Type: Sport, 1000 ft, 10 pitches, Grade III
FA: Kevin Wagner, Ryan Boyden, Allie Burnett, Peter Senchyna, Ann Marie Maly (2017)
Page Views: 16,164 total · 1,307/month
Shared By: Kevin Wagner on Apr 15, 2018 with improvements by Jane
Admins: Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick, Greg Opland

You & This Route


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Access Issue: Restrictions January 1 - April 30 Details

Description

Void of Form climbs the long buttress of rock that ends at Pontatoc Peak. The name was given when the first ascentionists of Shelter From the Storm named this massive chunk of rock the "Void of Form Buttress" after the Bob Dylan song. While Shelter From the Storm (and the only other route on the cliff at the time of writing) ascends the top half of this buttress, the first pitches of those routes climb cracks to the right to access the big grassy ledge, and then hike East to access the upper half of the buttress. The unpredictable character of the protectable features on this banded gneiss cliff led to the near death of a member of the first ascent party. In contrast, Void of Form climbs the entirety of the buttress from its lowest to highest aspect, and climbs impeccable (albeit naturally unprotectable) rock for the majority of the route.

Ten pitches of moderate but exciting climbing leads to an excellent summit, and one of the best walk-offs around. Most of the belays are on big ledges (with the exception of the 10" wide 6th pitch belay ledge), and a bivy could likely be fashioned in many places, including the summit. However, the climbing is mostly easy (5.5/5.6ish), and even the slowest parties should be able to pull off the climb in a day (hence the grade III rating).

This route is something unique for Tucson and Southern Arizona, as it is currently the longest sport route in the area, and one of the longest in the US. At an easily accessible grade of 5.9 and equipped for fast retreat with a single 70 meter rope, this route is recommendable to almost any climber. Finding, cleaning, and establishing this route took five months of effort. The hardware is all bomber and should last for decades.

The pitch breakdown: (lengths are for rappelling, not necessarily the climbing line; star ratings are subjective)
1) 5.8, 30m, *: A low first bolt marks the start of the route. Climb easy ledges to a bulge, navigate around it, and then climb more easy ledges. Finish out right on a steep bowl of rock with good holds. P1 ends on "Prickly Pear Ledge".
2) 5.7, 35m, ***: Climb straight up the ramp from the belay, clip a traverse bolt for the follower, and then cross right to the main wall and a nicely featured slab.
3) 5.9, 35m, ****: Start at the left of the belay ledge and climb left around the arete, or straight up for extra spice. An airy and unlikely move left at the 4th bolt and a horizontal crack brings you back to slab terrain. After several bolts of slab, cross right at the tree (easier to cross low), and follow cracks to the belay. If retreating after pitch 3, rappel to climber's right of the tree (the bolts are climber's left). 
4) 5.8, 20m, ***: an airy traverse left from the belay (photo-op) leads to big holds on a vertical face.
5) 5.8, 20m, **: a second (smaller) traverse pitch leads to the half-way ledge. Combine with P4 for efficiency, or split it in two to keep an eye on your climber.
6) 5.9, 30m, ***: a difficult start right above the belay leads to a vertical face with good holds, passing one huge ledge to arrive at an exposed belay on the smallest ledge on route. It is possible to link with P7 to skip the semi-hanging belay, if desired.
7) 5.8, 30m, *:  a crux off the belay and run out after the first bolt leads to the 200' adventurous section of mountaineering-esque climbing. It would be easy to get lost here, but if in doubt the next bolt is likely straight up. Try not to fall between the first and second bolts, as you will likely impact your belayer.
8) 5.7, 30m, *: more mountaineering-esque climbing leads to a big ledge at the base of the crux overhang of the next pitch. Links with P7, slings may help reduce rope drag.
9) 5.9, 35m, ****: two bolts of overhanging bucket climbing leads to a difficult mantle (crux of the route). Surmount the crux, and climb sustained face and cracks to Black Widow Ledge under the giant roof.
10) 5.8, 20m, ***: walk far to the left to clip the first bolt, then climb up to a corner. Find a way to get established in the corner, and finish on the face to the right. It is ***highly recommended*** to step right over the roof after clipping the last bolt, look down at where you came from, and savor the exposure before pulling onto the summit.

