Looking for a well-protected cochise recommendation


Original Post
Mike Kane · Dec 17, 2015 · Tucson, AZ · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 65
Hi guys and gals,

I have a friend visiting from out of town and we are hoping to make a day trip to Cochise on Tuesday. Despite living in Tucson, I don't have a lot of experience with the area (I've climbed Mystery of the Desert and Ewephoria) so I am hoping for some route recommendations. Unfortunately the topos on MP for some of the areas are quite poor. The things that are important to me are:

1) It is well-protected. The main reason I don't climb in
Cochise more is I hate run out climbing. I'd prefer mostly bolts, but mixed or trad is ok if the gear is good and the run-outs are minimal. Please no hanging gear belays.
2) We won't get lost. I really only know how to get to the Sheepshead area and I'm afraid of any routes with complicated approaches or route-finding. I'd love to check out a new area and I don't mind buying a guide book if one has some good maps/topos. Really, I just don't want our one day there to be spent swimming through a sea of shin-daggers.
3) Not too hard. Probably up to 5.10- sport and 5.8 trad.

Thanks in advance for all the help!

Mike

Greg D · Dec 17, 2015 · Here · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 511
Generally speaking, the west side routes are better protected and tend to have more bolts than the east side. The Peacemaker on sheepshead is almost entirely bolt protected. I think we placed one cam on the first pitch during some easy runout. All belays are bolted anchors IIRC. The sheepshead can be seen from miles away so finding shouldn't be a problem.

Paul Zander · Dec 17, 2015 · Tucson, AZ · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 662
Peacemaker is a good rec.

If you want to checkout a new area, Endgame is an absolute classic, my favorite of the routes I've done there. Its a challenge at .10- (or was for me) but the cruxes are extremely closely bolted. Runouts are all easier than 5.8. Bring a lot of draws, slings, nuts, a 0.75 and 0.4 and you're good. And if you've never been to the Rockfellows you're missing out on one of the most beautiful spots in AZ.

Use Geir's approach map here: geir.com/googleearth/strong...

Flex · Dec 17, 2015 · Flagstaff, AZ · Joined Apr 2007 · Points: 480
It sounds like you don't want to climb at the stronghold then. Seriously, all the things that you listed as wanting to avoid are exactly what gives the place it's character. Consider what each climbing area is and respect those places for what they are.

Bill Lawry · Dec 18, 2015 · New Mexico · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 1,394
I tend to agree with Flex - Cochise may not be where you want to climb in general ... although there might be a climb or two with your name on it / them.

Good for you for giving careful thought to what you want out of a climb.

Neil and Cassidy · Dec 18, 2015 · Casper, wy · Joined Mar 2014 · Points: 0
I agree with the last couple posts. Sheepshead is the only option that might meet your requirements, and even then you may only have a couple routes to chooses from. Endgame might be good, except that you will have lots of shin daggers to deal with, some of which are on the climb in the form of jagged chickenheads ha. Side note that is not meant as a dig to OP: Reminds me of the group I ran into at sweet rock that asked me for a recommendation for something less slabby.

B.S. Luther · Dec 18, 2015 · Yorba Linda, CA · Joined Dec 2009 · Points: 30
Another vote for Peacemaker. Only route I did there but it was fun and has a ton of bolts, I think we used a cam once or twice. Approach is pretty obvious.

Geir · Dec 18, 2015 · Tucson, AZ · Joined Jun 2006 · Points: 2,505
Mike,

You might consider Tour Buses Welcome. It starts right next to Mystery of the Desert, so finding it will be straightforward, and it seems to meet your other criteria. Most parties do three pitches and then rap the route.

Curtveld · Dec 18, 2015 · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 390
There is some good sport climbing in the grades you seek. Isle of You area on the west side and Zappa Wall on the east. Zappa Wall is a bit of a hike but not tough and gives great views into a rugged and remote corner of the Dragoons.

One caveat, the 'Isle of You' ROUTE is awesome but has a runout start.

mattm · Dec 18, 2015 · TX · Joined Jun 2006 · Points: 550
Flex wrote:It sounds like you don't want to climb at the stronghold then. Seriously, all the things that you listed as wanting to avoid are exactly what gives the place it's character. Consider what each climbing area is and respect those places for what they are.
Come on - Really? It's not like the OP went and posted some complaint about CS being too scary and should have more bolts added or said I 100% need to go to Rifle but only will do Trad routes. He wast pretty clear that he's got a narrow window of opportunity and limits to what's he's hoping to do and is asking if anyone can point him towards something that might meet those needs. Telling some climber to "respect" what the are "Is" while providing zero guidance adds nothing here. You could have totally said "Hey, CS is typically an adventurous and somewhat bold place to climb. Many love that about CS so what you're seeking may be hard to find. However you might try X,Y or Z as they could meet your needs. As a bonus, if X wasn't to bad check out XX as it's a great stepping stone to the best CS has to offer. Good luck.

Mike Kane · Dec 18, 2015 · Tucson, AZ · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 65
Thank you everyone for the suggestions. And thank you Geir for your topos and maps as well. I have used them before and they are very well done.

Sorry if my original post upset some people. That was not my intention, but I have some anxiety about Cochise that may have crept into my wording. It was not my intention to criticize the climbing ethics in the region as I do not disagree with them.

Aerili · Dec 18, 2015 · Los Alamos, NM · Joined Mar 2007 · Points: 1,680
You didn't specifically say you were looking for multi-pitch routes. There are some great bolted walls like Sweet Rock (west) and Zappa Dome (east) which are single pitch and do not have complicated or long approaches. Edit: oops, looks like my post is a repeat of an earlier post

Geir · Dec 18, 2015 · Tucson, AZ · Joined Jun 2006 · Points: 2,505
Mike Kane wrote:Thank you everyone for the suggestions. And thank you Geir for your topos and maps as well. I have used them before and they are very well done. Sorry if my original post upset some people. That was not my intention, but I have some anxiety about Cochise that may have crept into my wording. It was not my intention to criticize the climbing ethics in the region as I do not disagree with them.
Thanks Mike. I did not read your post as insulting. No worries.

If you need a topo for anything else and can't find one posted feel free to send me a PM. I am working on a lot more right now and might have what you are looking for.

Dj telle · Dec 21, 2015 · Tucson, Arizona · Joined Dec 2012 · Points: 475
basically anything on the sheepshead is now a sport climb thanks to scott ayers!

JMo · Dec 21, 2015 · Tucson, AZ · Joined Jan 2009 · Points: 770
I haven't been on any multi-pitch route in Cochise so far that 1- didn't have at least one moderate runout on easier terrain or 2- that I would call a sport route, and that includes peacemaker. which by the way I have found to be stellar. (I wouldn't call get the flock a sport route but I guess dj likes his chicken(heads) spicy). If I were you I'd take Geir's advice- and get his book. He won't steer you wrong.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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