You have to climb to be king of the rock

If you come from a different part of the country or even spent significant time out of town, you can appreciate the mountain views in every direction we Tucsonans get to enjoy year round.

At the same time, it would be a shame to let the mountains remain simply a distant view from the city. The best thing you can do is get up close and personal with them.

Indoor climbing facilities can give you a taste of the action or help keep you in shape, but nothing can replicate the feeling of being body to boulder with Mother Nature as the wind blows through your hair while you scale the wall.

Rock climbing is physically taxing on your body and stamina is a necessity for making it to the top. You must plan your attack as well, because it’s not all in the arms.

Just within the 30 miles of Catalina Highway, there are thousands of routes for climbers. There are more access points through Catalina State Park along Oracle Road. contains a list of climbs in the area and is a reliable source for info.

Are you an adrenaline junky looking for new fixes? Tucson’s unique weather offers more than 300 days of sunshine per year, providing an opportunity to climb in every season and during all parts of the day.

REI or Summit Hut can provide the equipment you need. Rocks and Ropes offers package deals, as well as outdoor guided trips if booked two weeks in advance.

The gear you’ll need will cost you upfront but once you have the basics you can climb to your heart’s desire. Those basics include climbing shoes, rope, a harness, carabiners and a belay device that ensures safe ascent and descent.

2017 has been dubbed the year for going places you’ve never been. Get to climbing and you’ll be king soon enough.

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