Belay your partner to the top and then enjoy the nice hike down Pontatoc Ridge Trail with views of the Tucson basin.

------------------------------------------------------------------
Known speed records:

Sept 2018 - Kyle Pilcher & Jak Kearsley car to car in 3:30:54; climb in 1:48:07.
Nov 2018 - Byron Hempel and Jon Reeves, simu-climb 1 hour on route, 3:20 car to car
Nov 2018  - Karl Groll & JJ, simu-climb 2:46 car to car
Nov 2018 - Karl Groll, solo, 0:35 on route, 1:36 car to car

Location

Approach via Pontatoc Canyon trail. 0.2 miles after crossing the main drainage, exit the main trail at two cairns forming an entrance to a sub-trail on the right (32º20'41.95" N, 110º53'21.02" W). Follow this trail until it turns to slabs, then cross the drainage at cairns. Follow more cairns up the boulder field, aiming for the toe of the buttress. At the top of the boulders, a short slab scramble leads to the final section, becoming a game trail that leads to the base of the route. The final 40 feet of approach passes a wooded section, then turns right into it to find the first bolt between the trees.

Allow 1.5±0.5 hours for approach and 1.5±0.5 hours for descent depending on your fitness and ego.

It is recommended to leave nothing at the base and do not try to haul on this route. 

Protection

16 quick draws for the longest pitch (P9), though skipping bolts is definitely an option where the climbing is easy.
The route will likely feel over-bolted for the 5.10+ climber. While the cruxes are well-protected, due to the low angle nature of the wall there are several do-not-fall zones, especially given that a rescue 700 feet off the ground would be complicated at best. All anchors are equipped with chains and retreat is straightforward with a single 70 meter rope (but not possible with a 60).  You will need a total of 19 draws if you combine P6 and P7 and plan to clip all the bolts on these two pitches.
Isaiah Foulks
Monterey
Isaiah Foulks   Monterey
very nice description and nice job on the route. a big reason to revisit mt lemmon someday Apr 17, 2018
Joshua Ngo
Tempe, AZ
Joshua Ngo   Tempe, AZ
Would it be possible to get bolt counts for each pitch on the breakdown? Apr 22, 2018
1Eric Rhicard
Tucson
1Eric Rhicard   Tucson
Really Joshua, Take 16 draws like Kevin said and go. Apr 24, 2018
Luke Bertelsen
Tucson, AZ
Luke Bertelsen   Tucson, AZ  
Pretty impressive - 10,000 pages views in 10 days. I am sure people are just champing at the bit to get on this climb.

I'm going to leave this here as this climb is in Wilderness:

wilderness.org/infographic-…

Check out #3 and #5 in particular under "The Wilderness Climbing Ethic". It will be interesting to see if this climb and it being released so publicly ends up being a good thing for the Tucson climbing community. Apr 25, 2018
Scott M. McNamara
Tucson, Arizona
Scott M. McNamara   Tucson, Arizona
Isn't this route within the Sheep closure---January 1 to April 30?

Isn't everything more than 400 feet off the trail out of bounds?

fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DO… Apr 26, 2018
Sam Skovgaard
Tucson, AZ
  5.9
Sam Skovgaard   Tucson, AZ
  5.9
Regarding the sheep closure, if you take a map of the Pontatoc Ridge and Canyon Trails and plot out a 400' radius circle centered on the Ridge Trail near the top of the climb, the entire climb is contained within that circle. Unfortunately, the described approach hike starting from the Pontatoc Canyon Trail involves a short section where you are not within 400 feet of either trail. So, if you REALLY wanted to climb this during sheep closure season, you could hike to the top, rap the route, climb it, then walk back off. Apr 30, 2018
Kevin Wagner
Tucson, AZ
  5.9
Kevin Wagner   Tucson, AZ
  5.9
Hey Sam, thanks for checking on the possibility to rap the route during the sheep closure. Hiking to the top and rappelling is actually pretty straightforward. If you go to the actual summit (sub-trail to the right before the mines) once you get there turn to the West and find a large roof 100-200 feet back down trail. Navigate to this part of the cliff and you will find the *grey* chains at the top of Void of Form on a comfy ledge. Be aware that there is another set of *white* chains at the top of Shelter from the Storm's summit chimney that will require two ropes to rap–do not get confused by these!!! Also, I think this actually depends on whether the trail to the summit counts as an official trail or not (unfortunately, I do not think it does, but checking with the Forest Service cannot hurt). May 4, 2018
Sam Skovgaard
Tucson, AZ
  5.9
Sam Skovgaard   Tucson, AZ
  5.9
I climbed this today and wow! What a great route. I did it in rope solo style with the walkoff after a previous failed attempt a few days earlier, and here are some takeaways:

