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Tuscon road trip in late December???
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By steven sadler
From SLC, UT
Oct 29, 2012
I'm planning a road trip for the week between New Year's and Christmas and am interested in the Tuscon area. You guys seem to have some world class climbing down there. I was just wondering on temps, places to camp, good areas, etc. I guess another good question would be 'Is it worth 14 hours of driving one way to climb in Tuscon??' From what I've seen and researched it seems that it is but would like some insiders opinions.

Thank you,

FLAG
By Robbie Mackley
From Tucson, AZ
Oct 29, 2012
Me and Holden at the "Matterhorn"
Yes it is worth it (IMHO). Sure you could go to some other, more popular, areas within that distance. But is that really what you're after? Cochise alone is worth it. Most of the Lemmon is climbable then too. If you would to climb mostly backcountry trad, or some multi-p sport,(read mixed) cochise is where it is at. If you want a good mix of trad and sport the Lemmon is great. Camping in both areas will generally be under or around 6000 ft.
  • Isle of you - cochise(two sport walls 5 min hike/plenty of trad)
  • Molino Basin, or Gordon Hirabayshi (Jailhouse) for Mt. Lemmon (probably Jailhouse due to the 45 or so routes, sport/trad/mixed, within about a 10 min hike)
Night time low temps should probably be in the upper end of freezing, but days are usually "hoodie weather."
Hopr this helps, have fun, climb safe and enjoy SoAZ.
-Mackley
Disclaimer- mixed= gear & bolts not rock & ice.

FLAG
By Robbie Mackley
From Tucson, AZ
Oct 29, 2012
Me and Holden at the "Matterhorn"
Edit to add (before I get flamed):
I am by no means saying, "come camp/climb at either of these areas because thats what you get this time of year." Both areas have way more climbing than what I list. Just some good base camps/starting points.

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By Joe Kreidel
From Tucson, AZ
Oct 31, 2012
You will have no problem finding great climbing that time of year. Are you more interested in sport/trad/bouldering, and what grade ranges are you looking for?

Your best bet for camping might be Molino Basin Campground, which is a pay campground, but at a low elevation. There are some much nicer free sites, but they will be at 8000+ ft and pretty chilly at night. Maybe you can handle it more than us fairweather folks can.

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By Christian
From Casa do Cacete
Oct 31, 2012
Mistah Kurtz
Yeah, Molino is only 5 miles up the highway so it puts you close to the elevation you'll be climbing at that time of year. Plus you're closer to the city so after climbing you can go watch a movie, get a shower at Udall Park, check e-mail, etc..

FLAG
By steven sadler
From SLC, UT
Nov 1, 2012
Thanks for all of the replys. I'm looking for mainly trad lines and climb in the mid .11 range but I'll be with people who don't climb as hard so we'll be doing it all.

FLAG
By Charles Vernon
From Tucson, AZ
Nov 1, 2012
Have fun on those Mt. Lemmon mid-5.11 trad lines ;)

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By Tony B
From Around Boulder, CO
Nov 1, 2012
Got Milk? How about forearm pump? Tony leads "Alan Nelson's Bulging Belly" (5.10, X) on the Lost and Found Flatiron. Belayer is Mark Ruocco. Photo by Bill Wright, 10/06.
Expect cold nights and brisk hikes in at Cochise, but expect nice climbing days!
Warpaint is only a 5.10, but 4/5 pitches are 10 and it is one of the nicest christmas gifts I was ever given. Coati corner, just aside, is an 11-. Enjoy.

FLAG
 
By Christian
From Casa do Cacete
Nov 1, 2012
Mistah Kurtz
Charles Vernon wrote:
Have fun on those Mt. Lemmon mid-5.11 trad lines ;)


Lol, yeah I mean this isn't Indian Creek, cracks on Mt Lemmon are irregular in every possible way. A hand jam might be useful to place a piece, but since there's rarely another one coming up, it's often better to layback the side of the crack or face climb near the crack for upward progress. Pro is tricky and passive often works better, don't count on being able to quickly slam in a cam. A 6 foot section of crack may have one small part where a cam will be safe, and that's assuming it's slung so it doesn't walk. You may have to sling almost every piece on a pitch to avoid rope drag.

Recommendations:

1) Safecracker + Crime & Punishment - Prison Camp - go for morning sun at that time of year

2) Histoplasmosis - North Fin - 70m rope & directionals for TR. 11+ part is over a bolt

3) Last Supper - Beaver Wall - more like 11 c/d

4) Centerpiece - Chimney Rock - actually sort of splitter (for Mt Lemmon) at the top, traverse left to anchors on Stoner's Boner to bring up second - wait for later morning/early afternoon to not freeze

5) Blood Book - Forgotten Wall

FLAG


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