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Routes in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Crag

April O'Neil S 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Bebop S 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Donatello S 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Foot Clan Crack T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Hamato Yoshi T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Irma S 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Krang S 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Leonardo S 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Master Splinter T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Michelangelo S 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Mr. Thompson S 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
Raphael S 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Rocksteady S 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Shredder T 5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c
Technodrome, The S 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Elevation: 3,229 ft
GPS: 32.313, -110.743 Google Map · Climbing Map
Page Views: 7,586 total, 110/month
Shared By: NickMartel on Apr 15, 2012
Admins: Greg Opland, Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick


North facing cliff up the South hillside of the hairpin turn canyon. The cliff is the South (left) side of a narrow (4-12' wide) canyon that can be seen from the hairpin turn parking pullout. Because the canyon is so narrow boulders have gotten wedged in the canyon and sand and rock have filled in the up canyon side of them creating several flat terraces to belay from.

All the hardware has been camouflaged to match to rock color.

Getting There

Park at the hairpin turn parking pullout. Cross the road. After passing a 2' wide metal drainage pipe and pile or jumbled rocks on the left side of the road head up hill via a smallish drainage. Just before reaching the cliffs exit the drainage to the right and follow the natural rock stairs up the right side of the canyon. You will be at the base of a 8' tall boulder blocking the way to the upper canyon. Scale the boulder and set down your gear on either the main terrace or up at the top of the canyon.

15 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Crag

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Hamato Yoshi
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Michelangelo 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Sport
Hamato Yoshi 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad
Raphael 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
More Classic Climbs in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Crag »

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The only times I've ever seen a bit go purple was when there was significant free-wheeling. A dull bit in really hard rock would generate less dust per unit time and may yield the same result. I always use very sharp bits and have a really good drill, so I haven't seen it happen that way.

If I'm showing someone how to drill, I tell them to let the drill do the work but maintain constant pressure... no free-wheeling.

Cres would probably know whether my idea makes sense. I may have confirmed it with him years ago, I don't remember. Feb 14, 2017
Interesting idea John. Not sure if it holds up though. Air is used to cool things much more often than dust. I rarely spin bits in holes. The only time I have ended up with overheated bits was in super hard rock. No real data on this so you could be correct but I have never seen it happen except in hard rock. Feb 14, 2017
If I'm gonna be wrong, I'd rather be wrong using too much bolt than too little.

In my experience, a more common factor in bits losing tempering (turning blue) is allowing them to free-wheel in the hole. No dust = no cooling. Feb 13, 2017
Luke Bertelsen
Tucson, AZ
Luke Bertelsen   Tucson, AZ  

Eric, funny about the drill bits in Gneiss. This exact thing happened to me just last week. I was shocked at how hard that rock is. Feb 13, 2017
Luke Bertelsen
Tucson, AZ
Luke Bertelsen   Tucson, AZ  
Hello to all interested parties-

Jon was kind enough to drop off the bolt so I could have a look. It's sitting on my desk as I type. It is a 2-1/4"(L) x 3/8"(W) Powers wedge anchor. The material is carbon plated steel.

I'm with Eric in terms of the length of bolt I commonly use. Anything I have developed on Lemmon has been with either:


2-1/4" length seems a bit short and if you take a look at Jon's picture you will notice that a good length of the bolt was visible leaving not much bolt in the rock - possibly just over an inch?

Another interesting note is that the bolt in question is already showing signs of corrosion despite being a relatively new route. This is just another example of why stainless steel is preferred.

Anyhow, there are plenty of folks to mentor under and plenty of resources out there for how to bolt safe sport climbs - videos, articles with step by step outlines, etc. Take the time to educate yourself before slamming some hardware into the rock and think about how the climbs you develop will be used by one and all.

