New climbers can learn ropes at Windy Point

Spires offer many routes, led by 'icon' Hitchcock Pinnacle 'an icon,' with its short routes
2011-05-14T00:00:00Z 2011-05-14T00:13:19Z New climbers can learn ropes at Windy PointDoug Kreutz Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
May 14, 2011 12:00 am  • 

Gary Weber had driven past Hitchcock Pinnacle many times - saying to himself that "it would be a good idea to get up there sometime."

Sometime arrived one day last week.

Weber and several friends - using ropes and technical climbing gear - scaled the rock spire at Windy Point in the Catalina Mountains.

"This is an icon," Weber said of the pinnacle, which poses short climbing routes ranging from moderate to quite challenging.

Novice climbers find the easiest route on Hitchcock Pinnacle to be an excellent place to literally learn the ropes.

Experts zip up and down the route almost effortlessly. On more than one occasion, they've hauled some unexpected baggage to the top - including a barbecue grill.

"I love this rock!" said Corinne Bee, who joined Weber and others on the climb.

A STONE WONDERLAND

If Hitchcock Pinnacle is perhaps the most evident climbing site at Windy Point along the Catalina Highway, it's merely the tip of the "stoneberg," so to speak.

The Windy Point area is a wild wonderland of comely cliffs and tall towers ranging from pretty steep to dead vertical or overhanging.

Sites known as North Fin, South Fin and Mean Mistreater Wall offer a rich array of climbing routes - from fairly easy or moderate to super-challenging.

A practice cliff across the highway from Hitchcock Pinnacle is a place to learn some basic moves.

CLIMB SAFELY

It is essential for novice climbers to make their first efforts under the guidance of experienced climbers or professional guides.

GET TO THE ROCKS

To reach Windy Point, take Tanque Verde Road to the Catalina Highway and follow the highway to the site near milepost 14. The U.S. Forest Service charges a $5-per-vehicle fee.

Contact reporter Doug Kreutz at dkreutz@azstarnet.com or at 573-4192.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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