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By Todd W. B.
From Ignacio, co
Jan 9, 2013

Build and maintain some f&^%*ing trails to popular crags and cliffs!!! When you have a well-established and used path to follow people don't have to stomp all over the place on fragile soil and vegetation wondering where the hell the trail is. Your rock is awesome and I will certainly continue to visit but after many trips(mainly in and around the many crags in Tucson and in the Stronghold) I simply can't believe that trails are virtually non-existent to the most popular crags! I sometimes feel like we're the first visitors there until we reach the base! Are you trying to preserve the awesomeness and bloodshed level of discovering the cliff and dealing with shindaggers on the very first approach? Are there no locals that maintain the trails? I personally spend many hours each season with a shovel and clippers so don't EVEN try to call me out with that BS. Friends don't let friends build cairns instead of trails!


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By bruno-cx
Jan 9, 2013
shirtless wonder

3,2,1...


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By K Weber
Jan 9, 2013

Todd W. B. wrote:
Build and maintain some f&^%*ing trails to popular crags and cliffs!!! When you have a well-established and used path to follow people don't have to stomp all over the place on fragile soil and vegetation wondering where the hell the trail is. Your rock is awesome and I will certainly continue to visit but after many trips(mainly in and around the many crags in Tucson and in the Stronghold) I simply can't believe that trails are virtually non-existent to the most popular crags! I sometimes feel like we're the first visitors there until we reach the base! Are you trying to preserve the awesomeness and bloodshed level of discovering the cliff and dealing with shindaggers on the very first approach? Are there no locals that maintain the trails? I personally spend many hours each season with a shovel and clippers so don't EVEN try to call me out with that BS. Friends don't let friends build cairns instead of trails!


Dear Todd,

You just missed the trail.

Maybe you should look at the guide book and/or get a better pair of glasses.

Seems like the common denominator is you and not Arizona.

Try to stay off the fragile soil and vegetation.


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By Kevin Connolly
From CO
Jan 10, 2013

blah blah blah, waaaahhhhhhhhhhhh!!! why is stuff so hard? can someone please make rock climbing easier? i have lots of money to give you if you do.


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By jbak
Jan 10, 2013
A steep climb too.

Well...it's probably illegal to build wildcat trails in the first place (Scott Mac probably knows), so keeping them low key is likely a good thing.

It would be mildly interesting to know which crags you are refering to. Although the idea of someone from Colo getting lost looking for our crags kind of makes me smile.


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By Darth-Hater
Jan 10, 2013

Whaaaaaaaa! There's no trails in the stronghold!
Why isn't there paved trails to every single dome there! Whaaaaaaa!
Perhaps you should just stay in ig-nasty-hole.......


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By Eric D
From Gnarnia
Jan 10, 2013
Born again on the last move of the Red Dihedral, high Sierras.

May I suggest this place next time you want to climb in the Tuscon area...

rocksandropes.com


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By Chris Horton
From Tucson AZ
Jan 10, 2013
Awesomeness!

jbak wrote:
It would be mildly interesting to know which crags you are refering to. Although the idea of someone from Colo getting lost looking for our crags kind of makes me smile.


This brings a smile to my face as well. I didn't know we had that many "popular" crags, and the ones I can think of have huge trails to them.


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By Haywood Jeublowme
From Cortez, CO
Jan 10, 2013
salty

Yea - I'll second the post - every trail on Mt. Lemon maybe?? Especially below windy point. You guys in Arizona must just be tougher than us and all. You should show us how to grab our balls and spit - may I suggest sometime this spring?


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By Unassigned User
Jan 10, 2013

Easy what you wish for there buddy! Go to the McDowell range near Scottsdale. They have put huge hideous trails in everywhere attracting all sorts of people out to what used to be a secluded backcountry experience.
Thanks for the thoughtfullness but you can keep the rock bunnies and Patagucci models at your crags. I would rather have to work for a a little seclusion.


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By mcarizona
From Flag
Jan 10, 2013

Yeah, super SAD about the Mcdowells.


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By Rik
From Tucson, AZ
Jan 10, 2013
Skull

I enjoy our discrete little trails. I hear Smith Rock has nice trails. That might be a good destination.


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By Jason S.
From Durango, Co
Jan 10, 2013
Attempting the Serrator... didn't go well

You could take a trip to j-tree, and follow the signs to get to the climbs if you are having trouble with the trails in AZ...


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By Devin Fin
From DURANGO
Jan 10, 2013
dream canyon fun!

I think the trails in AZ are no worse then any ware else .. what ever happened to just finding yer way around the old fashion way ? by getting lost an climbing whatever you find .. the Stronghold with no guide book is the beast ! just look for rock then climb..


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By RyanJames
Jan 10, 2013
Photo by Aaron Lavinsky

HAAAAAAAAAHAAAAHAAAA!!! Don't hate!

"Sometimes feels like we're the first visitors there.."

And that's a problem?!?!

Sorry for your backcountry experience. Perhaps Colorado is a better place for you with the miles and miles of manicured trails and crowds.


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By Tim McCabe
Jan 10, 2013

Haywood Jeublowme wrote:
Yea - I'll second the post - every trail on Mt. Lemon maybe?? Especially below windy point. You guys in Arizona must just be tougher than us and all. You should show us how to grab our balls and spit - may I suggest sometime this spring?


They didn't used to be quite so bad before the rebuilding of the highway. Someone posted up here back then about doing trail work, it's a catch 22 when the trails don't legally exist. You risk a $1,000 fine for unauthorized improvement's on Forest Service Land. A mountain biker was fined just for being in a video, riding, on an illegally built trail on Mt Lemmon.