-Luke Feb 13, 2017
In that low elevation banded Gneiss 2 3/4 X 3/8th is plenty of bolt, IF it is place into a solid piece of stone. If it is placed into fractured or detatched flakes they as we can see, can fail. This rock is so hard that a bit only lasted about 3 routes at the Weathertop before it overheated and the connection of the carbide tip to the shaft would fail. Not as much of a problem with the newer faster drills but with an older slower drill they failed quick. You can tell you are overheating a bit because there shaft will turn a darker blue color near the tip. With good rock the Gneiss we have is the hardest thing I have drilled into in Southern AZ. Feb 11, 2017
Jon do you still have the bolt ? So you could measure it ?

I don't know what you mean by "standard". I think of 3 1/4 as a minimum length, and I always use 3 3/4 (or 5" for 1/2 inch bolts). Feb 9, 2017
Jon Ruland
Tucson, AZ
Jon Ruland   Tucson, AZ
shorter than the ones i use, but i use long bolts. it's either standard bolt length or slightly shorter. Feb 7, 2017
How long is that bolt ? Feb 7, 2017
Jon Ruland
Tucson, AZ
Jon Ruland   Tucson, AZ
i took on the third bolt of technodrome today and the rock exploded and i found myself upside down 4 feet from the ground. if i had fallen from above it i could easily have decked.

the bolt was placed in bad rock, which blew out when me and my belayer weighted it (combined we're about 330 pounds or so). if you're going to climb here please inspect all bolts before trusting them.

CASA should be taking a look at this cliff in the near future so it should be made safe again soon. the climbing here is surprisingly fun and the 5-minute approach is hard to beat, so it would be a shame to lose this cliff due to suspect bolts.

Feb 7, 2017
- Wear a HELMET
- I have now climbed all the routes, and there isn't a discernible difference to me in the ratings: all the routes are ~5.9+ to 5.10 (with the exception of the 5.5)
- All the routes require a lot of footwork, i.e. trusting small (~0.25") ledges.
- Don't expect 5-finger handholds (nor should you at these ratings); mainly fingertip grips and pinches (resulting in pumped forearms) and some stretchy mantles
- You can climb the 5.5 and transfer (traverse) the anchor to the harder routes and top-rope them if you don't want to lead
- THANKS for your work in putting up these routes! Nov 13, 2014
Kyle O
Tucson, AZ
Kyle O   Tucson, AZ
Fun place to climb and very accessible. Thanks for all the hard work putting this area up! Oct 1, 2013
Charles Vernon
Tucson, AZ
Charles Vernon   Tucson, AZ
I've never been to this crag, but it seems strange to single it out as not matching up with the style of other bolted routes on Mt. Lemmon. There are tons of newer bolted areas where the bolts are close together. Raycreation, Ridgeline, Munchkinland, Rivendell, just to name a few. Apr 13, 2013
Andrew Megas-Russell   Tucson, AZ
This crag is super accessible and is packed tight with routes. The movement is fun. The bolting is very generous... body length bolted. It doesn't seem to match up with the style of other bolted routes on Mt. Lemmon... meaning less bold and sometimes awkwardly placed bolts. The grades also seem a bit soft for the area. That being said, if you are visiting town and get scared on some of the other great classic southern AZ routes on mt. lemmon, this is the place for you.
Apr 12, 2013
Tucson, AZ
Hendrixson   Tucson, AZ
What is the first route encountered? The route to the left of April O'Neal. Seemed harder but on lesser rock than April O'Neal. The bolting at the start is odd and very tight.

We had fun on the two routes we did before getting rained out. Aug 17, 2012
Tucson, Arizona
NickMartel   Tucson, Arizona
After getting feedback from some older and wiser climbers than us Kristina and I decided to take it down until we finished camouflaging all the hardware. Apr 16, 2012
Tucson, AZ
Hendrixson   Tucson, AZ
Thanks for reposting this crag. I look forward to checking it out. Apr 16, 2012
Tucson, Arizona
NickMartel   Tucson, Arizona
This is a new area low on the mountain where the rock is much more crumbly and so it still has some loose rock.
Nothing big has come off for at least a month but small pebbles still come off almost every pitch so WEAR A HELMET and knock em down!

ENJOY! Apr 16, 2012

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