1) get an early start, the route is in the shade (in May) until 11:30am
2) this route is not good for bringing a small haul bag, which I tried on a previous failed attempt, too many ledges and traverses, not worth it
3) wearing a backpack with shoes/water isn't bad at all, as the vast majority of your time is spent on 5.5-5.6 climbing
4)do the walk-off, it's so much better than repeating the bushwhack part of the approach
5)the rating of the crux pitch 9 at 5.9+ is accurate, but I thought the sustained white slippery section mid pitch was way harder than the mantle move
6) if you have to bail and rap down, it's easy, even the traversing pitches, but do single rope raps, sooo many spots your knot could get stuck with double rope
7) standout pitches: 3, 6, 9

Major props to the team that put this up, the thought of hammering in all those bolts by hand makes my shoulder ache! May 4, 2018
Andrew R
Arizony
  5.8
Andrew R   Arizony
  5.8
I think the first ascentsionists may have been blinded by the glimmer of their own steel. About three pitches of real, sometimes contrived climbing, with a lot of chossaneering in between. Anything resembling a crux is pretty much gym bolted, as is anything not resembling a crux, including the numerous fourth class ledges. Many bolts were placed next to protectable features. Don’t get me wrong, I respect the massive effort you put into this route and it made for a beautiful day in a spectacular environment. However, doing this in different and IMO more appropriate style would have saved you a lot of money and hammering, and while I understand your intent was to create a very accessible route, I am concerned that this isn’t the right environment for it. Also- with how much traffic this route is likely to receive, the first section of the approach trail is very unsustainable and will need significant work or rerouting to not become an erosion nightmare. Finally, what’s up with the placement of the anchors at the top of pitch 6? 5 more meters would have put you on a decent ledge and eliminated an unnecessarily unpleasant belay. May 5, 2018
Ravinder Singh
Tucson, AZ
 
Ravinder Singh   Tucson, AZ
 
A good day out but route felt very over bolted. I agree with Andrew's mention on the unnecessary belay stance. It didn't feel exposed. Just inconvienent. Would be good if the description mentioned most of the climbing (60-70%) is 5.5 to 5.6. May 5, 2018
Kevin Wagner
Tucson, AZ
  5.9
Kevin Wagner   Tucson, AZ
  5.9
Thanks for going up there so early in the life of the route and providing feedback guys! I really appreciate it. I have updated the route description and hopefully you will find some info that you would have appreciated before your ascent.

I will happily remove bolts that the community deems unnecessary, but I have to say that I disagree about the route being very over-bolted. I wonder if you feel the same way about the 5.11/5.12 climbs on Mt. Lemmon with bolts every 6 feet or less? The average bolt spacing on Void of Form is about 10 feet, some more some less, which is fairly similar to other routes in the area (Steel Crazy probably being the most similar in difficulty, length, and style).

Of the other long sport routes in the country (and the world, for that matter) I believe Void of Form is rather conservatively bolted. Go climb Theater of Shadows or Sinocranium in City of Rocks (both very fun routes) where you can literally unclip a bolt at your knees and clip the next one at your face. That is not the story here. I recommend checking out the incredible climbing in El Potrero Chico, Mexico (the multi-pitch sport climbing capital of the world). I expect you will find the body-length bolt spacing to be extremely similar to Void of Form.

Given that many 5.9 climbers (probably many solely sport climbers who have never had to deal with a no-fall zone) are likely to jump on this route, combined with the somewhat unpredictable character of banded gneiss, and the complicated nature of a high angle rescue, we decided to err on the side of caution. If you prefer 20+ feet per bolt, you are perfectly welcome to skip every other one.

