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Prison Camp (Gordon Hirabayashi) Area

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Alcatraz Wall 
Cell Blocks 
Dragon Tower 
Exercise Yard 
Guard Tower 
Jailhouse Rock 
Mr. Meanor Wall 

Prison Camp (Gordon Hirabayashi) Area Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 5,000'
Location: 32.33339, -110.72478 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 25,721
Administrators: Greg Opland, Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Hendrixson on Jan 9, 2014
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The Prison Camp Area, which was rechristened Gordon Hirabayashi Recreation Area, is one of the more popular crags on Mount Lemmon. With sport and traditional lines ranging in difficulty from 5.5 to 5.12d there is something for everyone.

The sectors comprising this area are:

  • Guard Tower: Three moderate traditional routes and a sport route across the way. The traditional routes see little traffic.
  • Cell Blocks: Three frequently climbed moderate lines, two of which are mixed.
  • Alcatraz Wall: A south facing wall perfect for winter climbing. Solitary is a great introductory sport lead while the other routes allow gear practice.
  • Exercise Yard: Two unique, short, juggy routes downstream on an isolated formation.

The below topo shows how the area is organized.

Rock Climbing Photo: Topo

The history of this area is worth learning. From Wikipedia :

As a part of the effort, a federal prison camp was established at the foot of the mountains specifically to supply labor for the construction of the highway. During World War II, the camp was converted into an internment camp named the Catalina Honor Camp, and the internees were forced to work on construction of the roadway. One of the Japanese-American prisoners at the camp, Gordon Hirabayashi, was later honored in 1999 when the site of the Honor Camp was converted into the Gordon Hirabayashi Recreation Area.

Getting There 

Drive up the Catalina (Mount Lemmon) Highway until reaching the turn off for the Gordon Hirabayashi Recreation Area at approximately mile marker 7. Turn left onto a dirt road and follow it to the end where it loops around a metal corral. Park here and pick up a well worn trail that will lead southwest to a dry riverbed. Follow the riverbed first on the left and then on the right. Bypass the first rocky cliff by using the trail on the right (west) side. Continue in the dry riverbed until reaching your desired sector.

Climbing Season

For the 1 - Lower Highway area.

Weather station 5.8 miles from here

42 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',9],['2 Stars',21],['1 Star',11],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Prison Camp (Gordon Hirabayashi) Area

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Prison Camp (Gordon Hirabayashi) Area:
Safe Cracker   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, 1 pitch   Mr. Meanor Wall
Dragon's Arete   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, Sport, 70'   Dragon Tower
Dragon's Back   5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Dragon Tower
Safecracker   5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, 1 pitch, 60'   Jailhouse Rock
Armed Robbery   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 45'   Jailhouse Rock
Crime and Punishment   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c     Trad, 1 pitch   Jailhouse Rock
Climb Spree   5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a     Sport, 45'   Jailhouse Rock
Sentenced To Hang   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Sport, 50'   Jailhouse Rock
Finger Prince   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   Jailhouse Rock
Jailbreak   5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b     Sport, 40'   Jailhouse Rock
Just Punishment   5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b     Trad, 50'   Jailhouse Rock
Yard Boss   5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   Jailhouse Rock
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Prison Camp (Gordon Hirabayashi) Area

Featured Route For Prison Camp (Gordon Hirabayashi) Area
Rock Climbing Photo: Old man on Rhicard and Henze's brilliant route.

Sentenced To Hang 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b  Arizona : Mount Lemmon (Santa Catalin... : ... : Jailhouse Rock
The climb ascends overhanging water polished rock. Moves are long and powerful between good holds with the crux pulling on smaller holds with the same long moves. Although only 50ft. long it takes some good endurance to make it to the top. Add the boulder traverse from the start of Crime and Punishment into the climb (V6) and it is 13a. ...[more]   Browse More Classics in Arizona

Photos of Prison Camp (Gordon Hirabayashi) Area Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Top Roping Cell Block 6 = 5.6
BETA PHOTO: Top Roping Cell Block 6 = 5.6
Rock Climbing Photo: Entering the Prison Camp canyon
Entering the Prison Camp canyon

Comments on Prison Camp (Gordon Hirabayashi) Area Add Comment
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By Scott M. McNamara
From: Tucson, Arizona
Dec 6, 2014

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