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Born of Water

5.10c, Trad, Sport, 1000 ft (303 m), 9 pitches, Grade III,  Avg: 2.4 from 11 votes
FA: Mark Colby and Mike Strassman, 1995
Arizona > Southern Arizona > Baboquivari Peak > W Face/ Southwest Arete
Access Issue: Caution: Human and Drug Trafficking Details

Description

This long, slabby route follows a waterchute from the second through fourth pitches and continues on a left traversing dike after that. The crux is the third pitch which is a very well bolt-protected waterchute up a headwall. It's short but has some excellent moves. There's only one other difficult pitch, the third, which is a long bolt-protected face with the crux move over a shallow roof. Other than that, the climbing never really gets any harder than 5.7 with fairly sparse pro. Difficult route finding near the top with many different ways to go. Good rock on the harder pitches and loose, flaky rock on the rest. Babo is a fabulous summit, so any route to the top is well worth it.

Location

The route is located on the south/southwest face of the peak. Bushwhack past the start of the Forbes Route along the Great Ramp to Lion's Ledge. Head down Lion's Ledge for about a 100 yards and look for a dead 12' log resting against a small pillar. This is the start. The first pitch follows a left leaning ramp crack and turns back right ending on a small pillar below a shallow overhang. Descend the Forbes-Montoya route. Expect some steep down-climbing and at least 1 rap. If doing the route from car to car, allow at least 3 hours for the approach, 4 hours for the climbing, and another 3 hours for the descent and walk back to camp. Makes for a long day.

Protection

Rack needed: at least 12 quickdraws and 1 set of cams to #3 Camalot. 1 set of nuts. It pros well in the harder areas.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Marilyn topping out on Born of Water on Baboquivari Peak in southern AZ.
[Hide Photo] Marilyn topping out on Born of Water on Baboquivari Peak in southern AZ.
following Kevin's heroically speedy lead of BoW
[Hide Photo] following Kevin's heroically speedy lead of BoW

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

Mike
Phoenix
  5.10
[Hide Comment] I was under the impression that this was a Mike Strassman route. Is my info incorrect???

If this route was judged on just the climbing it would be 2 stars at best, and maybe even one star. However, it is in such a spectacular and special location with such awesome scenery that it certainly deserves 3 stars. Babo is an incredible, special place. Jul 14, 2009
jbak x
tucson, az
[Hide Comment] FA of Ayers/Colby is correct. Jul 14, 2009
[Hide Comment] I talked with Scott a number of years ago and he told me that he had never been to Babo. So I'm pretty sure he wasn't on the FA of this one.

Ditto Mike's comments. Jul 14, 2009
jbak x
tucson, az
[Hide Comment] So should I throw away Scott and Mark's hand-drawn topo with their names on it as FAers ? Mark gave it to me a couple of days after they did the FA.

Scott never been to Babo ? Are you on drugs ? Jul 14, 2009
[Hide Comment] Of course!

Just relaying what he told me. Don't kill the messenger. :) Jul 14, 2009
Mike
Phoenix
  5.10
[Hide Comment] Geir on drugs? Are you on drugs?

OK seriously, thanks for the info jbaker. Jul 14, 2009
jbak x
tucson, az
[Hide Comment] Someone said I was on drugs last night... but I don't remember.

Think about it though...Scott's lived here 30+ years... does it seem even remotely possible that he's never been to Babo in that time ? Jul 15, 2009
Marcy -
Tucson/DMR
[Hide Comment] "Geir on drugs" new avatar:


--- Invalid image id: 106489721 --- Jul 15, 2009
[Hide Comment] marcy, that's friggin hilarious!

john- yeah, i know it doesn't seem right. as i recall he told me in the same conversation that the entry in the kerry book regarding his ascent of the spring route was a typo, and that he also hasn't been out to leviathan. but, the drugs may have soiled my memory. someone will have ask him to clarify when he's back in town.

marcy, i'm still laughing out loud!!! :) Jul 15, 2009
[Hide Comment] does any one know if this route was drilled on lead? ethics of the area? thanks... Sep 23, 2009
[Hide Comment] Not sure about Born of Water, but every other route I know about on Babo has been put up ground up. It's not exactly a sport climbing area... Sep 25, 2009
Bob
[Hide Comment] Regarding Scott Ayers and the first ascent of Born of Water - he has told me as well that he has never climbed on Baboquivari. I have gone through all the recent summit logs and Scott's name is not there...

