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Cochise Stronghold, Bisbee area advice?
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By grant kendrick
From northampton, ma
Jan 6, 2014

Hey Arizona climbers--

My family is coming to AZ on Wednesday, 1/8. Our current plan is for my daughter and I to go to the West Side of Cochise for 4 days of climbing, then meeting my wife and other daughter for a week in Bisbee, where I'll be looking to do a few climbing day trips to break up the tourist activities. We climb 5.9 or .10 trad and a grade harder sport in the Northeast.

So, a few questions:

-We're planning to camp at one of the primitive areas in Cochise, like Sheepshead or Isle of Ewe. Any suggestions for one over the other, or somewhere else better?

-I've looked at route info here and in the guide, and have a pretty good idea of what we're going to climb, but any suggestions of routes that are particularly stellar, either good or bad, are always welcome.

-Any local beta--great cheap authentic Mexican restaurants, great local beer, must-see tourist spots, etc.--for either Cochise or Bisbee would be great.

-Any other climbing areas around Bisbee that we shouldn't miss? I'm likely to be solo at that point, so places where I'm likely to find other climbers would be the best, or, if anyone in the area wants to meet up for a day, let me know.

-Finally, we always love meeting other climbers, so if anyone is climbing in the area over the next 2 weeks and wants to get together for some climbing or end of the day beer, that would be great!

Thanks!!


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By gf9318
Jan 6, 2014

Isle of Ewe has very sweet camping and is a little closer to the main stronghold. The sport climbing there is really close the camping and is good!

Ewephoria and Moby Dick are stellar moderates for a good intro. Absinthe of Mallet on the Sheepshead was very good.

I really enjoyed an outdoor coffee stand in Bisbee and was invited to a roller disco party by the purveyor. Sadly I did not attend and regret that decision to this day.

I would also suggest going to Naco for a taco and a stack of lard-laden tortillas. I was able to park on our side and the border guys said they would watch my rig while I enjoyed strolling around Mexico and hearing gunshots.

Enjoy! I'm jealous.


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By Brandon Baldwin
From Sahuarita, AZ
Jan 6, 2014
TJ and I at Munchkin Land

The camping right at the base of the Isle of Ewe is nice, but tends to fill up on the weekends. You will probably have success finding a place to pitch your tent on a weekday, regardless I would try the Isle of Ewe first. I don't think anyone camps at the Sheepshead trailhead, but I may be wrong. If the Isle Ewe campsites are all full, there are several other spots to camp all around there.

Tombstone is worth checking out if you haven't been there before and you can see it from the crags.


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By Wiley Coyote
From Phoenix, Arizona
Jan 7, 2014

Grant,

I'll be in East Cochise 1/9 - 1/12. We'll be climbing at Rockfellow Group for the weekend. First time out in Cochise for myself so no beta on food/routes sadly.

Plenty of beer and a belay if your in need for the weekend.

Cheers,


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By grant kendrick
From northampton, ma
Jan 7, 2014

Thanks for the replies! Sounds like Isle of Ewe is the place to go; we're arriving Wednesday evening, so hopefully will find a spot. I don't know about Roller Disco for me, as I'm a little old and stiff, but maybe my daughters can get invited and check it out!

Wiley C.--we're likely to stay on the West Side through the weekend, but if we make it over to the Rockfellows, we'll look for you there. In any case, have a great weekend!


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By lucander
From Stone Ridge, NY
Jan 7, 2014
Lucander off the GT Ledge on p. 2 of Keep on Struttin.

Take lots of water and carry out or bury your poop. It's a pristine place that a lot of people love, take good care of it.

Also - don't underestimate the approach to Rockfellow. Only takes 40-60 minutes, but it's an uphill grind.


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By Larry
From SoAZ
Jan 7, 2014

grant kendrick wrote:
-Any local beta--great cheap authentic Mexican restaurants, great local beer, must-see tourist spots, etc.--for either Cochise or Bisbee would be great.


For genuine authenticity, head over to Naco, Sonora. Very close by Bisbee. Santiago's is OK. There's a new Mexican place called Contessa's Cantina I have heard is "good," whatever that means.

Dave's Electric Beer is the local microbrew.

Must-see spots? Depends on what you're into I guess. I'd check out the birds at Whitewater Draw. 1000s of sandhill cranes, and many other species.

-Any other climbing areas around Bisbee that we shouldn't miss?

Nothing worth mentioning.

Wiley & lucander, the OP said "west side." The western approach to Rockfellow is mellower but a bit longer than the east side. A low-slung car might have trouble reaching the trailhead.


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By Steve Levin
From Boulder, CO
Jan 7, 2014
Sundevil Chimney, Titan

On days when the Stronghold is too cold/windy, west across the Tombstone valley at The Dry you might find warmer conditions. Somewhat limited limestone sport climbing for sub-5.12, but I found it kind of a neat place and an interesting change of pace from the Stronghold. Maybe a local could pipe in and agree / disagree / update.


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By Garret Nuzzo-Jones
From Salt Lake City, UT
Jan 7, 2014
Cleaning up in Jenny Lake.

Brandon Baldwin wrote:
I don't think anyone camps at the Sheepshead trailhead, but I may be wrong.

I was there a couple weeks ago and people were definitely camping right near the trailhead. Probably not ideal spots, but there are some flat areas people were set up in. We only did the first pitch of Ewephoria before bailing, sadly. Bring your sticky slab shoes!


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By manuel rangel
From Tempe, Arizona
Jan 9, 2014
Trying to redpoint The Ugly 11c; steeper than it looks and the rock is scary in spots but good enough.

I like camping at Sheepshead. Very open and not as crowded with others that don't climb. Plus, I like climbing there more.

Bisbee is a cool place to hike up and down stairs for a great workout and fun meander. Touring the mine is a good day too. Lot of rocks just west of town but no climbing so far.


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