Landscape and Panoramic Photography

Posts tagged “Mt Lemmon

Storm Clouds over Catalinas

One of the final 2016 monsoon storms over Tucson and the Santa Catalina Mountains.


Monsoon Clouds over Catalinas from Windy Point, Coronado National Forest, AZ (16″x48″)


Monsoon from Sentinel Peak

When I stepped off the plane from Nepal in late June, it was about 110F (~40C) here in southern Arizona. Fortunately, the monsoon started soon after I arrived. After work one evening I drove up to the top of Sentinel Peak (near downtown Tucson) and shot a few panoramas of the lumbering monsoon storms as they approached from the south.


Monsoon Storm from Sentinel Peak #2, Tucson Mountains, AZ (16″x74″)

Boot Hill Climbing

Routes on the north and west faces of the rock promontory above the Prison Camp area make for great spring climbing along the Catalina Highway on Mt Lemmon. I especially liked the shadows of the passing clouds on the hills in the background.


Boot Hill Cliffs and Clouds, Coronado National Forest, AZ (16″x39″)

Green Slabs Climbing

Just past Milepost 9.9 and the Seven Cataracts Overlook, the road cut along the Catalina Highway (General Hitchcock Highway) forms two vertical cliffs on either side of the road. The climbing cliffs just uphill from this pullout are called The Green Slabs. There are a variety of traditional (‘trad’) routes on the south face and sport climbing on the north face. Here are a few photographs from the area.


Focus on the Rock, Coronado National Forest, AZ (12″x18″)


Green Slabs Cliffs and Highway, Coronado National Forest, AZ (16″x49″)

Turret Rocks Climbing

The vertical panorama can help give a sense of scale from the base of a cliff, but the perspective inherent in this type of panorama can also distort the image. As I’ve been working on my climbing photography, I have tried a few techniques that I would normally never employ in my landscape work; here I wanted to emphasize the artificial, human aspect that we bring to a traditional (‘trad’) climbing route even if we remove all the gear when we’re finished.


On Lead up Turret Rock, Coronado National Forest, AZ (16″x42″)

The Ruins Climbing, Mt Lemmon

The southwest-facing cliff at The Ruins crag provides a great location for a pleasant day of winter climbing in southern Arizona. I wanted to capture the full size of the rock face, a little foreground at the base, and the mountains fading into the distance off to the south (right), so I ended up stitching together a series of stacked photographs for this double-tall panorama.


The Ruins Cliff, Coronado National Forest, AZ (20″x40″)

Winter Sky in the Catalinas

While climbing in January near the base of Mt Lemmon, I stopped at the mouth of a small canyon to take this vertical panorama of the rock, vegetation, and clouds.


Bush and Winter Clouds, Coronado National Forest, AZ (16″x38″)

Hairpin Cliffs and Winter Clouds

In early January, one of our only winter storms blew through southern Arizona (in what was supposed to be an unusually wet El Nino winter here in the Southwest). I was hoping to go climbing further up in the Catalina Mountains, but the Highway was closed, so we parked and walked our climbing gear up to Hairpin and spent a gorgeous day listening to a flowing creek and climbing beneath a ceiling of billowing winter clouds.

HairpinCliffsWinterCloudsHairpin Cliffs and Winter Clouds, Coronado National Forest, AZ (16″x50″)

Monsoon Storm from Seven Cataracts Overlook

After spending the day climbing near the top of the Catalinas, I stopped at the Seven Cataracts pullout along the Catalina Highway to take this photograph of a monsoon storm over Tucson.

MonsoonStormoverTucsonfromSevenCataractsMonsoon Storm over Tucson from Seven Cataracts Vista, Coronado National Forest, AZ (12″x18″)

Monsoon Clouds from Windy Point, Part II

Here is the second part to a series  of photographs from Windy Point, Mount Lemmon.

TowersAndCloudsTowers and Clouds, near Summerhaven, AZ (16″x26″)

TrunkAndClouds1Trunk and Clouds (1), near Summerhaven, AZ (12″x18″)

TrunkAndClouds2Trunk and Clouds (2), near Summerhaven, AZ (12″x18″)

Monsoon Clouds from Windy Point, Part I

Late summer rains near the top of Mt Lemmon at Raycreation forced us to descend below the clouds to climb. We decided to stop at the cliffs below the Windy Point overlook and spent the day climbing the North Fin. On our way back to the road I photographed these monsoon clouds. I will post more photographs in this series next week as well.

TwistedStumpAndMonsoonTwisted Stump and Monsoon Clouds, near Summerhaven, AZ (12″x18″)

NancysThumbAndClouds1Nancy’s Thumb and Monsoon Clouds (1), near Summerhaven, AZ (16″x48″)

MonsoonCloudsFromWindyPointMonsoon Storm from Windy Point, near Summerhaven, AZ (16″x52″)

Climbing at South Park, Mt Lemmon

The South Park area is another higher elevation (8,400′) bolted cliff near the top of Mt Lemmon where you can escape the summer heat to go climbing. The trail to the crag climbs over a pine-covered ridge, descends through a burn, and leads across a ridge. Wind-blown, gnarled trees pop out of the cliffs above the climbing area, and the rock faces overlook the valley off to the north.

WindBlownOnTheRocksWind Blown on the Rocks, near Summerhaven, AZ (12″x18″)

OverhangAndPinesOverhang and Burned Pines, near Summerhaven, AZ (12″x18″)

LeadingInTheRocksAndShadowsLeading in the Rocks and Shadows, near Summerhaven, AZ (12″x18″)


Climbing at Raycreation, Mt Lemmon

During the height of the summer heat in Tucson valley, a short drive up the Catalina Highway to 8,200 feet provides relief in the pines from the heat below. One of my favorite sport climbing areas, Raycreation, sits near the top of Mount Lemmon and provides some great overhung climbing routes in the relatively cool summer air. A dead tree has started to rot and lean over the namesake climb, Raycreation, at the upper cliff (first photograph).

ReachingRaycreationReaching on Raycreation, near Summerhaven, AZ (12″x18″)

WorkingVenezuelanMafiaWorking for the Venezuelan Mafia, near Summerhaven, AZ (12″x18″)

ConsideringtheMafiaConsidering the Mafia, near Summerhaven, AZ (12″x18″)