Areas in Tam O'Shanter
Burn Zone, The 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
|Shared By:||Braxtron on Feb 28, 2007|
|Admins:||Greg Opland, Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick|
DescriptionTam O'Shanter is the name given to an assortment of crags located along a ridge of the Dripping Spring Mountains just east of Kearny, AZ. Although climbers visited the area many years ago, it came to prominence in the last couple of years once Resolution Copper Company (RCC) started a drive to mine a large deposit of copper ore located under the Oak Flat Campground area (Queen Creek). They recruited well-known Colorado climber, John Sherman, to help them locate and develop a "new" climbing area in an attempt to quiet down climber protest that occurred when RCC first announced their plans to close Oak Flat for mining. Tamo was the result of Sherman's search.
Most of the developed climbing at Tamo, so far, resides on various quartzite cliffs scattered in the area surrounding the slopes below 4633 foot Tam O'Shanter Peak. The various cliffs of the area range from about 30 feet to over 100 feet with the bulk of the climbable rock in the shorter range. The rock seems to be fairly heavy in quartz content, but does seem to retain some pretty good friction. A quick glance at the rock would give you the impression of limestone and a lot of holds are pockets and slots, sort of uncharacteristic for granitic climbing.
The routes developed at Tamo at this time seem to be topropes (quite a few of the easier routes), some gear routes, and lots of bolted lines. Scrambling around atop the cliffs to attempt to set up topropes might be somewhat of a bad idea until some serious cleaning goes on. There is a plethora of shattered rock in this area, so exercise care!!!
There are some pretty large limestone cliffs ringing the square summit cap of Tam O'Shanter Peak itself, but the quality of this rock is unknown.
Please do not cross private land to reach main crag. Details
From John Sherman 4/27/07: At present encouraging people to cross the landowner's property without permission reflects poorly on climbers in general. More importantly, it threatens negotiations to acquire privately owned parcels that include some of the best bouldering at Tamo as well as the tallest cliffs at Tamo, the bulk of the high end sportclimbing and a number of fine trad prospects as well. Climbers who wish to approach Tamo legally can hike in from the Kearny OHV trail system to the west - a high clearance 4x4 will shorten the hike.
- Be aware that these are the only directions that do not include crossing private land (as of May '07). Please respect the landowners by not trespassing.
All mileages are taken from the intersection of 'Hwy 177 and Hammond Dr.' in south Kearny, AZ. High clearance 4x4 is recommended for the last couple miles.
0.0 From the intersection of 'Hwy 177 and Hammond' at the south end of Kearny (next to the big water tanks), go East on Hammond to enter the Kearny OHV trail system. Continue along the dirt road passing on the south side of the water towers.
0.4 Fork right on trail #1.
2.1 Road forks - stay right on trail #1.
2.7 Fork right on trail #6.
3.4 T-intersection stay right (go straight) on trail #6.
3.5 Stay left on trail #6.
5.2 Park at the intersection atop ridge. Hike East along the ridge and follow line of least resistance to Tamo crags approximately 4 miles to the Main Crag (looks less on maps but there is a lot of zigzagging around ravines, cactus beds, dead aliens, etc).
As far as can be determined, the information given above is accurate regarding the legality of driving in to the Tamo area. The road is open and drivable (4WD!!!). There are sections of private land up on the ridgeline where the crags are located, so climbers should try to become educated about the public vs. private land boundaries and act accordingly!!! It is assumed that cliffs that have seen route development at this time are of the public variety!!! If you can get a copy of the Tamo guide published online by John Sherman (and pulled from the website shortly after the trip report cited above was published), the public/private ownership of the various crags is detailed there.
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