Dow leading the 1st Pitch
The guide states “Beeline is one of the finest crack climbs in the Stronghold”
and I wouldn't disagree. Cragaholic’s Dream (5.10+)
rates higher for me for sure, but at the grade Bee Line is as good as any other 5.9 including Forest Lawn
(of the Rockfellow Group). However, for the grade (5.9+) Forest Lawn is more sustained. There is a full page photo of Beeline in the Cochise Stronghold East guide published in 2017.
The main pitch offers variety, starting with a wide flake and eventually hitting the crux at a tips splitter below the first roof. The stem move right at the top of this splitter (crux move) via an under cling offers excellent movement and exposure. From there the climbing gets easier up an arete and through the 2nd roof section. The second pitch is uneventful albeit run out (where the PG comes from). The MP.com posting talks about doing this route in three pitches, but that makes no sense, it is a two pitch route. The rap stations down the southwest face make it easy to reach the ground with a single 70m.
Beeline is strictly an east side climb. If you have already been up to the Rockfellow Group from the east, you are going to take the same main trail from just north of the official campground (large boulder parking area). At approximately half way up to the Rockfellow col, Stronghold Dome’s SE Face stares back at you from the north. Follow a cairned (2017) trail across the drainage, that is fairly level with the base of the dome,
north to the corner of the SE and SW faces. I prefer to set up below the SW face where there is ample shade from trees. Tunnel through to the SW side and set up shop at the other end. You can 5th class it up to a ledge below the obvious flake on the first pitch. You could also belay from the ground with a 70m rope for sure, but there is a cactus your rope would probably run into on that ledge. Therefore it is best to start on the ledge itself, about 50’ up.
Route DescriptionBeeline, 300’+/-, 5.9+ PG
1st Pitch- 160’- 5.9+/
This is one of the better pure trad moderate pitches at the Cochise Stronghold. From the ledge you scrambled up to, climb the wide right facing flake through several rest ledges until directly under the thin finger seam. Micro cams and/or wires protect this crux section well as you near the bottom of the first roof. Under cling out right moving your feet across the slab to the relatively easy arête. Follow it up and through the next roof (jugs) and pull through to low angled climbing above and an older (2017) fixed rap on comfortable ground up and left.
2nd Pitch- 140’- 5.6+ PG/
Climb the obvious featured knobs up and left through a bolt in the distance. Continue up past a horizontal that takes gear and onto the summit with a fixed rap.
A single 70m
goes well. Take a short rap to a station you can see on a separated pillar skiers right (SW Face), which is awkward to reach. Then another single rap skiers left to either one of two raps close together near the arête. Another rap down onto the arête to the top of a bolted route (Big Time). One more single rap to your packs in the shade trees below.
Guide calls for doubles to C4#3 and a single #4. I find that to be over kill. A single to #3 with some wires or supplemental off set cams should suffice the competent leader at this grade.
Single rope, 70m for sure works, 60m no doubt works as well. There are quite a few rap stations on the SW Face. The first pitch is well shaded in the early am hours during October. The 2nd pitch will be in full sun until late in the day.