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Elevation: 5,000 ft
GPS: 32.33339, -110.72478
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Shared By: Hendrixson on Jan 9, 2014 · Updates
Admins: adrian montaƱo, Greg Opland, Brian Boyd, JJ Schlick, Kemper Brightman, Luke Bertelsen

Description Suggest change

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:

  • Dragon Tower: The first routes encountered. Both Dragon's Back and Dragon's Arete are worth climbing to ascend the lichen-covered tower.
  • 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.
  • Jailhouse Rock: Prison Camp's premier wall features harder lines on water-polished rock. Standout routes include Crime And Punishment, Armed Robbery, and Sentenced To Hang. There are a number of easier, mostly mixed lines around the corner and to the left.
  • Mr. Meanor Wall: A moderate mecca which is popular much of the year. The middle lines are mixed. St. Valinetine's Day Massacre is popular among new climbers. Ropes are frequently moved between anchors for toproping.
  • 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.

Topo

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.

Getting There Suggest change

Drive up the Catalina (Mount Lemmon) Highway until you reach the turn off for the Gordon Hirabayashi Campground just after mile marker 7. Turn left, drive through the campground to the end where it loops around a group site and corral, and park here. To approach the walls, turn right onto the Arizona Trail and hike for 1,000 feet to the junction with Soldier Trail. Follow the Soldier Trail for no more than 200 feet to a sign marking the trail, and then turn right onto an unmarked but well-established trail following the creek. This is the approach trail leading first to Dragon Pillar, then downstream walls including Cell Blocks, Jailhouse Rock, Mr. Meanor, and the Alcatraz Wall.

NOTE: During periods of high water some of the crags in this area may be difficult to access. Alcatraz Wall and Mr. Meanor Wall can be accessed when Soldier's Creek is too high by continuing up Soldier's Trail approximately 1/8 - 1/4 mile to an obvious knoll with a number of "trails of use" on hiker's R, then continuing downslope on a faint trail. Alcatraz is visible from above.

48 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Prison Camp (Gordon Hirabayashi) Area

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
 59
Petty Theft
Trad
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
 80
Safe Cracker
Trad
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 102
Solitary
Sport, TR
5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c
 140
St. Valentines Day Massacre
Sport
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 35
Dragon's Arete
Trad, Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 103
40 to Life
Sport
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 79
Dragon's Back
Sport
5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 66
Safecracker
Trad
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
 173
Armed Robbery
Sport
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 50
Crime and Punishment
Trad
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
 47
Climb Spree
Sport
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
 90
Sentenced To Hang
Sport
5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b
 46
Jailbreak
Sport
5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b
 8
Just Punishment
Trad
5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b
 21
Yard Boss
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Petty Theft Jailhouse Rock
 59
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad
Safe Cracker Mr. Meanor Wall
 80
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad
Solitary Alcatraz Wall
 102
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Sport, TR
St. Valentines Day Massacre Mr. Meanor Wall
 140
5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c Sport
Dragon's Arete Dragon Tower
 35
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad, Sport
40 to Life Mr. Meanor Wall
 103
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Dragon's Back Dragon Tower
 79
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Safecracker Jailhouse Rock
 66
5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Trad
Armed Robbery Jailhouse Rock
 173
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c Sport
Crime and Punishment Jailhouse Rock
 50
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Trad
Climb Spree Jailhouse Rock
 47
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a Sport
Sentenced To Hang Jailhouse Rock
 90
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Sport
Jailbreak Jailhouse Rock
 46
5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b Sport
Just Punishment Jailhouse Rock
 8
5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b Trad
Yard Boss Jailhouse Rock
 21
5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b Sport
More Classic Climbs in Prison Camp (Gordon Hirabayashi) Area »

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