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McDowell Mountains / Gardeners Wall
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mini location map2017-05-17
4 by photographer avatarDennisWilliams
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McDowell Mountains / Gardeners WallPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Climbing avatar May 17 2017
Climbing3.10 Miles 1,047 AEG
Climbing3.10 Miles   5 Hrs      1.03 mph
1,047 ft AEG   2 Hrs    Break25 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
 Hanging Garden 5.62 Pitches230 ft
Quote from Greg while on the wall "Man! That is a lot of crack!"
Second day of the May cool spell. Climbing sure beats working!

Jack, Greg, and I did the Hanging Garden route on Gardener's Wall on the north side of the McDowells just east of Tom's Thumb. Scenic hike in and a little boulder hopping and scrambling through the bottom of the gulch to get to the base of the wall. Tremendously fun two pitch climb following cracks in the face with a hanging belay right in the middle of the wall, hence the name. The climb is too long to be done with just one ordinary 60m rope length so the climbers must stop in the middle to gather the rope before proceeding forward. There are two bolts in the face at that point where the lead climber clips in and hangs by their harness while belaying the others up, and then the second climber does the same while belaying the lead forward. Interesting to be just hanging on the rock wall for a period of time. Gives the opportunity to look around from the middle of a rock face, something that doesn't happen much while actually climbing.

While I was at the bottom waiting for Jack to lead he gained a point on the route where he could see the rest of the route spreading across the open face. I could not see him above me but clearly heard "Holy s... !" When Greg got to the same location I heard him say "Man! That is a lot of crack!" These things tend to play on the mind of a novice climber while awaiting their turn on the route. When beginning any new activity, playing an instrument, painting, climbing, the novice secretly hopes that they will be found to be a savant, that they have now finally found the thing that they were born to do. Alas, I have found that I am at best squarely in the middle of the distribution when it comes to climbing, but that in no way diminishes my enjoyment. This stuff is exciting right down to the core. I can hear the experienced climbers out there saying to themselves "Oh look, the newbie has 'discovered' rock climbing. How cute." Strongest is the faith of the newly converted. I pray that this feeling does not wear off too quickly.

- Antoninus Pius
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