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Mount Lemmon (Santa Catalina Mountains)

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Mount Lemmon (Santa Catalina Mountains) 


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Elevation: 2,500'
Location: 32.4471, -110.7905 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 2,089,324
Administrators: Greg Opland, James DeRoussel, JJ Schlick, Hendrixson, Kristine Hoffman
Submitted By: James DeRoussel on Jul 10, 2010
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Panorama of the north side of the Santa Catalina m...

Description 

The Santa Catalina Mountains are more commonly known among climbers and non-climbers alike as, simply, Mount Lemmon. Although Mount Lemmon is only one of many peaks within the Santa Catalina range, its name has been casually applied to the range as a whole for some time.

Mount Lemmon, rising to an elevation of 9,157 feet above sea level, offers some of the best climbing in Arizona. More than 1,500 climbing routes can be found on the mountain, making it one of the most popular climbing areas in the state. With crags located at elevations ranging from 2,500-9,000', comfortable climbing temps can be found year round.

While the vast majority of the climbs in this area are accessed by the Catalina Highway, there are parts of the range accessed otherwise. This area has been organized based on access and geographical location.

Be aware of the many objective dangers that inhabit these mountains... loose rock, old hardware, extreme heat and cold, bark scorpions, gila monsters, lightning, multiple species of rattlesnakes and, perhaps most importantly, flash floods. Stay out of arroyos and major drainages, particularly during the monsoon season of July-August! Flash floods can present a lethal danger, even when skies are clear in your immediate locale.

Finally, be advised that many climbing areas within the Santa Catalinas are closed seasonally (mainly January-July) for protection of peregrine falcons and bighorn sheep. We have made every effort to note closures and restrictions within those specific areas on this site, so please do your homework before planning a trip.


Getting There 

The Santa Catalina Mountains are located immediately north of Tucson, and are accessible by a few different routes. See inidividual areas within the Santa Catalinas for more detailed information.


1,985 Total Routes


['4 Stars',59],['3 Stars',419],['2 Stars',900],['1 Star',507],['Bomb',16]
['<=5.6',63],['5.7',119],['5.8',180],['5.9',218],['5.10',516],['5.11',388],['5.12',160],['5.13',33],['>=5.14',4],['',0],['<=V1',59],['V2-3',123],['V4-5',48],['V6-7',26],['V8-9',24],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',26],['>=V14',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Mount Lemmon (Santa Catalina Mountains):
Slippery When Wet   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 2 pitches, 130'   4 - Windy Point West : North Fin
Agatha Christie (Direct)   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 90'   4 - Windy Point West : North Fin
In Lightning   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 2 pitches, 180'   6 - Mid-Mountain : The Druid
R4   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 130'   3 - Windy Point East : Rupley Towers
Chihuahua Power   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   2 - Bear Canyon : Lost Hawk
Old Man   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 90'   4 - Windy Point West : South Fin
Steel Crazy   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 4 pitches, 450'   The Fortress : Southeast Face
Centerpiece   5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 100'   2 - Bear Canyon : Chimney Rock
Lizard Marmalade Direct   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 135'   3 - Windy Point East : Punch and Judy Towers
Steve's Arete   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   3 - Windy Point East : Hunchback Pinnacle
Two Kings And A Pawn   5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 85'   Chessman Area : 4 - Queen
Histoplasmosis   5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a     Trad, 1 pitch, 130'   4 - Windy Point West : North Fin
The Eagle's Gift   5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII 25 E4 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   7 - Upper Highway : Delta Dome
Hard Day at The Orifice   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   The Fortress : Orifice Wall
Tsunami   5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   3 - Windy Point East : New Wave Wall
Orifice Politics   5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b     Sport, 105'   The Fortress : Orifice Wall
The Sampler   5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b     Sport, 60'   7 - Upper Highway : Spectrum Wall
Heel-A Monster   5.13- 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E7 6c     Sport, 100'   The Fortress : Orifice Wall
Coup de' tat   5.13 8a 29 X- 30 E7 6c     Sport, 100'   The Fortress : Orifice Wall
Doubt   5.14a 8b+ 32 X+ 32 E8 7a     Sport, 1 pitch, 160'   Reef of Rocks : Aegir
Browse More Classics in Mount Lemmon (Santa Catalina Mountains)

Featured Route For Mount Lemmon (Santa Catalina Mountains)
Start of Hairpin Roof. I like to match the big edge and go right into sharp crimp and cross instead of the left gaston bump.

