I came to Tucson back in 1970 to attend the University of Arizona. At that time I was a wannabee climber who collected gear and managed to survive rappelling off various man-made objects that presented themselves. I actually began real climbing in the period 1975-1978 when Mt. Lemmon was quite a different scene from what it is now.


In the good old days there was no guidebook. Back then you dropped by the Summit Hut and asked to have a look at the big 3-ring binder behind the counter, or you asked Rich Thompson what he might recommend that you try.

Then John Steiger put together his guidebook, which is now out of print. With the exception of the raunchy cartoons in the first part of the book, this is a really good piece of work and something to treasure if you find a copy somewhere.

The real classic is Bob Kerry's "Backcountry Climbing in Southern Arizona." Here is an example of what a guidebook ought to be. As the title says, this focuses on backcountry climbing so the Windy Point crowd won't find much here.

Next, and currently in print is Eric Fazio-Richard's "Squeezing the Lemmon". There was a terrible first edition, and a small interim guide listing newly done sport routes. The second edition of Squeezing the Lemmon, clearly supercedes both of these and is actually quite good. The new edition is definitely the book to have if you intend to do any climbing along the Catalina Highway.

some of my favorites

Here are a few of my favorite routes in the Tucson area, along with my own augmented descriptions and various anecdotes. As you can tell, my tastes tend to multipitch routes and backcountry climbing.

Feedback? Questions? Drop me a line!

Tom's Rock Climbing Info / ttrebisky@as.arizona.edu