That being said, we put a lot of time, effort, and money into this route, and want it to be absolutely the best possible experience for everyone who climbs it. If many 5.9 climbers think less bolts would be better, I will be glad to get my bolts back, and it will be on the community and the climber if somebody is seriously injured. May 6, 2018
Ben Rackham
Tucson, AZ
  5.9
Ben Rackham   Tucson, AZ
  5.9
Fun day out--thanks Kevin et al.! The bolting is on the conservative side but didn't seem over the top to me. I think the typical climber matched to this route would appreciate the spacing. May 6, 2018
Jeff Ladderud
  5.9
Jeff Ladderud  
  5.9
Thanks for all your time, labor, and $$ in developing this! I skipped a few bolts and had no qualms with that. P9 was definitely the money pitch. It was nice having shade until 11.

I am curious if there are plans to make the approach trail a bit more sustainable. I will echo Andrew's concerns about it being really erosion prone. Not a huge issue with a couple people using it here and there. But if this route gets lots of traffic it may be worth looking into. May 20, 2018
You know when you buy something online, and you get really excited about it? And then it takes longer with more trouble than you had thought for it to arrive, but you're excited to open it, and then when you do it's not quite what you expected?...

To be honest, My partner and I were not impressed with this climb. I believe part of the reason for that is because it is way hyped up on the internet, especially with the exaggerated pictures posted on here. To start, the approach was extremely difficult to find, and somehow left us in the middle of the second pitch (that could have just been our terrible navigation skills, but some trail maintanence is at hand here.) Perhaps spend more time setting up kerns throughout the climbers trail.
The wall is definitely high, but not as exposed as the pictures make it out to be. It also can easily be done in 6 pitches instead of 10. At some of the chains my partner and I could talk at normal volume by the time he was about10 - 15 feet away from the next ones. Maybe my expectation for how long a pitch should be is high, but I felt as if there didn't need to be that many chains. [you can link 1&2, 4&5, 5&6, somewhere in between 6-8, and 9&10]
That also goes for bolts, to agree with a few others on here. The bolting becomes less conservative as you climb higher, but the first half of the climb we skipped every other bolt.
As far as the climbing goes, I personally enjoyed pitches 6 and 9(&10). Pitch 6 had some awesome solid 5.8 movement right after pulling the roof. And pitch 9 just had cool white granite with some bigger moves! But for a lot of the rest of it, there was quit a bit of 5.5-5.6 scrambling (or an intense Sedona approach) A lot of the times it did not necessarily feel like I was climbing a wall, and some of the pitchswere under developed/chossy. Maybe it can be rated 5.9 for the 9th pitch, but definitely not a Mt. Lemmon 5.9.

I know you worked really hard to set this route, and I appreciate the hard work! I just suggest that you don't exaggerate exposures in the pictures, and perhaps give a more detailed description of each pitch. It just was not what I had expected.
...and maybe take out a couple bolts Jun 9, 2018
Kevin Wagner
Tucson, AZ
  5.9
Kevin Wagner   Tucson, AZ
  5.9
Your comment made me laugh, Sam. I can't believe that people are still climbing this thing on 108 degree days! I'm sorry that the experience was not what you thought it would be.

We had some plans to establish a better trail, but since trail building in the wilderness is not allowed we decided to cancel this effort. There are probably 30-50 cairns on the approach. If you did not find these my guess is that you got lost pretty early. Ending up in the middle of the second pitch sounds epic!

I'm not sure what you mean by "exaggerated exposure" in the pictures... I'd love to see some photos from other climbers posted, as I'm sure others can do better than I can.

You can easily climb this in fewer than 10 pitches. My recommendation is to link 4 and 5–really these should have been a single pitch, but the rappel is much smoother with the midway anchor. I've linked them every single time I've climbed the route. You CANNOT link pitches 6-8! None without a 100 meter rope should apply for this beta. Each of these pitches is right on at about 100 feet.

Too many chains is accurate only if you want to be carrying double 60 meter ropes out there or commit to no easy retreat. We thought we would do a favor to anyone who prefers to take a single 70m rope and establish ~100 foot pitches with chain anchors. The exceptions as I mentioned are pitches 4 & 5, which traverse and needed a mid anchor at about 20 meters for the rappel. Also pitch 10 is quite short, but the huge ledge traverse and climbing around roofs and corners adds some gnarly rope drag in my experience.