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By Scott M. McNamara
From Tucson, Arizona
Jan 10, 2013
One Way Sunset

36 CFR 261.10 prohibits:

Constructing, placing, or maintaining any kind of road, trail, structure, fence, enclosure, communications equipment, or other improvement on National Forest system land or facilities without a special-use authorization, contract, or approved operating plan.

Scott Mc


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By Chris Schenhoffer
From Prescott, AZ
Jan 11, 2013
Magnolia Thunder Pussey

Reason #3742 why I will never leave Arizona: There is enough cat claw to keep out the tourons.
Reason #53: PRISTINE WILDERNESS!!
If you don't want to smash plants try hiking on durable surfaces. (i.e. rocks)


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By MacM
From Cave Creek/Preskitt, AZ
Jan 11, 2013
3rd Day in JTree

I third the tragedy of the McDowell's...horrible.

I hate to say it, but I told everyone that would happen. I had brought it up in another forum discussion about the plans for the preserve, and how the "new trails" would bring the masses. I actually came across human crap while out there 2 weeks ago. I know for a fact it was not a climber that did it either, because it was ON THE CLIMBER'S TRAIL. This being 5 yds off the new trail and 2 mins away from the new restrooms.

To get back on topic, this is absolutely hilarious. I'm glad it was brought up so I can say my once-a-year opinion here on MP. From all of the climbers I have met in AZ, we love to hate the way the approaches are. One that immediately comes to mind, of a horribly-terrific approach, is heading to Granite Mountain or any of the surrounding areas at the base. You will lose that climber's trail at least half the time, unless someone has cairned it well, or you have personally been out there a half-dozen times. Having an approach to the crags that is not 3' wide means that it isn't an eyesore to hikers that like to complain about everything and climbers are able to maintain the low key access to these areas. So overall, in my experience, it helps maintain our access to the areas we love, as well as fulfilling our desires to keep that sense of peace and seclusion.

As for those people who wish to create those massive trails to help "keep people on the same path" to "help prevent wear on the surrounding area from overuse". I'm sorry, but I am going to need to call BS. The McDowell's Preserve is the most perfect example of that. If you give someone easier access, more people will go, resulting in much more wear on the terrain. The "improvements" have led to even more wear than ever before, and not just in the sense of crap put on the ground (literally). After the new trails being in place, and now very-well utilized since the opening of the new trailhead, I have seen the side of the hills that the new trail switchbacks up erode away with plenty of new rivulets from during the monsoon season off of these bigger trails contributing to the erosion. You don't see the token weekend hiker volunteering to fix them either, unfortunately it is usually only the climbers that are aware of the issue. Essentially, If someone can't find the trail, i.e. a hiker, they will not go on it unless they know where to look for it or are determined to find it. Therefore if you turn a climber's trail into a, bigger, well-established trail things will only go downhill. Call it selfish, but I know plenty of climbers that wouldn't want the crags to become busy with gawkers and gumbies that have not yet acquired the necessary skill, or respect to the area to take care of it. Preventing noticeable access is the only defense we have to help keep the access in the first place, or often the area will become overrun and may be shut down for further use.

Try not to get me wrong, I definitely feel there should be access for everyone to enjoy hiking and climbing outdoors. In fact, a friend and I wanted to personally help establish a more defined climber's trail to Granite Mountain proper. Being it was the beginning of the season the climber's trail was almost non-existent and covered by overgrown bushes and fallen debris. Over a bit of time though each individual group of climbers that went up the approach took it in their own interest to slowly clear it, cairn it, and make it a bit more defined. At the RRFT held at Prescott College the Ranger for the Granite Mountain Wilderness came and said a few words, including "...we all know that climbers dislike the condition of the approach trail on Granite Mountain and would like to clear it, but we want to keep it that way. We want to keep the area as natural as possible..."

I think that is all that needs to be said about trails in AZ. I recognize my opinions and thoughts are somewhat narrow minded towards AZ and the fragile desert environment, but you did post this is in the AZ forum.

Happy climbing in Arizona, and I hope you find your way better next time around Mt. Lemmon and the Stronghold!

-Mac M, PPG


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By Eric Hamer
From Tucson
Jan 11, 2013
Aint nothin like a chihuahua with a backpack. Someone's got to carry the beer

Yeah, well, part of the adventure out here is getting home after a long day with shindagger holes in your legs and accepting the battle wounds.


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By J Q
Jan 11, 2013
Me again!

Talk about a hard core group of people, sheesh, you guys make Iron Man look soft.


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By JMo
From Flagstaff, AZ
Jan 11, 2013
mayflower

Next time plan your trip around the upper beach in Sedona. The approach is super straightforward.


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By Larry
From SoAZ
Jan 11, 2013

Next time you're in the Stronghold, look for the odd agave / yucca / sotol / ocotillo / mesquite / manzanita / cholla / catclaw that's been trimmed. That's a clue as to where the trail goes.


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By Ben Brotelho
From Albany, NY
Jan 11, 2013
Epic free solo with a pack on

so many people on this site make me think twice about wanting to move to Colorado...buncha weenies!


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By Todd W. B.
From Ignacio, co
Jan 11, 2013

OK. Some have listed valid issues that justify why the trails are a bit hard to follow. I get it. Others have proven that assclowns have migrated south.


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By Charles Vernon
From Tucson, AZ
Jan 11, 2013

Where, specifically, did you have issues?


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