Wednesday, January 26, 2011


We spent the last week climbing around the Tucson area.  We just can't get enough of this awesome weather.  Although a 'cold' front has moved in, so the last few days have been a bit chilly, with highs in the the low teens (celsius).  Yeah, it's rough.

We spent a couple of days doing some single pitch sport and trad climbing at Mount Lemmon, which is literally just outside the city of Tucson.  Here I am pulling the roof on the East Face, 5.10, of the Hitchcock Pinnacle, with Tucson in the background.

Kristal's parents once again joined while we were at Mount Lemmon.  Here is Lorraine nervously standing atop Hitchcock Pinnacle.

And here is a shot of the moon rising, taken from our campsite.

We also spent a day bouldering on the other side of the city, at a great local spot called Gates Pass.  From there we decided that Cochise Stronghold was worth a return trip before we headed to California.  We climbed two more excellent long routes, both mostly bolted and both in the 5.10a/b range.  The first was The Peacemaker, 7 pitches, 750 feet, which went up the slightly slabby Sheepshead dome, on the left of the picture below.

It was a great climb, and quite sustained for the grade, with more than a few thin slab moves.  Here's Kristal coming up to the anchors on the fourth pitch.

We also climbed Endgame, 5 pitches, 600 feet, up the End Pinnacle of The Rockfellow Domes. The base of the climb was well shaded and pretty chilly, so we built a small fire so Kristal wouldn't freeze to death while I led the first pitch.

That climb itself was awesome, but the conditions were not.  The breeze was pretty mild when we started, but by the time we were at the last pitch, which climbed up a gap between the main formation and the end pinnacle, the wind was howling.  Despite the climbing being only 5.8, I have never felt more insecure while leading.  I had to stop several times and just hug the rock, for fear that I would be blown right off.  Thoroughly unpleasant.

Between these two climbs, we took another rest day and enjoyed a hike through the area, which offered some more great scenery...

... and more awesome desert plants.


  1. You are getting some great photos.
    Quite the flower stalk there.
    We saw some of these aloe like plants in Corsica when we went there.
    You have missed some chilly weather in Ottawa.

  2. Thanks Jeff. Definitely not missing the weather! :)