Prison Camp (Gordon Hirabayashi) Area
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.
Weather station 5.8 miles from here
42 Total Routes
['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',8],['2 Stars',23],['1 Star',10],['Bomb',0]
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Entering the Prison Camp canyon
BETA PHOTO: Top Roping Cell Block 6 = 5.6
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