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West Stronghold

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Behind Sweet Rock 
Gap, The 
Ghost Dome (AKA Infinity Dome) 
Hands Canyon 
Hideout Wall 
Isle of You 
Naiche's Nest 
Paleface Slab 
Sheepshead Area (Southwest) 
Squaretop 
Sweet Rock 
Tombstone, The 
Warpath Dome 
Westworld Dome 
Whale Dome 

West Stronghold 


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Location: 31.9299, -110.0095 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 329,278
Administrators: Greg Opland, James DeRoussel, JJ Schlick, Hendrixson, Kristine Hoffman
Submitted By: Geir on Feb 16, 2012
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Evening magic in the West Stronghold

Description 

The West Stronghold is accessed from Middlemarch Road near Tombstone. Geographically the West Stronghold includes a much larger area than the east. Gems include Westworld Dome, Whale Dome, the Sheepshead, and about 1,000 unpublished routes waiting to be repeated.

A Google Earth .kmz file can be downloaded for this area using the link below:

www.geir.com/googleearth/stronghold/west/overview.kmz

Access to this area is a privilege. Be a good steward of Cochise Stronghold by keeping the Leave No Trace principles in mind when visiting here. Below is a partial list of these principles and how they might be applied in the Stronghold. For further information, visit www.lnt.org.

1) Travel and camp on durable surfaces. Stay on trails and avoid damaging surface vegetation. Use established campsites.

2) Dispose of waste properly. Pack out litter. Dispose of human waste in a cathole at least 6-8 inches deep and 200 feet away from water. Do not leave toilet paper out in the wilderness.

3) Leave what you find. Leave rocks, plants, archaeological artifacts and other objects as found.

4) Minimize use and impact of fire. If a campfire is constructed use existing fire rings. Do not cut down trees for firewood. Ensure campfires are completely extinguished before leaving.

5) Respect wildlife. If enough people approach or interfere with wildlife, it can be disruptive to animal populations.

6) Be considerate of other visitors. Many other people enjoy the area, including bird watchers, hikers, and horseback riders. They have as much right to be there as climbers.


Getting There 

From Tucson take I-10 east to exit 303.

Bear right on to highway 80 and head through Benson (2.2 miles).

Once through Benson keep right on to highway 80 and continue 21.7 miles to Middlemarch Road.

Turn left on Middlemarch road and continue for 9.9 miles. (This is a dirt road and can be rough but is passable by passenger cars so long as the washes are not full of water.)

Turn left on to forest road 687. (The road becomes rougher and is passable by passenger cars only when driven carefully. Your car can be damaged on this road, please be careful). The following mileage measurements are all relative to this intersection:

0.4 miles - Sheepshead parking area, free primitive camping.

2.0 miles - Sweet Rock, Isle of You (Ewe), free primitive camping.

6.5 miles - Parking for Warpath dome approach.

7.2 miles - Large private ranch

10.1 miles - end of the road. Parking for Whale Dome, Westworld Dome, Paleface, Ghost Dome, and Squaretop. Free primitive camping.


Climbing Season


131 Total Routes


['4 Stars',6],['3 Stars',58],['2 Stars',51],['1 Star',13],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',7],['5.7',9],['5.8',18],['5.9',16],['5.10',50],['5.11',28],['5.12',3],['5.13',0],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',1],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for West Stronghold:
Ewephoria   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, Sport, 5 pitches, 750'   Sheepshead Area (Southwest) : The Sheepshead
Moby Dick   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 6 pitches, 700'   Whale Dome
Mystery of the Desert   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 5 pitches   Sheepshead Area (Southwest) : The Muttonhead
Isle of You   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 170'   Isle of You : Trad Rock
Absinthe of Mallet   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Trad, 7 pitches   Sheepshead Area (Southwest) : The Sheepshead
Unknown (right of stampede)   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 5 pitches, 600'   Sheepshead Area (Southwest) : The Sheepshead
The Peacemaker   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 7 pitches   Sheepshead Area (Southwest) : The Sheepshead
The Climb Too Tough To Die   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a PG13     Trad, Sport, 6 pitches   Sheepshead Area (Southwest) : The Sheepshead
Dem Bones   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b R     Trad, Sport, 5 pitches, 660'   Whale Dome
Warpaint   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b PG13     Trad, 5 pitches, 680'   Westworld Dome
Cragaholic's Dream   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, 6 pitches, 500'   Squaretop
Fire in the Hole   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   Isle of You : Rad Rock
Get The Flock Out Of Here   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b     Trad, 5 pitches, 650'   Sheepshead Area (Southwest) : The Sheepshead
Stiletto   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 115'   The Tombstone
Tombstone Crack   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b PG13     Trad, 1 pitch, 140'   The Tombstone
Stampede   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 7 pitches, 800'   Sheepshead Area (Southwest) : The Sheepshead
Coati Corner   5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   Westworld Dome
unknown (left one)   5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   Sheepshead Area (Southwest) : Mallethead
Sheep Thrills   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 120'   Sheepshead Area (Southwest) : Crisis Center
Old School Executioner   5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b     Trad, 100'   The Tombstone
Browse More Classics in West Stronghold