Bob Kerry gives the first ascent credit to Mark Colby and Mike Strassman in 1995:

climbaz.com/Backcountry/gra…

Similarly, there is an entry in the summit log by Mark Colby and Mike Strassman on 2/23/1995:

"5.10+ New Route Right of Times L..."

See page 4:

climbaz.com/babo_logs/pdf/0…

[Note that Mike has an amusing dialog with Jim Boyer in this log] Dec 1, 2009
Marcy -
Tucson/DMR
[Hide Comment] Guess Geir is not on drugs after all...who'da thunk it? :) Mar 1, 2010
jbak x
tucson, az
[Hide Comment] D'oh !

Well...SOMEONE is on drugs...me ?

Ya know I just looked at the topo that Colby gave me and it has no names on it. When he said "we" I must have assumed it was Mark and Scott.

Sorry Geir ! Mar 1, 2010
[Hide Comment] no offense taken at all, john! :) Mar 2, 2010
jbak x
tucson, az
[Hide Comment] Reminds me of an old joke...

"Some guy said he saw me over on 34th street yesterday snorting cocaine and smoking grass...but that's just not true...I wasn't anywhere near 34th street." Mar 2, 2010
Charles Vernon
Colorado megalopolis
  5.10
[Hide Comment] Back to the climbing for a minute....

....this feels like a Sheepshead clip-up transposed onto Babo. Kinda weird. Still, the climbing was more fun than I thought it would be. The crux pitch was pretty hard. If you're browsing reasonable 5.10s on Babo, I think I'itoi Dance is a better choice: a bit more in keeping with the wilderness experience you may well be seeking. But any day you summit Babo (and get back home the same night) is a good one.

(If you're looking for an unreasonable 5.10, you'll find a couple on the east face.)

....carry on with your regularly scheduled flaming. Jan 31, 2011
Bob
j mo
western slope
  5.10+ PG13
[Hide Comment] Let's assume you climbed this one star route, cursed Charles a bit for calling it a clip up, noted the sandbagged crux, and now want to get down before dark. Perhaps you made the mistake of reading this thread expecting that useful information here. You will instead have regaled yourself with debate about the first ascent and Geir's sobriety, and still be left to wonder how to get down this complex mountain. You will find this rather crucial info on the SE arĂȘte route description. It is gold. Print it and carry it. Jan 31, 2016
[Hide Comment] I think the log at the start is gone. Using info from this site, the Kerry book, and a description and topo from the FAist on rockclimbing.com, I was still confused. I'm pretty sure the topo, which includes other routes on the wall, is highly inaccurate for this route.

Even after starting on the wrong route (pretty sure it was Cloud Man God Angry) I couldn't locate the start of this climb; you'd think a 5.6 ramp with bolts would be easy to find. Anyway, I somehow ended up on bad runnout 5.10 R but when I got to a point with a small ledge figured I was on top of a pitch, which I think is the top of what is normally pitch 2.

I guess I linked pitches 3 and 4 (it took every inch of our 70 meter rope). I was really confused because I thought once I hit the bolts it would be continuous tightly spaced bolts to an anchor. Well there are 3 bolts in about 10 feet, and then a 75'(?) run out, which is mainly on an easy ledge, to the next bolts, which are then tightly spaced for 80ish feet to a 2 bolt anchor. I guess I was supposed to belay on the ledge but gear options were limited there. The part that I really wasn't psyched on was after going up this sloping ledge and then traversing 20' up and right on 5.10 with loose rock to the next bolt. You could put pro in the hanging hollow flakes but it just seems like a good way to pull them off and cut your rope if you were to fall. The ledge is below you and by the time you clip this bolt you're looking at a fall that will make you a paraplegic at best. I just don't for the life of me understand why there are such tightly spaced bolts after this but none where you're looking at a horrible fall and on possibly the worst rock of the route. Feb 1, 2016
Charles Vernon
Colorado megalopolis
  5.10
[Hide Comment] Sounds like I'itoi still managed to have a little fun with you guys :) Feb 1, 2016