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McDowell Mtn's access
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sonso45


Nov 27, 2008, 8:18 AM
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McDowell Mtn's access
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Access Update – North Scottsdale Rock Climbing

Dear Climbers:
Below please find some exciting details from Scott Hamilton, City of Scottsdale Trails Planner, about the progress being made to build and open formal City access to the trails (and rock climbing) at the north end of the McDowells in Scottsdale, Arizona. As many of you know, crags like Sven Slab, Sven Towers, Hog Heaven, Granite Ballroom, Rosetta Stone, Morrells Wall, Gardeners Wall, Crossroads Wall, Glass Dome, Tom’s Thumb, Lost Wall, Fort McDowell, and Half and Half Wall provide some of the best granite rock climbing close-in to the Phoenix area.
This area has now been included within the City of Scottsdale McDowell Sonoran Preserve, and we have been working closely with City Staff to identify the historic rock climbing and appropriate access from the “yet to be built” official City trails.
The exciting news is that construction on the Tom’s Thumb trail is set to begin. You will need to be aware and communicate with other rock climbers that we need to respect any temporary closures in the area while this construction is underway. For example, the Morrell’s Parking Area will be closed for 4 to 5 months beginning this November for construction staging. A gate will be placed and signed for public closure. This will mean that the historic approach to Morrell’s Wall will not be available during that time period. Please respect the signage and closures. It is in our long term interest to show that climbers will continue to be good citizens and partners with the City in the Preserve.
The other “not signed for temporary closure” rock climbing crags will remain open, so please enjoy a safe time out there!
Please contact me for more information. smorefil@aol.com
Erik Filsinger, Climber Liaison with City of Scottsdale Preserve Staff and Land Advocacy Chair for the Arizona Mountaineering Club


What: Construction of the Tom's Thumb and East End Trails
Who: Okanogan Trail Construction working on behalf of the City of Scottsdale Preservation Division. Okanogan is a small company from northern Washington that specializes in backcountry trail construction. Their crew of professional trail builders is comprised of individuals from around the western United States. They are well versed both professionally and personally in various interests including rock climbing, hiking, and mountain biking, to name a few.
Where: The Tom's Thumb Trail (4.17 miles) will connect from the planned North McDowell Access Area (2010), southwest to the Windgate Pass Trail. The East End Trail (1.27 miles) will connect from the Tom's Thumb Trail, south to the Windmill Trail.
NOTE: The construction of these two trails will be staged from the area known as Morrell's Parking Area. While construction is underway, please stay out of the staging area, away from the trail construction activity, and off of the newly constructed trail. Access to Morrell's Parking Area will be available once the trail construction is complete (Feb/March 2009). The City of Scottsdale thanks you for your patience and understanding.
When: Preparation of the staging area will begin on October 16th, 2008. Trail construction will begin at the end of October, and is expected to last 4 to 5 months.
Why: The Tom's Thumb and East End Trails will provide designated access into the north region of the McDowell Mountains, in accordance with the Preserve Trails Plan. The North McDowell Access Area (trailhead) is estimated for completion in 2010, and will be located in the general vicinity of Sven's Slab and Morrell's Wall. The Access Area will be constructed in accordance with the Preserve Access Areas Plan, and the Access Area Design and Site Standards.
Scott Hamilton
Preserve Trails Planner
Scottsdale Preservation Division


lvpyne


Nov 29, 2008, 4:18 PM
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Re: [sonso45] McDowell Mtn's access [In reply to]
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Thanks for posting the info!


sonso45


Dec 19, 2008, 5:36 PM
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Re: [lvpyne] McDowell Mtn's access [In reply to]
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I was at Gardener's Wall a few days ago and noticed work on the new trail. Right now, they are just below Morrell's Wall, working towards the ridge that forms Gardener's Wall. No interruption to the parking or trail yet.


sonso45


Jan 15, 2009, 5:58 PM
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Re: [sonso45] McDowell Mtn's access [In reply to]
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If you happen to be in the McDowell's heading to Gardener's Wall and Tom's Thumb, you may run into orange or other colored tape on the shrubberys, please leave it, it is a trail marker for future work.

Near the old dirt road by the lone house and traditional approaches to Gardeners Wall and Tom’s Thumb, you may notice some orange flagging taking off roughly from the old dirt road parking area west up past the climbing areas of Fort McDowell, Half and Half Wall and Lost Wall. Scott Hamilton, the City Trails Planner, and Erik Filsinger, put them in to begin the process of planning the lay out of sustainable climbing paths to the historic rock climbing crags. They began on this one so as not to interfere with the ongoing trail construction on the new official Tom’s Thumb trail. Feel free to follow the orange flags if you are climbing at Fort McDowell, Half and Half Wall, Lost Wall, Lost in the Air, the Rist, or Tom’s Thumb (The path constitutes a west alternative to reaching Tom’s Thumb and areas in between. If you follow the flagging to the ridgeline, simply head back east a short distance to Tom’s Thumb on the well defined use path.)


(This post was edited by sonso45 on Jan 16, 2009, 5:48 AM)


sjderis


Nov 23, 2009, 7:32 AM
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Registered: Jan 26, 2006
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Re: [sonso45] McDowell Mtn's access [In reply to]
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Im planning on going up to assist with the trail marker creation on Wed... since parking is limited... did anyone want to carpool?
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sonso45


Nov 23, 2009, 8:31 AM
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Re: [sjderis] McDowell Mtn's access [In reply to]
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That's a good idea. I live in Tempe and would head north on the 101.


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