There's at least a sentence for each pitch, what more info would you appreciate without giving what some might call too much beta? Finally, which bolts should be removed? If MP commenters can decide on specific bolts that do not endanger a ledge fall to be removed, I'll happily go get my bolts back. Jun 9, 2018
Andrew Yost
  5.9
Andrew Yost  
  5.9
Climbed this as a night climb with a group of 3. Sweaty hike in as the sun went down. Got to the wall at about 830 and the summ at 245 am.

First off, thank you for your contribution. The climbing itself was alright, found myself high stepping a lot. It does feel heavily bolted and maybe some of the stations could be moved?
But it was amazing fun. I thought it was really cool to have an 5.9 bushwacky adventure climb. The location was stunning. I like how accessible it is and seems like a good route to take up beginners without sketching them out. Honestly, I could care less how many bolts it has, skip em if you don’t want em.

Thanks for your time! Jul 1, 2018
1Eric Rhicard
Tucson
1Eric Rhicard   Tucson
So a guy goes out spends hundreds of dollars and many months setting up the longest bolted 5.9 in the Catalinas and someone actually goes online and whines. If you bolt it they will complain especially Sam Stanton! First ascentionists, especially new ones always over hype their routes. The comments about the photos are priceless. Except for one they all look like you are slogging up a slab. The too many bolts comment is priceless in 2018. If you don't want them skip them. Unbelievable! Jul 2, 2018
Eric B
Tucson, AZ
  5.9-
Eric B   Tucson, AZ
  5.9-
FA's: Guys this was a fantastic climb. Great work on this.

Commenters: So much hate! Who shit in your salads?

Sam Stanton not too sure how you got lost on the approach being such a seasoned Sedona climber...Helen Keller could see those cairns....

We did it a few days ago at night and it was a total blast (might have been frowned upon, so apologies there).

My comments - one bolt was in a weird spot putting the biner on the hanger side in direct contact with the rock...90% sure an actual fall on it would probably break the biner. Can't remember which pitch it was, it was close to the anchors from the previous one though. A bolt was right above it so you could easily back clean it or skip it, def a no-fall zone regardless of how you approach mitigating it.

A few pitches were a bit soft by lemmon standards; you put this up for 5.9 climbers though and I think anyone climbing in that grade should by all means go into this climb confidently and not be scared of being sandbagged - it really is fantastic. Since it was nighttime we have no idea what the exposure was like, but the climbing was more often than not subvertical/slabby. Beta: think "buckets" like lower lemmon/La Milagrosa, more deep edges than jugs.

Definitely worth getting on for the adventure. Thanks for putting this up guys/gals! Jul 5, 2018
Jane
  5.9 PG13
Jane  
  5.9 PG13
P4 traverse is slopy and pretty mellow. The photos of P4 posted here are titled to make the crag looking vertical. How ridiculous. Hahaha. Jul 23, 2018
Kevin Wagner
Tucson, AZ
  5.9
Kevin Wagner   Tucson, AZ
  5.9
Jane, I thought that the "(steepness exaggerated)" comment in the photo caption would suffice! How's the new photo? I exaggerated the steepness in the other direction this time. Now maybe people will complain about it being too steep ;) Jul 23, 2018
Jane
  5.9 PG13
Jane  
  5.9 PG13
Thanks Kevin and his gang for putting up Void of Form. My partner and I thoroughly enjoyed climbing this route! Well bolted and fun! Jul 23, 2018
Kevin Wagner
Tucson, AZ
  5.9
Kevin Wagner   Tucson, AZ
  5.9
You're welcome Jane, and everyone else who has fun out there (or not)! Be careful and get an early start if going at it in the summer months. Jul 23, 2018
Myself (Kyle Pilcher), and my partner (Jak Kearsley) just set a new speed record! we did car to car in 3:30:54 and we did the climb in 1:48:07. Super fun, Go Beat it!! Sep 16, 2018
Jane
  5.9 PG13
Jane  
  5.9 PG13
I climbed the route a second time with a different partner. Again, many thanks to the team who bolted this fun route. I personally think that it should be in the Classics of Mt. Lemmon. As of September 23, the route is entirely in shade until 1:50 pm. P10 feels more like 5.7 IMHO. Sep 25, 2018
Kevin Wagner
Tucson, AZ
  5.9
Kevin Wagner   Tucson, AZ
  5.9
Hey Jane, I'm curious which pitch you think earns the PG13 rating? Thanks for your generous assessment of the route! Sep 25, 2018
Jane
  5.9 PG13
Jane  
  5.9 PG13
Hi, Kevin, I think the entire route is well bolted. Therefore, PG13 over all. Sep 25, 2018
Chris Adams
Mesa, AZ
  5.9
Chris Adams   Mesa, AZ
  5.9
WARNING: LOOSE ROCK LEFT OF THE SECOND BOLT ON THE FACE ON PITCH 10. - the rock is located in the gulley/chimney. It’s not a key boulder for the climb but could fall if pulled on. We tried to free it without success so as of Oct 16th it’s still there.

