Prison Camp (Gordon Hirabayashi) Area Rock Climbing
The Prison Camp Area, which was rechristened Gordon Hirabayashi Recreation Area, is one of the more popular crags on Mount Lemmon. With sport and traditional lines ranging in difficulty from 5.5 to 5.12d there is something for everyone.
The sectors comprising this area are:
- Guard Tower: Three moderate traditional routes and a sport route across the way. The traditional routes see little traffic.
- Cell Blocks: Three frequently climbed moderate lines, two of which are mixed.
- Alcatraz Wall: A south facing wall perfect for winter climbing. Solitary is a great introductory sport lead while the other routes allow gear practice.
- Exercise Yard: Two unique, short, juggy routes downstream on an isolated formation.
The below topo shows how the area is organized.
The history of this area is worth learning. From Wikipedia
: As a part of the effort, a federal prison camp was established at the foot of the mountains specifically to supply labor for the construction of the highway. During World War II, the camp was converted into an internment camp named the Catalina Honor Camp, and the internees were forced to work on construction of the roadway. One of the Japanese-American prisoners at the camp, Gordon Hirabayashi, was later honored in 1999 when the site of the Honor Camp was converted into the Gordon Hirabayashi Recreation Area.
Drive up the Catalina (Mount Lemmon) Highway until reaching the turn off for the Gordon Hirabayashi Recreation Area at approximately mile marker 7. Turn left onto a dirt road and follow it to the end where it loops around a metal corral. Park here and pick up a well worn trail that will lead southwest to a dry riverbed. Follow the riverbed first on the left and then on the right. Bypass the first rocky cliff by using the trail on the right (west) side. Continue in the dry riverbed until reaching your desired sector.
Climbing Season For the 1 - Lower Highway area.
Weather station 5.8 miles from here
42 Total Climbing Routes
['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',8],['2 Stars',24],['1 Star',9],['Bomb',0]
Classic Climbing Routes in Prison Camp (Gordon Hirabayashi) Area
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Prison Camp (Gordon Hirabayashi) Area
Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Prison Camp (Gordon Hirabayashi) Area:
Featured Route For Prison Camp (Gordon Hirabayashi) Area
Armed Robbery 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c AZ
: Mount Lemmon (Santa Catalin...
: ... : Jailhouse Rock
Easier after the first 15 feet but sustained and steep long but safe fall potential. In 1988 we had two starts to this route. The left is 5.11 and the right is 5.11+. The right start now has an independent finish. The line is called Climb Spree and is still 11+. A new start that begins below the crack (Crime and Punishment) and uses small holds to reach the same good ledge as the original start. Not any easier but if you are sick of the original start it is different. Clip the first bolt ...[more] Browse More Classics in AZ
Entering the Prison Camp canyon
BETA PHOTO: Top Roping Cell Block 6 = 5.6
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