Baboquivari Summit Logs

Center of the Universe

It has been said that this very spot is the center of the Universe. Surely all who climb to it can clearly see a vital part of his own.

- Gary Hervert, 1976

I was browsing the Arizona forums at and saw and entry entitled "Petition to return Summit Registers to Baboquivari." It was from Tom Wetherell and the entry went:

Last Sunday I climbed Baboquivari for the first time, via the Forbes Route. The only disappointing part of the trip occurred when I went to sign the summit register. First, the hinge and seal on the ammo can used to protect it are bad, and the register itself was wet and moldy. Second, the register only goes back to 2004. On the front of the register the following is written: "Maintained by Marvin G. Safford - (let me know when the book is about 3/4 full).

Mr. Safford has taken it upon himself to "protect" the original and historic registers and for that I thank him. Yet I feel that by removing them from the summit he has robbed all of us of the experience of reading the previous entries (something I take great pleasure in). I would prefer that the registers remained on the summit, properly protected, for ALL to enjoy.

I hope that copies of the registers could be returned to the summit and placed in a more secure and weatherproof container.

It seemed like a good project to publish the Baboquivari Summit Logs on I have contacted Marvin and he has been very supportive - sending me pdf's and a wealth of information. Rather than bring the webpage online when I have all the material in hand, I am going to publish it as it is sent to me. Thus, this webpage is a work in progress...

1954 - 1960

From Marvin Stafford:

Eber Glendening maintained the Summit Logs for Baboquivari, and other peaks in Southern Arizona, on behalf of the Southern Arizona Hiking Club. In the late '70's, the Club quit having Baboquivari as an official annual hike and quit maintaining the books. When Eber died, his widow, Lorna, asked the officials at the Hiking Club to, "come get these boxes of books". They did, but they saved only the ones they were continuing to maintain. Eber used a typewriter to transcribe the text from the years that included himself. Those sheets have survived

Back when I put out the word that I was looking for these books, a former member of the Southern Arizona Hiking Club came forward. He met me downtown with an envelope of the original typed sheets. We took them upstairs to my office and copied them so that he kept the originals. I am not sure I recorded his name.

1963 - Top of Baboquivari

Rincon Roamers in 1963. From left: Ron Babcock, Jerry Emerich, and Bob Olson. Photo by Ed Reilly.

1954 - 1956

At this point in time, an ascent to the peak is a hike. Most of the ladders are still in place but there is reference to ladder #2 being gone. Eber Glendening made five ascents in this two year period. Don Morris makes his first trip to the summit.
[966 KByte]


In March 1957, Don Morris, Jerry Robertson, Rick Tedrick, Tom Hale, and Dave Ganci made the first ascent of the Southeast Arete. Don Morris made four trips to the summit earlier in 1957 (no indication of the other fellows before the first ascent). Eber made it to the summit six times and his future wife, Lorna, made her first ascent.
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1958 - 1960

Four ascents of the Southeast Arete were made. Most included Don Morris and company (including Eber), but some California guys also made an ascent: the climbing legends Bob Kamps, Yvon Chouinard, Dave Rearick and Harry Doley. Eber and Lorna are married and then Eber loses interest in recording the transcripts of the summit log.
[1074 Kbyte]

1965 - 1969

Cover of the 1965 - 1969 Summit Log

1974 - 1977

Cover of the 1974 - 1977 Summit Log

From Marvin Stafford:

This book is the last one the Southern Arizona Hiking Club installed on the mountain top. After that, they quit having Baboquivari as an official trip and quit maintaining the books. This one was brought down by Mykle Raymond, in the late 70's. He found there was no one at the hiking club to accept it from him, so he kept it until he found out I was looking for them. There may well be others out there, who have them on their book shelves, and who would like to know there is an effort underway to preserve them.

January - March,1974

Joanna McComb makes an ascent of the Southeast Arete and a couple of climbers from Washington talk of climbing the Southeast Arete on nuts - "all hammerless".
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April - October, 1974

Don Morris is still climbing the Southeast Arete as well as Joanna McComb. The first recorded entry from Rich Thompson is on May 1st.
[1306 KByte]

November - December, 1974

November 2nd sounds like a miserable day, but there are people all over the mountain - including Gary Hervert. Steve Grossman and Gary Hevert make an ascent of the Spring Route on December 22, 1974 (see Steve Grossman photos). Reen and Rich Thompson ascend the Southeast Arete on Thanksgiving - "Happy Thanksgiving". John Diaz was there on November 11th.
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January - June, 1975

A variety of ascents including ones by Joanna McComb and Don Morris.
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June - October, 1975 More ascents. Climbers include Gary Hervert, Joanna McComb, and Don Morris.
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October - December, 1975 Pete Cowgill gives Joanna McComb a hard time for signing her name J. McComb.
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January - April, 1976 Merl Wheeler, Joanna and John McComb. Marvin makes an ascent vis the Southeast Arete. Mykle Raymond knocks down the last of the remains of the ladder. In an e-mail from Mykle:

It may be worth noting that scraps of the staircase on the last pitch were all that were left, and there was concern that someone would attempt to use them unsafely. They had provided anchors for a rappel rope, especially since the bolts at the very top had not yet been installed (the tree was certainly useful), but were then pretty loose. Dave Nelson was irked at me, after he had dropped his cowboy hat and it was sitting on a ledge, and I promised that I would avoid it as I cast rotten wood from above. I lied.
[1347 KByte]

April - October, 1976 Karl Rickson and Fig ascend the Southeast Arete; John Diaz as well. Don Morris must live up there.
[1317 KByte]

October - November, 1976 Miscellaneous ascents. No Don Morris.
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November - December, 1976 39th ascent by Don Morris.
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January - April, 1977 Rich Thompson death comments. Karl Rickson and Tom Trebisky free-solo the Southeast Arete in 1/2 hour. Don Morris makes three more ascents.
[1464 KByte]

April - July, 1977 Charlie Rollins and E. Gusted on Don's Crack. Marvin and Pete Cowgill. #43 for Don. I wonder who Don's crack is named after? Note that Don made 13 trips to the top of Baboquivari between April 1974 and April 1977.

