Desert Rock

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Haroon and Joe on pitch 2 of "Days of Future Passed"
Cochise's Stronghold, AZ
In January 1987 I visited a good climbing buddy Joe Terravecchia in Tuscon, and spent two weeks rock climbing with he and Haroon Kheshgi. We spent many days climbing low on Mt. Lemmon, but the highlight of the trip was a visit to Cochise's Stronghold, about 2 hours southeast of Tuscon.

After a "brutal 1 hour" approach, you come to this beautiful climb, called "Days of Future Passed", rated 5.10. A photo similar to this appeared on the cover of Climbing magazine sometime in the early 80's, and ever since then I have wanted to climb it. This climb is a great example of what I like about adventure climbing - varied climbing (5.8 except for one 5.10 move) to an exposed summit (accessible only by a technical route), with a wild descent rappeling down the back side.

If you think the day-glow yellow lichen in this photo looks unrealistic, wait until you see the face for yourself. It doesn't look real either!

The summit of this pinnacle amazingly has some big potholes in it, one of them is about 30 feet across! This chilly January day they were all filled with a foot or two of solid ice. It sure was strange teetering across some of these ice ponds on the summit of a pinnacle!

I returned in the Spring of 1995 with Greg Opland, Bill Wright and Tim Schneider, and we did the nearby route "What's My Line", followed by "Days of Future Passed", capped off by a wild 3rd+ class spelunking route through the very center of the RockFellow domes called "The Inner Passage". A perfect day of adventure in the desert.