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West Clear Creek Tower
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sonso45


Aug 3, 2012, 7:30 AM
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West Clear Creek Tower
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July can be hot and humid in Arizona. Escaping heat is a prime directive for climbers, especially in Phoenix. A short 2 hour drive north is a wonderful canyon, West Clear Creek. The canyon's rim is @ 7,000' and is usually a reliable escape from the heat.

Most people hike down the canyon from the Mogollon Rim to Camp Verde in five days. My friends and I have found a few routes in here. The sandstone is generally soft so we look for hard black varnish which is usually hard enough to gain your confidence. On one of my trips I found a tower. It is hard to see but in the photo just look at the left side of the prominent brown face and you'll see the gully leading to the shoulder.


As we made the ledge the humidity got to me. It is the Arizona monsoon season, afternoon storms are the norm.
After an approach pitch we set up at the base of the narrow north side of the tower.

I start up and rapidlly find my forearms burning from holding onto friable rock and difficult protection. After a downclimb, I get up high enough to get my partner, Arjun, to the hard stuff.

The climb becomes an aid ascent. The crack is too thin, maybe tape and losing weight might help. We swap turns again and I finish the last third, in itself a tricky finish. Exposed and after I pull off a few edges of flakes etc I am topped out. Now to get off.

After we are done, rapping off is a pleasure. Arjun cleans the pro and I later TR it. Definitely need tape.

Another route on the books. My latest find is a gem in a beautiful setting. Arizona is blessed with a few canyons full of rock, this is only one.


losbill


Aug 3, 2012, 8:58 AM
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Re: [sonso45] West Clear Creek Tower [In reply to]
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Awesome Manny! Definitely brightened up my Friday here at work!

Can relate to the heat and humidity, it's been a bit of both up here in the NE lately. Not as adventurous as you with the new routing but still getting out, chasing shade and getting it done.

I love your last line ....

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Arizona is blessed with a few canyons full of rock, this is only one.


Bill


sonso45


Aug 3, 2012, 11:24 AM
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Re: [losbill] West Clear Creek Tower [In reply to]
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Bill, another major canyon in northern AZ is East Clear Creek Canyon. It flows north from the Mogollon rim towards Winslow. Some folks have descended it but it looks like it is longer than WCC.

A new place Mike Knarzer found, MoSlow is typical for the canyon's newer climbing areas. Difficult access and some land to belay from are hard to find. Here is Lizzard Seidl climbing out a great two pitch route that would be another escape to the top.




(This post was edited by sonso45 on Aug 3, 2012, 11:30 AM)


gblauer
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Aug 4, 2012, 7:11 PM
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Re: [sonso45] West Clear Creek Tower [In reply to]
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Nice Manny!


acorneau


Aug 5, 2012, 6:06 PM
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Re: [sonso45] West Clear Creek Tower [In reply to]
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sonso45 wrote:
July can be hot and humid in Arizona.


HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It's 85% humidity here in Houston, 17% in Phoeninx.


Seriously though, good trip report.


(This post was edited by acorneau on Aug 5, 2012, 6:07 PM)


sonso45


Aug 5, 2012, 6:25 PM
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Re: [acorneau] West Clear Creek Tower [In reply to]
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Sounds like Thailand! I know we're accused of suffering through a dry heat so I had to mention what passes for humid conditions in our sunny state.

Thanks for reminding me how lucky I am


sonso45


Aug 12, 2012, 8:15 AM
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It must be me. Just got back from Squamish and despite it being in Canada I was still perspiring profusely. Not all the time though. Just after leading and in the direct sun.

The locals refused to climb in the direct sun because it was "scorching" at high 70s!


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