Tuscon, Arizona held unexpected highline possibilities atop Mount Lemmon. We had heard there were some lines in the area, and completed three beautiful highlines, one even being a classic from Scott Balcom and Darrin Carter. After four days there, one might have thought we could continue on our journey feeling satisfied; yet the rocky, half emerged spires rising from the mountain sides were whispering to us, we needed to leave a new highline established in the area.
Daily we scanned the steep hills, squinting our eyes trying to distinguish gaps from shadows, wondering how easy approaches could be, and figuring length as well. Ultimately however, scrambling to the actual rock is the only way to determine whether a highline is possible there. The last day we had the Hawks Bill highlines up, Jordan and I did scramble to a spot, trying to find a tower one could see from the distance. I headed downward, to look up at a gap, and Jordan scrambled atop some rocks and we agreed the spot was worthy of a highline.
|Rigging in the wind.|
I belayed while Janek ascended, soon he was out of sight and then he called out and I began climbing. It was not difficult, only sketchy because of bad quality rock. Once atop, we turned to view Jordan on the other rock; however it was clear that where he had bolted was at least a meter above our tower.
It was disappointing, especially considering the beautiful exposure of the line. We argued for some time about ethics of establishing an unlevel line, but in the end with limited time we went for it. Jordan completed the bolting on one side, as we hucked over the rope, then Janek threw the rope to Jordan who tied it to the webbings, pulled them across with a backpack attached holding drill and gear.
|Faith getting the first send on-sight, full babe in swami.|
We had to leave the desert and continue to Texas, yet Mount Lemmon remains a worthy highline location to return to with endless possibilities for highlines, some probably involving long hikes but worthwhile.
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