|Sent on:||Tuesday, September 4, 2012 6:39 AM|
Below please find the rock climbing guidelines that govern rock climbing in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve.
you can see, they are modeled after the
The good news is that we can keep climbing. The challenges involve climbing only on designated crags (named and mapped), staying only on official trails and climber routes to access the crags, and complying with the policy of no new bolts in new locations.
City has constructed a new Tom’s Thumb Trail Head, which is now open. The best
way to the new Tom’s Thumb Trail Head is to take Pima to
For more information and to discuss any questions please contact Erik Filsinger at [address removed]. I can also send you the climbing plan (map) for the Preserve.
Rock Climbing Guidelines
(Approved by the McDowell Sonoran Preserve Commission in February, 2011,
and the City Council in October, 2011)
The McDowell Sonoran Preserve has
been acquired by the City of
In order to insure the long-term protection of this natural resource and facilitate the safe use of the Preserve by the general public while mitigating impacts to the natural environment and surrounding residents, Ordinance # 3321 was approved by the City Council on May 23rd, 2000. These Rock Climbing Guidelines provide additional guidance related to accepted practices, responsibilities, and areas where rock climbing will be allowed within the Preserve.
Rock or cliff climbing or rappelling is allowed only in designated areas within the Preserve. The designated areas correspond to existing and historical crags. Please also see the Conceptual Preserve Rock Climbing Plan for the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, on which the Climbing Areas are identified. The areas are named in the following list by the common name for the key rock formation in the area but also include other nearby rock formations to the key rock formation. (The list of Climbing Areas in the Preserve may be modified from time to time to reflect additional land acquisitions that include historical climbing areas.)
Those areas are as follows:
1. Rock Knob and vicinity
2. Sven Slab and vicinity
Towers I, II and
4. Morrell’s Parking Lot and vicinity
5. Morrell’s Wall and vicinity
6. Gardener’s Wall and vicinity
7. Crossroad Wall and vicinity
8. Glass Dome and vicinity
9. Goat Hill and vicinity
10. Tom’s Thumb and vicinity
11. Lost Wall and vicinity
12. Half and Half Wall and vicinity
14. Granite Ballroom and vicinity
15. Rosetta Stone and vicinity
16. Hog Heaven and vicinity
18. Lost in the Air and vicinity
Violators of climbing and other
regulations and laws governing the McDowell Sonoran Preserve are subject to
prosecution resulting in fines and/or imprisonment in accordance with City of
Access to the climbing areas is allowed only via designated and signed climbing access routes, as identified on the Conceptual Rock Climbing Master Plan for the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. These routes connect the primary Preserve trails system to the rock-climbing areas.
The City of
Preserve visitors climb at their own risk and are solely responsible for their personal safety while climbing on Preserve property. Climbers are expected to secure proper equipment and training, and are expected to adhere to standard climbing safety practices. Safe climbing demands that each climber has experience in route finding, route protection, rope handling, retreat from steep faces, and emergency first aid.
1. All climbing activities are inherently dangerous and may result in injury or death.
2. Climbers climb at their own risk and are responsible for obtaining proper equipment and training.
3. City staff does not create or maintain any climbing route.
4. City staff does not install or maintain the fixed anchors on any climbing route.
5. Route selection and the decision to rely on fixed anchors are the climber’s responsibility.
6. New routes are not allowed.
1. Climbing is allowed in designated areas only and must coincide with the Preserve’s posted hours of operation.
2. Climbers must utilize the designated climbing access routes leading from the main Preserve trail to climbing areas.
3. Temporary or permanent closures of individual routes or specific climbing areas may occur to protect the natural resources or for visitor safety.
4. Fixed anchor locations are limited to those already established, unless subsequently authorized by City Staff.
5. Unroped climbing is not recommended on the larger formations, but bouldering is permitted within the aforementioned climbing areas.
Prior to the acquisition of
McDowell Sonoran Preserve by the City of
1. All anchor placements will be installed on a volunteer basis by members of the climbing community.
2. All climbing equipment, tools, anchor hardware, and any other costs associated with anchor placement are to be provided by the climbing community.
3. Old anchors are to be completely removed and carried out.
4. When possible, old anchor holes will be redrilled and reused. Otherwise, old anchor holes are to be sealed with a mixture of epoxy and rock dust.
5. City staff will have no role in anchor placements.
1. Rock Climbing includes the following:
· Rappelling: Using a rope to descend from a steep slope or face.
· Free Climbing: Climbing in which the climber relies on the rope only for safety. Progress is made by using the hands and feet on the natural features. Anchors are typically used, but only to stop a fall; they are not used as climbing aids.
· Direct Aid Climbing: Climbing in which the climber is completely dependent on the rope for support and safety. Progress is made by installing protective anchors in the rock and then relying on them to support the climber’s weight as the climber stands on them and reaches up to the next anchor.
· Bouldering: Climbing that occurs on rock faces usually less than 20 feet high. Typically it involves repeating a sequence of moves up or across a rock face. Usually done without a rope.
2. Fixed Anchor: Climbing protection that is installed and intended to be left as a permanent fixture on a climbing route. The most common examples include pitons, which are hammered into cracks, and expansion bolts, which are drilled into smooth rock faces.