A fun route and a fun Adventure. Thank you to the team that took the time, money, and energy to put this together. With a couple of extenuating circumstances our rope team of two climbed VOF in a relaxed 5 hours. Not including hiking time.

Here’s my observations - No route spoilers

Approach: took us only an hour. We were at a relaxed pace so as not to miss the climbers trail. The climbers trail was well marked and the cairns were easy to follow. Great job creating the path to the climb.

The climb:
I thought the bolting was fine. There were several moments where I thought rope drag would come in to play because of the bolt path but I was surprised when the rope ran well with only a single extended alpine draw. VOF seems to thoughtfully protect ledgefalls and the path as much as possible. I thought the first bolt on the route was kind of funny because it was maybe six feet off the ground and then my partner pointed out that the first bolt kept the rope from running through a cactus; this protects the fauna and the rope. Everybody wins! If you feel it’s overbolted just don’t clip ‘em. That being said I felt that some of the climbing could have been protected traditionally. But I understand the spirit and intention of the climb too.

A couple of pitches are so-so climbing but there are some fun ones too. Bound to happen with any long climb.
I think my favorite was either pitch 3 or pitch 9. The roof problems were Straightforward and fun and the climbing after was enjoyable.

Difficulty-wise this seems like a soft nine to me. If you’re leading nine’s, and not sure about climbing VOF, I say go for it.

We climbed this in mid October and didn’t get sun until we topped out at about 1:30pm.

We had a fun time on VOF

Thanks again for putting this up! Oct 17, 2018
Kevin Wagner
Tucson, AZ
  5.9
Kevin Wagner   Tucson, AZ
  5.9
The loose rock mentioned in the previous comment is no more. Thanks for the heads up, Chris, and have fun everyone! Nov 8, 2018
Chris Adams
Mesa, AZ
  5.9
Chris Adams   Mesa, AZ
  5.9
Thanks for taking care of that Kevin! Nov 12, 2018
Justin Headley
Tucson
 
Justin Headley   Tucson
 
Can you post coordinates for exactly where you branch off of the main trail? We never really found the subtrail until we were about 150 feet from the base of the climb. We ended up going too high way too early. Funny thing is someone built a few cairns up there so we thought we were going the right way.

I thought the climb was an enjoyable outing in a scenic area. Not particularly challenging (probably no more than 30-40 feet of 5.9 climbing on the whole thing), but fun nonetheless. As a route developer myself, I totally understand the desire to try as hard as you can to protect people from ledge falls, and I'm sure plenty of people will appreciate all those bolts. Maybe some were unnecessary, but it'd just be silly to go out and remove them now. They're not hurting anything by being there.
Overall, I think it's a fine addition to the Catalinas multipitch collection. Nov 17, 2018
Kevin Wagner
Tucson, AZ
  5.9
Kevin Wagner   Tucson, AZ
  5.9
Hey Justin, the coordinates for the start of the climber's trail are 32º20'41.95" N, 110º53'21.02" W. I've added a beta photo showing where this breaks off from the main trail. I suspect that you ended up on the old approach from KR Goes to Valhalla / Shelter From the Storm. The new approach stays on the canyon trail for much longer and avoids a lot of the bushwacking / eroding. Nov 20, 2018
Just did this climb yesterday! We had such a blast, thanks to the developer for all the time and effort that must have gone into setting this.

