Avg: 2.7 from 7 votes
|Type:||Trad, 1000 ft, 9 pitches, Grade IV|
|FA:||Mike Strassman, Jackie Carroll|
|Page Views:||3,404 total · 35/month|
|Shared By:||Charles Vernon on Mar 28, 2010|
|Admins:||Greg Opland, Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick|
Caution: Human and Drug Trafficking Details
Traffic from drug smuggling and illegal immigration is high in this area. Exercise caution. US Border Patrol recommends avoiding this area completely after dark.
DescriptionThis is a great way to climb Babo's SW face. The route uses occasional bolt-protected face climbing to connect a series of corners and bulges. It's fun and well-protected at the cruxes, with some runouts and loose rock on easier ground. While trolling for info about Baboquivari, I found this comment by Mike Strassman, who did the FA of both routes: I'itoi Dance is "far better than Born of Water and burlier too." That piqued our interest, and the route was worthwhile, although I wouldn't really call it "burly." [edit: having recently climbed Born of Water, I would say that I'itoi Dance is actually easier; however, it's more serious as it's more of trad route. It's also more sustained, and overall it's a better route.]
This route is not in Kerry's guide, but Strassman's topo and description are here and here.
Together they are enough to get you up the route. Because of the indistinct nature of the features, and the large trees at the base, it is very difficult to get an overview of the route before starting up, but all the features become apparent as you climb. The last 5.10 pitch is fairly contrived (and not as good as the lower pitches), as joining Born of Water is the obvious way to go.
By stretching pitches 2 & 5, and combining pitches 3 & 4 and 8 & 9, we did the route in 6 pitches with a 60 meter rope. All belays were on comfortable ledges with incredible views. We felt the route was more like III 5.10- than the topo's IV 5.10, although the first "5.6" pitch felt more like 5.8 or 5.9 at the bolt--something may have broken off there.
Also, note that the topo says "Off?" with an arrow at about 3/4 height. If you're running low on time and daylight, this option does indeed lead up and left to easy 3rd class scrambling to the summit. Having done both the full route and this escape route, I would say that the best climbing is all before the escape anyway.