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Zappa Dome Sport Climbing
East Side, Cochise Stronghold, Arizona

December 29, 2006

Author: Larry Earley

I stopped at Cochise Stronghold on my Arizona driving tour to check out the new East Side sport climbing. Why go sport climbing at Cochise? Good question. My answer is that it makes a good warmup the day before trying a long multipitch climb nearby. It had snowed the day before but I hiked up through two inches of snow. Great camping down below in the trees. Take the first right after the cattle guard and follow the dirt road uphill for half a mile. A 2WD can make it but it is good up to the camp spots and better to walk the five minutes to the end of the road. Right in front of you is the Batline Dome. There are several nice mixed climbs here. Off to the right across the gulley is Owl Rock and a great climb called Dream Catcher (5.9). You can see Zappa Dome across gulley and uphill about 250 feet. I had heard of Zappa Dome from several Arizona people. It is only a couple years old. It took me a lot of effort to get the online guide. I lost the web link but I printed a copy. I canít find it now on web. I can send copies to those interested.


Zappa Dome is dark wall in back.  Wall to left is Batline.  Photo taken at end of road.

There are 18 bolted routes ranging from 5.7 to 5.11. Most routes are on the easy side and only one 5.11. Hike into the gulley and follow it a short while and then exit uphill following the trail to Zappa Dome. The climbs look nice. I didnít see anyone and the weather was cold and cloudy. The routes have lots of bolts and are about 80 feet. The Zappa Dome is totally out of place in Cochise. The routes are very close together and itís a regular climbing gym. The rock is great. It actually looks better then the west side Isle of You sport area. It is OK as a warmup for doing the classic long climbs of Cochise but it is really out of place. If you arrive on the east side in the afternoon and have half a day then go for it.
 


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