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curtveld

Tucson cragging season?

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Looking to head down for a week of trad and backcountry cragging – Dragoons, Babo, Mt Lemmon. Looking at either late January or March.

 

What are the chances of good climbing weather during those times? Don't mind flexing among options and/or wearing fleece & hats, so long as we find some dry sunny rock.

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I have climbed there in March and it was nice and comfy, I was there once the last part of april and it was over 100 F during a really abnormal warm spell. Both times climbed at rappel rock, chicken heads were amazing!! Good thing about Mt.Lemon, if its hot just go up the mountain, if its colder, stay lower

Edited by shapp

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I was there last weekend touring the Titan Missle Museum (worth doing if you like that sort of thing). It would have been great climbing weather! I was mostly just walking around in a t-shirt or a thin layer if the wind was blowing. There is a reason all those old folks head there for the winter.

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Its a year round season, you just find things at the right temperature on any given day. Don't be set on one place, be flexible with destinations to adapt to current conditions, and you'll do just fine.

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Good info guys. Sounds like March would give LOTS of options, but I'm wondering what late January would offer (besides cheaper plane tix). We'd sure like to get in a long climb or two in the Stronghold. Is that unrealistic?

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What I know:

 

Was there (Cochise) in march got hit with a snow storm, but it was clear in less than two days. As other's have said, we just headed back and hit the lower slopes of mt lemmon.

 

One thing (you probably already know) about Cochise is there are seasonal closures for raptors. I htink they mostly effect the east half, but something to chekc out before you base a plane ticket on it.

 

Tucson, I wish I was headed there. I love the climbing there....

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In the past at Cochise there have been Falcon Closures starting Feb 15. There is still lots of climbing available during the closures, but the stuff that is closed (Rockfellows) is supposedly pretty damn cool.

 

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If anyone is interested, here is the latest from MountainProject:

 

"Cochise Dome and the surrounding 1/4 mile including Rockfellow Dome, is closed from March 1 - June 30 for nesting peregrine falcons."

 

Sounds like the closure dates vary from year to year. But as Chuck says, plenty of stuff on the west side is unaffected.

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the westside approach to baboquivari may now be closed. friends made a trip a couple years ago and got shut down....lots of smuggling (drugs and humans) in that area and the locals used to burn the occasional vehicle. you might inquire in tuscon before committing to the drive. great routes though.

 

mendoza canyon is also well worth a visit. it's probably the warmest backcountry area in arizona and has some fine longer routes (not gonna find much in s. arizona longer than 6 pitches). seasonal closure used to start march 1st for javelinas.

 

mid-late february is a great time to go.

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...and the locals used to burn the occasional vehicle.

 

From my first to to the stronghold...

 

0124.jpg

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Note to self to steer clear of burning vehicles or gunfire. Slight variation to the 'approach is the crux' norm here in the PNW.

 

Thanks rat, Mendoza looks like another good option.

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