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Areas in Gandalf's Gorge

8B Boulder, The 0 / 0 / 0 / 13 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 13
Colonel Boulder 0 / 0 / 0 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2
Creek Overhang 0 / 0 / 0 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2
Creek Roof 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Cube, The 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0
Dragon's Den, The 0 / 0 / 0 / 7 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 7
Gollum's 0 / 0 / 0 / 5 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 5
Joe's A-Frame 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0
Lucky's Boulder 0 / 0 / 0 / 5 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 5
Random Wall 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0
Rick Ross 0 / 0 / 0 / 5 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 5
Stinkermint Boulder 0 / 0 / 0 / 4 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 4
Tigerlily 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Widow Boulder 0 / 0 / 0 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3

Description

Gandalf's Gorge and the boulders surrounding the River Boulder are a much closer option for those unwilling to trek the miles out to the Wilderness of Rocks. The approaches vary between five (River Boulder) and twenty (Gollum's) minutes from the parking lot. More bouldering in southern Arizona can be found at http://oldpueblobouldering.com/.

Color Code: The color code for the topos is as follows:

VB-V2: Green
V3-V5: Blue
V6-V9: Orange
V10-Above: Red
Project: Yellow


Stars: In contemplating the quality of these climbs, I’ve resorted to the (more) objective standards articulated by Brian Capps, Matt Wilder, & Jamie Emerson. Because the rock quality here tends to be crumbly and sharp, there are few climbs that get more than one star--—if even that. The 8B Boulder, Dragon’s Den, and Gollum’s are noteworthy exceptions.

Here are some of the determinative factors under the system used:
• Obvious start hold
• Landing
• Rock quality (Including chipping or gluing)
• Contrivance/Traverse
• Setting
• History (though an absence would never detract)

Here are some factors that are irrelevant under the system by way of their overly subjective nature:
• Movement
• Style
• Difficulty


For more, see http://www.b3bouldering.com/2009/01/19/the-star-system/.

Getting There

From the River Boulder, follow the obvious trail (Sunset Trail) just above the River Boulder along the hillside (above the streambed) to parallel the streambed from above. Continue through a slight left turn that interrupts the trail’s parallel of the stream. After making the slight left turn, turn right and drop down the hillside into the canyon back toward the streambed. The trail will become faint, but still visible. Take the trail along the canyon floor and then veer left upon nearing the stream. (The whole stream/canyon veers left). Even if you lose the trail, hiking down the stream will get you to the boulders.

A couple photos below display the turn off to drop down into the canyon from the Sunset Trail.

48 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Gandalf's Gorge

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
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Photos

Matt Fowls
Tucson, Arizona
Matt Fowls   Tucson, Arizona
vimeo.com/23669929 Apr 21, 2014

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