Hitchcock Pinnacle

March 20, 2017

Rock Climbing

Tucson / Santa Catalina Mountains, AZ

Hitchcock Pinnacle is by no doubt the most popular rock climb near Mt. Lemmon north of the city of Tucson. The access is by Santa Catalina Highway (aka. Mt. Lemmon Highway) and the photogenic pinnacle is right beside a roadside tourism area called “Windy Point”. There are a couple routes ranging from 5.7 to 5.10 although most come up from the north side 5.7 route which is exactly the one I climbed. For obvious reasons this was not on my plan as I came down to Arizona by myself but I did bring the climbing gears. At the parking lot I met two climbers from Chicago and then they kindly offered me a belay up this spire.

The girl from the other group making her ascent

Hitchcock Pinnacle in full show

At first I wasn’t even sure whether or not I could do it as the route looked pretty much vertical to overhanging, but what the heck as I got a top-rope belay. It made no sense to not try it out. With rock shoes and without a pack it actually felt much easier than I thought but the texture of this route is mostly face-climbing on small holds. This also matches with my strength so in the end I got it done fairly fluently in one try without pulling on gears.

Crossing over the lower gap

Me about half way up

Higher up it’s vertical to overhanging.

Me on Hitchcock Pinnacle

A southern view from Windy Point

Thimble Peak in the foreground which is another technical one

More about the southern view into the city of Tucson.

After taking a couple photos from the top I removed the top anchor and then was lowered down. I thanked them a big time for offering me this belay but soon enough I had to move on. All in all I’d highly agree with the classic status of this little spire. The only downside was the lack of bolts (only one set about 3/4 of the way up) which meant the leader must be very confident climbing at this grade with some run outs.