Hairpin Roof V6 7A  AZ : Mount Lemmon (Santa Catalin... : ... : Roof
same start as hairpin roof right, but rather than lunging out right, match the seam (two crimps and a slopey rail--all with in the same vicinity), and make some moves to top out left. VAR: eliminate the rail/crescent hold before the slopey rail mentioned above. between v8 and v10 somewhere. ...[more]   Browse More Classics in AZ

Photos of Mount Lemmon (Santa Catalina Mountains) Slideshow Add Photo
Aerial photo of the East end of Catalinas. Some crags pointed out. Munchkinland is hidden, but behind the ridge pointed to. The ruins can be seen easily.
Aerial photo of the East end of Catalinas. Some cr...
Lived in AZ for 25yrs, seen hundreds of rattlesnakes, however this is the first one I have seen like this. Peppersauce canyon.
Lived in AZ for 25yrs, seen hundreds of rattlesnak...
Simply perfect...
Simply perfect...
If you are climbing at Mt Lemon, you will probably be saying in Tucson. This will be your evening view, even from downtown. <br />Sunset on Grant Street. Photo by Tony Bubb, 12/24/01.
If you are climbing at Mt Lemon, you will probably...
Tower Solo at Sunset
Tower Solo at Sunset
Wide eye.
Wide eye.
Part of the wonderful light show over the Catalina's
Part of the wonderful light show over the Catalina...
Pusch Ridge Area
Pusch Ridge Area
A superb lieback crack at sun spots. Gosh the upper section is tough for 10+
A superb lieback crack at sun spots. Gosh the uppe...
Pusch Ridge Area
Pusch Ridge Area
Chrysicolla and Fishhook Pincushion Cactus (Mammilaria grahamii), Mt. Lemmon
Chrysicolla and Fishhook Pincushion Cactus (Mammil...
Eric Deschamps showing us how Mt Lemmon ice is done.
Eric Deschamps showing us how Mt Lemmon ice is don...
On top of the second pitch of Scorpion king.
On top of the second pitch of Scorpion king.
Cathedral Rock (7,952 ft) from my balcony
Cathedral Rock (7,952 ft) from my balcony
Rattlesnake Peak (6,653 ft.)
Rattlesnake Peak (6,653 ft.)
The view from high on the northwest slopes of Mount Lemmon.
The view from high on the northwest slopes of Moun...
"Golden Hour"
"Golden Hour"
Greg on a no name crag across from Weathertop
Greg on a no name crag across from Weathertop
Some of the local legends, ...or the usual suspects. These are the guys you either want to avoid or have on your side in a saloon fight. <br />
Some of the local legends, ...or the usual suspect...
Pusch Ridge Area
Pusch Ridge Area
Sunset at Rose Canyon parking lot, March 15, 2013.
Sunset at Rose Canyon parking lot, March 15, 2013.
Hen House
Hen House
Comments on Mount Lemmon (Santa Catalina Mountains) Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Sep 23, 2013
By Andy Bennett
From: Tucson, AZ
Jul 19, 2010

Thanks for re-organizing this, looks great!

By 1Eric Rhicard
Aug 18, 2010

That is some funny shit Andrew. I thought you were working construction, but you are going to film school. Good for you! Ha Ha

By Ken Isaacson
Sep 6, 2010

Mt. Lemmon can't be a decent place to climb when there are headless bodies being found in the Arizona desert.

By ryan dillon
From: Tucson, AZ.
Sep 6, 2010

That's just what happens when you get caught adding bolts to an existing route or taking the biners from the anchors.

By Charles Vernon
From: Tucson, AZ
Sep 6, 2010

Ken, Mt. Lemmon is one of our "sky islands" that rises far above the Sonoran desert and is therefore a safe haven from the epidemic--the ORGY--of beheading that's been going on around here. But I might add that the desert regions themselves are getting safer--Jan Brewer has did everything she can.

By Ken Isaacson
Sep 7, 2010

Say what you will. I trust the governor. Elected officials never lie. I'll just take my Bosch and my swag, and go where I can be appreciated.

