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The Torch area is the signature climbing area for the Refuge. The prominent rock formation bears strong resemblance to the Olympic Flame, or the torch held by the Statue of Liberty. This is a formation that attracted many previous visitors to the area, including Marcy and Geir, who provided strong motivation to us with their development of Lower Devils East. There are four areas in The Torch area: The Bulges, Wall Drug, The Torch, and Shadow Buttresses. While the road into The Refuge long provided recreational access to the 4WD community, it was only recently that the Resolution Copper Mine graded and cleaned up the road access to their exploration well drilled near the base of the Torch area. This attracted us to the area and The Torch area was the first area that we developed. The approach is under 5 minutes and the combination of sunny and shady areas for all times of day make this area a super place to spend the days. We continue to have projects here and the climbing can be excellent. There is a full range of climbs available at this area, ranging from easy trad routes to hard sport climbing.
See Overview maps for location relative to other areas. Entering The Refuge from the northern road in to the valley enables an early and stunning view of The Torch. It is a couple hundred meters beyond (south of) Dog Town and there are two trails into the area. The primary trail is opposite the graded pad built by the mining operation and is marked by cairns. This trail accesses The Torch, Wall Drug and The Bulges. The trail to the northern base and the Shadow Buttresses area is also marked by a cairn and begins in the dry wash that drains the small valley to the west and north of the formation.
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Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for The Torch:
Featured Route For The Torch
Octabulgey 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b AZ : Central Arizona : ... : The Bulges
First climb set in The Refuge. Name derived from the James Bond movie, "Octopussy." First climbed ground up in a wandering way while rope-soloing and searching for good gear placements. Two subsequent leads of the climb convinced AMH to add the bolts to insure a straight line through the crux of the bulges, which increased the difficulty of the climb. Original placements were all horizontal and the cruxes barely protected with small cams. Bolts protect the cruxes, but climb and belay carefully a...[more] Browse More Classics in AZ
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