All Locations > Arizona > Southern Arizona > Mount Lemmon (San… > Mount Lemmon (Cat… > 8 - Summit Crags > The Fortress > Southeast Face
Avg: 3.4 from 44 votes
|Type:||Sport, 400 ft, 4 pitches|
|FA:||Scott Ayers and Mark Colby|
|Page Views:||6,815 total · 33/month|
|Shared By:||Nick Kuhn on May 18, 2001|
|Admins:||Greg Opland, Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick|
Closed to climbing March 15 - June 30 Details
This area is closed March 15 - June 30 for peregrine falcon nesting.
DescriptionThis route is long, fun, reasonably safe, high, sustained and exposed. It's one of the best on the mountain with super solid rock...go climb it!
As you're hiking down to the base of The Fortress, you'll pass a narrow slot between a large boulder and the main wall with a large pine tree and ledge on the other side. Slipping through here will deposit you at the start of the route's second pitch, otherwise, continue hiking down another 100' or so to the actual start.
P1: 80ft. 5.9 Follow the bolts over a slightly bulgy start (not the bolt-protected roof to the left). A short 5.9 section yields easier climbing above. Use the pine tree on top for your belay anchor.
P2: 150ft. 5.9 Amid the myriad bolt lines that cruise upward from here, pick the second from the left. It will follow slightly reddish rock generally up and slightly left, then angle right and head straight to the top of the mini-tower. The climbing looks hard from below the tower, but the holds appear as you reach them. Belay from the 2-bolt anchor on top and relish one of the most fantastic positions in the Catalinas. Then rap down to the massive ramp, keeping a sharp eye for the 2-bolt anchor that lies at the base of the third pitch.
P3: 150ft. 5.9 Ponder your chosen pursuit of hobbies as you make the committing step over the void from the ramp to the main wall. Follow the bolts through the route's crux 5.9+ moves. Though mostly well-bolted, there's at least one lean stretch in the middle that will keep most leaders on their toes. Belay from the 2-bolt anchor. A dropped belay device from here will whistle down, strike an angled face, and lauch hundreds of feet into the trees. Really. After my partner did this I loaned him my spare, which he proceeded to almost drop again from the next pitch. Choose your routes and partners carefully.
P4: 100ft. 5.8 Follow a few more bolts over a short headwall and cruise up easy, unprotected 5th class to the 2-bolt anchor on top. Soak in the views, have some lunch, and argue over which pitch was the best.
Descent: Take the North Ridge 5th class scramble home, unless you have a second rope and want to risk interfering with other climbing parties and getting the rope stuck on rappel.