By mariaji
Jul 31, 2011

2 weeks ago there was a momma bird sitting in a moss nest at the Lower Wall on one of the first holds of a route to the far right (don't know the name of it).
Somebody decided to either move/discard the nest. Would have been nice to just leave her alone and pick a different line for the time that she needed to be there.

By Meghan
From: Sierra Vista, AZ
Oct 17, 2011

Someone has scattered rat poison around the base of The Orifice Wall here on Mt. Lemmon, presumably to kill the mice that occasionally raid lunches. This is obviously NOT COOL. Whomever did it obviously wasn't thinking about the squirrels, chipmunks, birds, reptiles that eat them, and other people's dogs. We may not like for animals to get into our things, but this is their habitat-- even the mice-- not ours. Not that any rangers would ever know about it, but this would also be a great way to get access to a crag taken away. Everyone there today was on the same page that this is VERY bad form by some fellow climber. Whoever you are, please don't be an embarrassment to our sport or a menace to the environment again.

By aaron voreis
Feb 23, 2012

Hi I will be in Tucson next week and am looking to get out climbing. I have a flexible schedule and would like to get down to Cochise if possible. I am a very competent, yet out of shape climber who would like to stay in the 5.8-5.9 rang. I don't mind taking a competent intermediate climber out.

Thanks!
Aaron

e-mail
aaronvoreis@gmail.com
or text 612+759+1876

By jborof
Mar 9, 2012

Never climbed in the area. Wondering if anyone can recommend some crags and camping. I will be with my kids, 5&8 yrs. burgeoning climbers who really like a short approach! Single pitch would be best. Any advice?
Cheers
Josh

By Christian
From: Casa do Cacete
Mar 10, 2012

Prison Camp/Jailhouse might work, there's camping there but usually full. Molino Basin lower should have spots.

Also Hairpin Turn, though watch the runouts on some of the older climbs. Also some are mixed but on MP as sport.

By Daren
Dec 26, 2012

just want to clear up, is this place closed during jan-?

the ENTIRE place? or just certain parts? Thanks!!

By Robert Flore
Jan 22, 2013

Jan. 20, 2013 near Barnum Rock, found Canon Digital Camera, apparently dropped heavily, could be repaired? I cannot retrieve photos to ID owner. Please give camera description and means of returning. Can contact me here through E-mail.

Robert Flore

By Robert Boutell McLeod
Aug 27, 2013

Left six BD quickdraws at the Outcroppings on 8/20. They were picked up before we went back on 8/24. I'm very attached to this gear, as they were given to me by my best friend, who died of cancer recently. Please contact me about how I can get them back. Thanks...Robert McLeod biblebob54@gmail.com, 520 270 4714.

By Geir
From: Tucson, AZ
Aug 27, 2013

Robert is a really nice guy. If you found the draws it would be great to get them back to him. Thanks!

By Charles Vernon
From: Tucson, AZ
Aug 27, 2013

With all due respect, Geir, I don't think getting one's draws back should have anything to do with whether one is a "really nice guy" (or was climbing with the first ascentionist, or etc.). If it's the right thing to do, then it's the right thing to do--period.

By Geir
From: Tucson, AZ
Aug 27, 2013

You are right Charles. He should get his draws back. I figured it couldn't hurt to say that he's a good person, though.

By Charles Vernon
From: Tucson, AZ
Aug 28, 2013

Even jerks and reprobates should get their draws back :)

By Geir
From: Tucson, AZ
Aug 28, 2013

Ha! You are beating me Charles!

What if Darth Vader lost those draws but he took them from a band of Ewoks he slaughtered? F*** that!

By the way Robert would never kill Ewoks he is much too kind. Please return his draws because of this. :)

By Charles Vernon
From: Tucson, AZ
Aug 28, 2013

If Darth was the first ascentionist's father's brother's nephew's cousin's former roommate, I might consider giving them back.

By Jimbo
Sep 23, 2013

Ben,

Go look up sarcasm in the dictionary, and read the whole post.

By Benjamin Chapman
From: Small Town, USA
Sep 23, 2013

Jimbo....go look up irony in the dictionary and get back to the thread.