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mini location map2010-12-04
9 by photographer avatarDon Graydon
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Thimble PeakTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Climbing avatar Dec 04 2010
Don Graydon
Climbing10.00 Miles
Climbing10.00 Miles
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
If you're a climber and you've ever seen The Thimble in the Catalinas above Tucson, you know you've got to stand on top someday. So we did.

Dave, Maggie, Jimmie and I hiked from the Gordon Hirabiyashi campground on the Mount Lemmon highway and followed the up-and-down-and-up-again trail to the base of The Thimble. The trailhead is at around 4800 feet and the summit is just over 5300, but overall elevation gain in and out must be in the neighborhood of 1500 feet. Maybe 10 miles round-trip.

At the base of the west-side gully that splits the two halves of The Thimble, Dave set us all up in mini-harnesses fashioned out of chartreuse webbing. Cool! He romped up the third-class climbing in the gully, then belayed us up to the base of the 10-foot vertical step that leads to the summit. Again he climbed up on his own, then belayed us up the step. A nice mini-climb on clean, well-textured rock.

[Note to imike: I should mention that Dave has climbed The Thimble many times and took us up the basic route, and there's certainly no "easy scramble to the top" of the highest of the two summits. That 10-foot step requires either an experienced, confident solo climber or a good belay.]

The summit is roomy and grass-covered, with views of a lot of imposing nearby rock spires and towers. In the summit register, Dave's entry was there from last April. Between then and our climb, there was just one entry.

Dave held us on the rope for the descent and then rapped down. This perfect climb on a warm, calm day was capped off by encountering a 3-foot-long western diamondback along the trail. The snake slowly moved into the rocks as we stood nearby admiring it.

What a wonderful three-week visit I've had from Index, Washington, but now it's over. I had the pleasure of hiking and scrambling up Pusch, Wasson, Picacho, Sombrero, Finger Rock Guard, Hughes, Ragged Top, Wrightson, Window Peak and The Thimble (total gain 25,000 feet). Wow, winter is not like this back home!

Blessings and thanks to Dave, Maggie, Jimmie, Emmett, imike, Ron, Joe Bartels (creator of this wondrous website) and everyone else who helped make this visit forever memorable.
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