Reaching for the two finger pocket on the little o...
Sky Valley is one of the mid-mountain crags and is great for a warmer day area. When there are waiting lines and everyone's dog hanging out at Ridgeline you can go here and get on some quality climbs without the feel of being at the gym. This area consists of two crags and the climbing varies from slab to vertical to slightly overhanging. Many climbs are shaded for most of the day as one crag is surrounded by large pines and the other's climbs are in a little grotto.All of the routes here are sport so all you need is a rope and a rack of draws and you are set. Recommended climbs include: Exposure in the Making 5.8, Hunger for the Time 5.9+, Thunderbolts 5.11a, Driller on the Loose 5.11c/d, and Serial Driller 5.12b.
Driving up Catalina Highway you will park at San Pedro Vista at mile marker 17.8. Hike along the right side of the road until you pass two culverts (not grated drains). At the second culvert you will notice a small wash. Follow a semi-cairned trail to the ridge. Along the way you should pass a large slab, hiking to the ridge on it's left. At the ridge you will see two crags, one to your right and one to your left along with a beautiful view of the San Pedro Valley. Hiking left along the ridge will bring you to twp 5.10s that share an anchor (Sky Diamond and The Fire Inside). The rest of the climbs descend down and around the face of this crag. Hiking right you will find a 5th class descent gully between two pinnacles on the right crag. Descend here vias 5th class down climb or rappel. You may also hike down and around on the left side, but not the right. Once in the grotto Driller on the Loose is easily identifiable as it is the orange overhanging face. All climbs for this area are listed in Eric Fazio-Rhicard's Squeezing the Lemmon II.
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Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Sky Valley:
Featured Route For Sky Valley
From: Tucson, AZ
Jun 28, 2009
There is a new sport route on the rock formation immediately southeast (down road) of the rappel. In my estimation the route is 5.9, 40 ft, and a nice addition. I have idea regarding the FFA.
|By Brian Kennedy|
Jul 17, 2010
May have left my Squeezing the Lemmon guidebook at this area a couple of weeks ago (near Sky Diamond, etc.). If you happen to find it, firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks
|By Peter Franzen|
From: Phoenix, AZ
May 27, 2012
The directions to this crag (or lack thereof-- there's only a misleading map or two) in the Squeezing the Lemon book are terrible. I guess if you're on this page that doesn't really matter, but we tried to follow the book and ended up totally turned around.
The book doesn't mention that you should park at the San Pedro pullout, and it shows the trails leading up from somewhere further up the road.
From: Tucson, Arizona
May 28, 2012
San Pedro Vista is not the parking for Sky Valley. Sure you can use it but it makes a much longer approach. Park at the large pull out under Barnum Rock, as alluded to in the guidebook, then walk down road for 150 yards or so to a well cairned trail on the north side of the road.
|By Jerry Cagle|
From: Tucson, AZ
Jun 23, 2012
FWIW: I had never attempted Sky Diamond or The Fire Inside before thinking the face was too short to mess with, but it's actually got a very nice variety of interesting moves on mostly solid rock. Was shady most of the day too. Recommended.
|By 1Eric Rhicard|
Jun 24, 2012
The SQ II guidebook doesn't mention parking at San Pedro Vista because that is not where you want to park! If you actually look at the overhead on pg. 236 you will see it has an arrow pointing to the parking for Barnum Rock a mere 150 yards up the road. There is also now parking on the downhill side of the road just a little down road of where the trail starts.
I will not go into what I think of people that cannot find a crag that is visible from the road and less than 10 minutes off the road, but, gym memberships might be cheaper than all the frustration of finding things that don't have huge trails and 20 other climbers going to them.
Having said that, I promise to do a better job of getting people to this very spread out and convoluted climbing area in the next edition of Squeezing The Lemmon.
|By Jerry Cagle|
From: Tucson, AZ
Jul 8, 2012
So Eric... When is the new edition coming out...?
Jul 27, 2012
At the risk of sounding like I should have been climbing on the Gumby Wall I agree that the find route in the Squeezing the Lemmon II could use some fine tuning. I hiked around for a good long while and ended up heading to the bone yard cause I couldn't find Sky Valley. There are a ton of formations around that area and more than one fifth class gulley. The description on the Mountain Project link would have gotten me there, I think.
Thanks for the work on the book though, EFR, it is very helpful at times I just wanted to second the sentiment above