Featured Route For West Stronghold
Scott on the awesome "Sheep Thrills", just getting to the good part.

Sheep Thrills 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c  AZ : Cochise Stronghold : ... : Crisis Center
www.climbaz.com/Backcountry/page_html/page298.html30' of face climbing brings you two a couple great cam placements in horizontal cracks. A few more moves get you to the first bolt and the start of the dike system. Stem, pinch, and crimp your way past bolts to a stance in front of a crack system and the end of the dike. Place a few cams or nuts here and climb easy terrain to the top. A typical Cochise ending, there is no pro available in this last 20 or so feet of this climb. With some he...[more]   Browse More Classics in AZ

Local Information for West Stronghold
News
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Upcoming Events
Oct 14REEL ROCK 9 Film Tour
Photos of West Stronghold Slideshow Add Photo
Tree at the base of Warpaint.  September 2012.
Tree at the base of Warpaint. September 2012.
Tree in the wash headed to Warpaint/Moby Dick.  September 2012.
Tree in the wash headed to Warpaint/Moby Dick. Se...
Ruins on the west side of Cochise Stronghold, AZ
Ruins on the west side of Cochise Stronghold, AZ
On the drive to the West Stronghold, just before sunset.
On the drive to the West Stronghold, just before s...
I think this is an ocotillo.  September 2012.
I think this is an ocotillo. September 2012.
These were kind of bitter, but maybe they were not ripe yet.  September 2012.
These were kind of bitter, but maybe they were not...
Sunset from the West Stronghold.
Sunset from the West Stronghold.
Best not to be toking up or have an open container on Middlemarch Road.  Lots of border patrol around these days.
Best not to be toking up or have an open container...
Neat flowers at the base of Warpaint waiting for it to stop raining.  Yeah.  September 2012.
Neat flowers at the base of Warpaint waiting for i...
I walked within a foot of this guy.  He was not pleased.
I walked within a foot of this guy. He was not pl...
We saw 3 within 2 days.
We saw 3 within 2 days.
Flowers near Endgame.  September 2012.
Flowers near Endgame. September 2012.
Beautiful area.  Sunset on the West Stronghold.
Beautiful area. Sunset on the West Stronghold.
Sunset in the West Stronghold
Sunset in the West Stronghold
Comments on West Stronghold Add Comment
Show which comments
By John Wason
Feb 5, 2013

My wife and son and I replaced the bashed hanger on pitch 3 (2nd bolt) on Ewephoria last Saturday. The nut and threads seemed to work just fine. John Wason

Max Wason leading pitch 3
Max Wason leading pitch 3

By JackWeaver
From: Tucson, AZ
Dec 3, 2013

If you're trying to get to Whale Dome is there any reason one couldn't drive in from the North taking exit 312 from I-10? It's much shorter than heading down to Tombstone, then back up on Middlemarch. It will be my first time to the west side so I want to be sure.

By Charles Vernon
From: Tucson, AZ
Dec 3, 2013

You will encounter locked gates that you need a code to open.

By jefe
Mar 13, 2014

In the upper left corner of the photo above you'll see a dark triangle.
This is where a refrigerator sized block cut loose and, apparently, smooshed a hanger.
I hadn't noticed any damage or scarring.
Thanks for replacing the hanger!

By AGough
3 days ago

Any info on Elsie the Cow? Always looked impressive every time I walked by it. I think its worthy of its own page.

Cochise goes to Chicago and another route...wide 9ish??

By RyanJohnson
From: Tucson, Arizona
2 days ago

Elsie the Cow Wall from the old Bob Kerry Backcountry book.

Go climb it and post it up!