The bouldering areas above Lake Mary consist of the long stretching limestone band that runs from the Pit on the west, all the way to FR 128 on the east, where the limestone finally peaters out, and basalt starts to take over. FR 128 marks the start of Anderson Mesa, a basalt cap that dominates much of the north side of Upper Lake Mary. There are miles of basalt outcroppings above the highway, but the most traveled area is above the Lakeview Campground.
These are old areas that have been climbed at for a long time, by a lot of good climbers. Robert Drysdale and friends established the Booze Pig Wall in the early nineties, along side the development of Priest Draw. Most of these bands remain exploratory at this point, however, there are several areas that are certainly more condensed, and offer up a good concentration of excellent problems.
All of these areas are accessed off of Lake Mary road, with short uphill approaches, and views of Lower and Upper Lake Mary, as well as Mormon Mountain off to the south east. The mostly southern aspect makes these areas a real treat in the fall, spring, and even in the dead of winter depending upon the year. These areas will require seasonal cleanings, especially after winter and the monsoons. If you get up there and find a fine layer a silt over everything, rest well in the knowledge that you are the first person up there in probably a long time. Usually a stick brush or broom will suffice to get rid of the surface silt, though having a short rope and harness to inspect the higher problems isn't a bad idea.
From Flagstaff, find your way onto Lake Mary road and drive east...
Booze Pig is a classic crimp line which will test your strength, and certainly the clarity of your head. Start with right hand two finger undercling pocket. This hold is not your typical pocket, and is a bit sharp. Move up and left to the slopey crimp rail. Match and then deadpoint the slopey toothy crimp. One more big move to a finger bucket up and left delivers you into the insecure topout... Twenty years old and still kicking ass....[more]Browse More Classics in AZ
This is great exploratory bouldering, especially for the colder months. I used to live in Flag a few years ago and would be amazed that hardly anyone had the energy to hike a little bit off the beaten path, funny considering the masses at the draw and the pit close by. Glad to see some interest in the area.
I agree with Jeff, and cheers to JJ for compiling, sorting through, and condensing all the (sometimes conflicting) info on this area. Not only have you established some great-looking problems up there, but you've done an excellent job of researching and documenting the climbing history of this special place. Thanks, David
By JJ Schlick Administrator From: Flagstaff, AZ Dec 31, 2011
Thanks David. When it comes to the Ridge, it is my pleasure. Rob and I grew up in the same town, though he died the year I started climbing, so we never had a chance to meet in person. However, I heard many a story about the "Condor" as they called him back in Wisconsin. He was obviously talented on the stone, but also had the keen eye for good lines. The latter, being a skill our mutual mentor Dave Groth instilled in both of us. And thank god he did. I think Rob would be psyched to see the sports action going down, as Flagstaff starts to remember this timeless stone.