Member Trip Report



A Few Great Cochise Stronghold Rock Climbs, Arizona

Larry Earley (author) and Don Taylor

February 18 and 19, 2011

Out-of-Towners Dome, Cochise Stronghold East Side (February 18, 2011)

I had always wanted to visit the Out-of-Towners Dome in Cochise Stronghold east side since Norbert Ensslin talked about a visit there in the 90s to a climb called Arribas Amoebas 5.10. The hike in to the dome is about an hour for most people but the young and strong could make it in 35-40 minutes. The approach is about 700 vertical on a fair but sometimes faint trail. Recent reports from Mountain Project mention many new cairns which did help the way. Do not try any short cuts which will be a mistake. Norbert mentioned nice granite face climbing on low angle slabs. Bolted anchors and a 400 foot dome make it feel like big climbs but the risks are low for backcountry stronghold routes. Don and I tried a newer climb called Left of El Cautivo 5.9 bolted three pitch climb. We saw about ten bolted routes. The-Out-of-Towners 5.10 looked pretty stiff and was beyond our ability. We also saw Arribas Amoebas which was good but still a hard climb. El Cautivo 5.9 was moderate but a little runout. We did the easiest line Left of El Cautivo which is described in Mountain Project as the "clip-up" route. This route was great and the first pitch was the best. If you blow the second clip you could deck but its a clip-up. Pitch two is good at the start and finish but fair in the middle. Pitch three has a few moves till you get over a small roof. Then its runout 5.7 for a good while. Save something for the finish. If you slip on the first runout 5.7 section its a long fall back over the roof. Strong parties could easily climb 2-3 routes in a day. You rap back down to the start and move a short distance to the next route. The harder routes are hard right off the deck with first bolts 25 feet up there. You will need two ropes to rap but there is a walk off from top if you wish. The trail takes you right to the middle of the dome and you see five routes just as you arrive.

Sweet Rock Sport Climbing, Cochise Stronghold West Side (February 19, 2011)

Sweet Rock is a new sport climbing area on west side of Cochise Stronghold very near to the Isle of You. The area is less than two years old and has about 18 climbs. This is granite face climbing with closely spaced bolts. The approach is 1 minute from the car. The area is moderate with mostly 9s and 10s but a few 11s. The routes face north. Free camping is minutes away. We started on a nice 5.8 Whatchamacallit which is a great warm-up. Next we tried a more difficult route Hot Tamale 10b. It is sustained 10a with a couple crux moves. Then we did Jaw Breaker 10a. Mostly 5.9 but the crux is pretty tough reach with balance. Peanut Brittle is high quality 5.9 -10a with committing moves. We finished on Kit Kat 7+ which has a few moves. Give this place a try when in the Stronghold and you have a couple hours to spare. You can walk off top or lower from anchors. Overall its nice but this place may see some traffic. We climbed on a cool day with lots of wind and there were many others climbing.

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