My favorite pitches were 3 and 6, some thoughtful slab moves and gorgeous views, left me with a big smile! Great belay positions on all but pitch 6 which is a hanging belay. I am currently lead 10a and felt this was a really fun full day romp! If you lead 5.9 you should have no problems on this route, unless you are very weak on slab. Pitch 9 was the crux for me, my partner led it, she felt pitch 6 was harder. Slick bulge-y white granite with few holds and some fun exposure right when you are at your most tired! The bolting is very well protected and feels safe for a 5.9 leader. If you want to bitch and moan about overbolting...skip some. Sheesh.

A hold broke off for my follower on pitch 10, so watch out for loose things topping out here. All other loose blocks had been well marked with chalk "x' which we appreciated.

The hike in took about 1 hour 20 for us. We hit the summit at sunset, the hike out was brutally steep downhill but very pretty in the full moon light and took about 1 hour 45 (we were tired and hangry haha).

I would recommend this to anyone who wants to practice big wall enduro runs without hauling, or moderate leaders who want a long adventurous day out! Nov 21, 2018
Sea Shell
  5.9
Sea Shell  
  5.9
Ascended this climb November 20th. Started at the base at 10am and made the summit about 5pm. Was in the shade the entire time until about pitches 7 through 9.
From the main trail to the base of the climb took a total of 80 minutes. Hiked the main trail about 1.5 to 2 miles until the obvious climbers trail goes right. There were plenty of cairns on the climbers trail to guide my partner and I to the base of the climb.

Pitches 3, 6, and 9 all felt at the 5.9 level. I led pitch 9 and it was definitely my favorite out of all the pitches.
Make sure to bring alpine draws to reduce drag especially for the traverse-linked pitches 4 and 5.
As for the amount of bolts, I surely did not mind it. There are plenty of ledges that could cause serious injury and why would the developers want that for such a long day of moderate climbing that is intended to be..well...safe ? If you want more spice then spice up the climbs with a run out by skipping bolts, or simply just find another climb. Or better yet, simul-climb!
By Mt Lemmon standards, this entire climb is mellow and not stout by any means.
This climb is a great introduction to an enduro-multi-pitch outing and any strong 5.9 leader can test their skills with this climb. Have a good time on some fun, safe, and mellow pitches. That's what the developers wanted for this multi-pitch. Make sure to stay energized and enjoy the rewarding summit views.

Descent is quite long hike down so make sure to account for about 2 hours if going at steady pace.


Also, thank you so much to the developers of this route! It was a spectacular experience. Nov 21, 2018
J Mo
Tucson, AZ
  5.9
J Mo   Tucson, AZ
  5.9
This is a great route, thank you Kevin & everyone who worked hard to give it to T-town climbing. I hooted with joy several times at the stunning setting, fun climbing, surprisingly good rock, and variety of movement. Close to a thousand feet of multipitching with a walk off and only draws needed... right here in the foothills?!? This is truly a gift to local climbing.

Here is what I shall say to those who climb this route and then say things like "meh, too many bolts," and "whine, all the moves were not hard enough for my badass self." Your comments reveal something about your ego, and it isn't what you intended. This is a brilliant 5.9 multipitch, thoughtfully conceived, and if you are just so dang cool that you cannot enjoy this climb because it is too easy for you, please save us all the banter and go get on lumpy unmentionables or something that tests your very strong and brave self. Drive east on I-10 and exit at the Dragoons. There you shall find what you seek.

Never speak of this again. Nov 23, 2018
SlammyG
Scottsdale, AZ
  5.9
SlammyG   Scottsdale, AZ
  5.9
"I came in from the wilderness a creature void of form" Big thanks to the FA team here. Great job guys - throughly enjoyed the route.

Had a fun day out here on the 23rd, love having an adventure climb like this so close to home. Our families even hiked the Pontatoc Trail in the afternoon and watched us from below.

Agree that Pitch 3, 6, and 9 are definitely the money pitches. I didn't feel anything was exceptionally difficult and this definitely climbs at the grade - a great intro into longer multi-pitch routes for someone who is weary of committing to a more challenging Cochise or Lemmon route. The rock quality is pretty solid and there is a great variety in the type of rock encountered here; I loved coming up to the white granite on 9.

The bolting was totally fine, some bolts did feel like they were in odd spots and draws hung poorly - you should bring some alpines anyway to help drag on some pitches (1-2/4-5). Anchors were in great spots on nice ledges, we took some nice breaks on the P5 and P9 anchor (you could definitely bivy up here which would be exciting).

