece of rock! Is it Elephant head? I'm not really sure since Green Valley seemed to be about 5-7 miles from it. How about some bolts on that? Wow!


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By Christian
From Casa do Cacete
Jan 7, 2010
Ooops...

I think it should be called The Welfare Queen Crag and the first route should be called "Involuntary Ligation". Any kids that are left will be sure to dig it!

I'll come help as soon as I get my unemployment check and can afford to buy gas :-(

On a more serious note, if this isn't Bear Slabs, then what is? Is there more than one crag directly across from Green Slabs?


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