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Moving to PHX with questions
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By Climbing Badger
Mar 27, 2012

Hello, I'm moving to the Scottsdale area May 1st and I've got some questions.

What's the best area in climb in within an hour? Any style in cool, bouldering, sport, whatever.

How about the best gym?

I can't turn up any gearshops besides REI on Google, am I missing some?

Thanks and feel free to let the opinions fly.


FLAG
By Peter Franzen
Administrator
From Phoenix, AZ
Mar 27, 2012
Belay

I just moved here last year, so I can give a few impressions. I live in north Scottsdale.

- I climb at Arizona on the Rocks (AZR) since it's just a couple of miles from where I live. It's a pretty decent facility and the kids working there are a good group; I'm not sure what you're used to in terms of gyms, but even though it doesn't compare to some of the top-tier places in other cities it isn't bad.

- Pinnacle Peak is what I would consider to be the closest "good" climbing; there are some really fun granite moderates up there. It's right outside of town.

- Queen Creek is about an hour away and has some OK sport climbing and bouldering and is a good place for a day trip. I've only climbed there in the Fall and Winter, and I'd imagine that it gets pretty hot from here on out. And if you've ever wondered why Arizona climbers are given a bad name just do some research on the access issues there; you'll find more drama than you thought was possible.

- Within 2 or 3 hours there are a TON of options. The Prescott areas, Flagstaff, Jack's Canyon, Paradise Forks, Mt. Lemon, Cochise... the list is endless and there's a massive amount to explore.

And there is a strange lack of gear shops here. Arizona Hiking Supply has a pretty decent selection of stuff but there doesn't seem to be anything like Summit Hut, which is in Tucson. You're pretty much stuck with REI as far as I can tell.


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By Joe Cayer
From Mesa, Az
Mar 27, 2012
Torchraker!!

You can also look for gear in the gear shops at Climbmax Climbing Gym and Phoenix Rock Gym, the shop is called Tufa Gear Shop. They don't have a whole lot of space in either gym, but depending what you're looking for, they may have it.


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By Catherine Conner
From Phoenix, AZ
Mar 27, 2012
Contemplative-what is ahead?

Arizona Hiking Shack is awesome, especially it's new location on 36th st & Thomas. the McDowells are also near-it's a lot of heady trad/mixed. I always like some crumbly camelback climbing... Have fun, there is A LOT to do! Oh, and yes I've gotten good stuff from the Tufa Gear shop in PRG before.


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By Marcy
From Tempe/Tuscon, AZ
Mar 27, 2012
the tornado

I second the AZ Hiking Shack!

You didn't mention trad, but, if you're inclined, there are also some stellar trad routes in the Queen Creek area (look up the Refuge and Lower Devil's East here on MP).

The McDowells are also nearby Pinnacle Peak and offer some sweet granite climbing.


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By Jeff Ludwig
From phoenix, Az
Mar 27, 2012

Everything suggested so far is right on

"Good" climbing in north Scottsdale
AZ hiking shack
REI

Other than that I would add

Good luck and hope you enjoy PHX as much as i do.

Another good Phoenix climbing area to check out is Flagstaff


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By Mark Mueller
From Flagstaff, AZ
Mar 28, 2012
Great quality rock on this one!

there's no climbing in FLG...


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By JD Kendall
From Winslow, AZ
Mar 28, 2012

Mark Mueller wrote:
there's no climbing in FLG...


...only the "Super Top Secret" kind where you post photos all over the internet and then tell people that you can't tell them where it is...


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By Climbing Badger
Mar 29, 2012

Thanks for the info. What's the short story on Queen Creek?


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By ClimbPHX.com
From Mesa AZ
Mar 29, 2012
Final Pitch on Birdland - 5.7 Red Rocks

LOL - The short story on QC

QC is still open to the public for the time being - This
area is still open but is in the works for a mining rehaul benefits
of the Rio Tinto Mining Corporation and Resolution Mining.
Get your fix of climbing while its available.

I recommend the Throne and Pancake house right now - the weather is beautiful!


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By Richard Fernandez
From Flagstaff, AZ
Mar 29, 2012
Crack Test Dummies EPC

Mark Mueller wrote:
there's no climbing in FLG...


... move along now.


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By JacobD
From Flagstaff, AZ
Mar 29, 2012
Me on Half Dome Boulder, Middle Finger of Fury <br /> <br />Awesome problem!

Flag has great climbing! If you want someone to show you around let me know. Welcome to Arizona.


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By Climbing Badger
Apr 4, 2012

Hey, trying to decide if I should sell my Jeep and get a car. High clearance necessary much for any crags?


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By Ben Warner
From Boston, MA
Apr 4, 2012
Jtree, by C. Kuzdas

In my opinion, you will want high clearance. This does somewhat depend on the type of climbing you are looking for, and on your tolerance of approaches. For places like the homestead, and some areas around QC you will need high clearance. Also, there is a lot of long dirt roads in AZ, and depending on the season 4x4 is very useful.


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By NC Rock Climber
From The Oven, AKA Phoenix
Apr 4, 2012
tanuki

I agree with Ben... sorta. I have a 4WD Toyota, and the only place I have needed the clearance / traction was The Homestead. It was a must for that road. Access to everywhere else I have been since I moved here has been totally accessible with 2WD. I spend a lot more time driving on the highway than I do on dirt. YMMV depending on where you go. Also, I am not the voice of experience regarding AZ climbing; I moved back here May of last year after being away since the 90s. I live in N Phoenix.

As far a gyms, I have had a good experience climbing at AZ on the Rocks. Nice staff, good routes, lots of kids and noobs, but I enjoy climbing there when real rock is not an option. I hear some good things about PRG and some not so good. Local climbing (less than :30 min drive) is limited. The McDowell Mtns and Pinnacle Peak are fun. I do not know if there is much else in the city. Queen Creek is the next closest option, and I had fun climbing there the one time I went. I will go back. There are a ton of other great places within a 2.5 hour drive. Isolation Canyon is amazing! The Overlook at Oak Creek Canyon is a great single pitch trad crag... Again, there a bunch of great options within a 2.5 hour drive.

I agree with what has been said regarding gear shops. The guys at the Hiking Shack were totally cool and actually knew what they were talking about.

FWIW, my experience with the local climbing community has be very positive. I have met some cool folks at the gym and now have 3 solid partners. Without exception, the folks I have met at the crag have been very friendly. I am not saying there are not assholes out there. I just have not met any yet. I could not say the same after my first weekend climbing at the RRG.

Good luck with your move. I hope you find AZ as good a place to live as I have.


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By Climbing Badger
Apr 18, 2012

Well, I'm here and psyched. Anyone free in the next week to give me a tour of some local stuff? I will be staying in north Scottsdale. Trad, sport or bouldering but I don't have my pads down here yet.


FLAG
 
By David Arthur Sampson
Apr 19, 2012
Slap/Tickle

Welcome! I am currently away from climbing due to an injury, but please feel free to pm me in the near future.


FLAG


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