I feel like the beginning of the approach trail should be moved as this will likely see a good deal of erosion and is not sustainable as is. It was easy to find however and well cairned up to the start.

We did this at a leisurely pace - still full and hungover from Thanksgiving. We started from the car at 7:30, hike to turn off around an hour, another 30 to the base. Climbed it as a party of 2 in just under 5 hours with substantial breaks on a few ledges. Descent took just under an 1.5 hours.

Thanks again to the FA party - excited to see what else you guys find in this area as there is a lot of opportunity in the range here. Anyone complaining about this route should probably go find something else to climb. Nov 26, 2018
Sam Skovgaard
Tucson, AZ
  5.9
Sam Skovgaard   Tucson, AZ
  5.9
I climbed this for the second time on 11/26/18 and again had a blast;
I will be back many times in the future. I would like to mention that rockfall is a serious hazard on this route. I had a 10lb chunk rip off unexpectedly on pitch 6, a large block moved about 6 inches on me as I tried pulling onto the ledge 15ft into pitch 9, and the were numerous other thin flexy flakes I avoided weighting throughout the climb. Thankfully the party following 1 pitch below me didnt get hit when I pulled that handhold, but their presence prevented me from cleaning any other loose pieces that day. You would be a fool to get on this route without a helmet. Nov 27, 2018
Ryan Callahan
Albuquerque, NM
Ryan Callahan   Albuquerque, NM
What are temps like mid December for the route? Is it in the sun? Dec 3, 2018
Kevin Wagner
Tucson, AZ
  5.9
Kevin Wagner   Tucson, AZ
  5.9
Temperatures are generally pretty great in December (50-70 degrees), but the wall gets shade most of the day so bring a warm layer! Dec 3, 2018
bio
mesa, az
bio   mesa, az
I just climbed this yesterday;12/13/18. The weather was perfect, was climbing in a t-shirt most of the time. First I want to thank the FA's for all the hard work, resources, and vision put into this. After reading all the comments I was curious about what it would be like. First, the approach is really not a big deal, you're only carrying a rope and draws anyway. The established trail is a beautiful hike, the climbers trail is pretty obvious and frankly you'd have to be pretty stoned to get lost on it - there are a million cairns and it's well worn. The approach took us 50 minutes and we weren't in a hurry. Pitch 3 has some fun 5.9 slab moves on it, and there is an occasional fun movement here and there on other pitches as well. I have put up a number of FA's myself and I know how critical people can be - people who typically haven't put up routes of their own. This route isn't necessarily the route I would have put up, but it's a great addition to AZ climbing for what it is - a chance to get up pretty high on a wall with minimal anxiety, knowledge base, or effort. This type of route will be a great chance for people getting into the sport or wanting to break out onto a multipitch experience for the first time. My partner and I did the climb in 2:45 without being in a hurry at all. We comfortably combined 1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8, 9-10 into five long pitches. The most draws we used on any of these combinations was 16, due to skipping quite a few bolts. It was a fun outing, and we were greeted by a friendly coati when we got to the top! BTW, the route description is great, really all the beta one needs is there. Dec 13, 2018
Antoine Horness
Tucson, AZ
 
Antoine Horness   Tucson, AZ
 
Great job and excellent beta. I thoroughly enjoyed the route. What a great addition to Tucson climbing. Many thanks to Kevin, Ryan, Allie, Peter and Ann for all the hard work. We skipped a few bolts here and there and linked 1-2, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9. The 5.9 rating is right on the money. The view 10' below the final chains is amazing. The only negative is I loved the view so much from top of pitch 3, I tried to take a picture and dropped my phone! Last I saw, it was in at least 3 pieces! If somebody finds it let me know.
Can't wait to take my wife up the route! Dec 16, 2018
Jon Ruland
Tucson, AZ
  5.9
Jon Ruland   Tucson, AZ
  5.9
what a fun route. 5.9 seems right on with the slabby crux coming on pitch 3. if you are going to link pitches then bring alpine draws; we linked a few and got some heinous rope drag. but in my opinion there's no need to link anything, it's all bolted anchors so transitions take minimal time. just swing leads and enjoy the climbing and exposure! Jan 2, 2019