In response to my question, Marvin says... About 'Don's Crack'. Yes, it was named for Don Morris. Don told me that he and two others explored the route and made plans for doing it as a first ascent. On the planned day, Don, himself, was sick, and the other two made the first ascent without him. They stuck to the plan of naming it 'Don's Crack' as he had been the leader of the overall effort. According to Bob Kerry, the two others were Joanna McComb and Dan Jones.

[1003 KByte]

1993 - 1995

Cover of the 1993 - 1995 Summit Log

November to December, 1993 These entries are a little hard to read. Entries by Kevin Carmichael and Marvin.
[573 KByte]
January to April, 1994 Jim Boyer and Meryl Singer on the Spring Route. A lot of talk about finding the raps.
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April to October, 1994 Neil and Tom Gehrels and miscellaneous ascents.
[1174 KByte]
October to December, 1994 Jim Boyer, Peter Noebels, and Meryl Singer on Dreams of I'itoi. Marvin ascends the Forbes route on ice.
[579 KByte]
January to April, 1995 Peter Noebels and Jim Boyer (JB) on Southeast Arete. Mike Strassman and Mark Colby put up a new route to the right of Time Lost. Some dialog with JB.
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April to June, 1995 Southeast Arete (#75) for Don Morris (now of Ventura, California).
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June to October, 1995 Jeff Mayhew adds backup bolt to "placebo bolts" on Southeast Arete.
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November to December, 1995 Marvin does #29. Neil and Tom Gehrels.
[1002 KByte]

1996 - 1997

Cover of the 1996 - 1997 Summit Log

February - March, 1996 Several Southeast Arete ascents plus Born of Water and Don's Crack.
[754 KByte]
March 1996 Six student and four staff from the Arizona School for the Deaf and Blind make an ascent.
[483 KByte]
March - April, 1996 A variety of ascents.
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March - April, 1996 A big group from the Southern Arizona Hikers Club make an ascent with guides. Neil Gehrels rappels the south face with a 600' rope and then climbs it on top rope.
[720 KByte]
May - November, 1996 Neil's back on top. Several Southeast Arete and miscellaneous ascents.
[654 KByte]
November 1996 with some 1997 Many miscellaneous ascents.
[951 KByte]
November 1996 with some 1997 Several members of the Tohono O'Odham Nation make an ascent. Marvin makes his 30th ascent and talks of calling it quits.
[1121 KByte]

1998 - 2001

Cover of the 1998 - 2000 Summit Log

March - April, 1998 A nice introduction to this log by Paul O'horn. Entries by Scott Connors and Pat O'Herron
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April - June, 1998 Headlamp solo of the Southeast Arete by Pat O'Herron. Don Morris makes his 76th trip.
[1439 KByte]
July, 1998 100th year anniversary and re-enactment of Forbes and Montoya's first ascent of Baboquivari. The pdf includes a write-up on the re-enactment. Marvin, who was a part of the re-enactment, has re-typed it here.
[1479 KByte]
July - September, 1998 The 1998 re-enactment of Forbes and Montoya's first ascent. Also, a Southeast Arete ascent by Bill Lundeen and Scott Conners. Bill gives it a (1 star?) rating.
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October, 1998 Neil Gehrels on the Southeast Arete and Crystal Line. A birthday / Halloween (Alloween) ascent of Born of Water by Al Currano - with Birthday cake.
[1951 KByte]
November - December, 1998 A couple of overnight bivouac's on the mountain. "What's up with all the crap people seem to be obliged to leave up here?"
[2152 KByte]
January - February, 1999 Peter Noebels solos the Southeast Arete. Bill Lundeen and Pat O'Herron were back on top.
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March, 1999 Jim Boyer solos a new east face route - Freak of Nature (with topos). Bill Lundeen and Scott Conner were back climbing Born of Water and Don's Crack - or Veggie Delight as Bill calls it.
[1940 KByte]
April - June, 1999 Mike Strassman and Jackie Carrol make the first ascent of I'Itoi's Dance (with topo).
[1830 KByte]
June - October, 1999 A Mountain Rescue group is led by Marvin and and he describes it in a SARnews news letter. No 'Alloween.
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November - December, 1999 Many ascents with the last ascent of the Millenium.
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January - February, 2000 The first ascents of 2000. "The world is still out there and it looks mighty fine from Babo." Eric Christensen and Yusuf Johnson make an ascent in Tevas and low-tops with no rope.
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March, 2000 A variety of ascents. Bill Lundeen was back on top.
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April, 2000 Many miscellaneous ascents. Several Tohono O'Odham summit.
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April, 2000 More Tohono O'Odham ascents and a family Gehrels ascent.
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May - August, 2000 On Tuesday, May 23 couple of stranded climbers were rescued from the north saddle according to a SARnews news letter. However, there were no entries on May 22 when they must have made their ascent. Most likely, it was the brothers Morrow. The SARnews letter also has an article by Mykle Raymond.
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September - December, 2000 More ascents. John and Gina Diaz ascend the Southeast Arete - the first time rock climbing for Gina.
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January - March, 2001 Tim Lee, Scott Conners, Bill Lundeen, and Lisa Chouinard up the Crystal Line.
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2001 - 2004

Cover of the 2001 - 2004 Summit Log

March - April, 2001 An introduction by Marvin with comments by Bill Lundeen and others.
[1641 KByte]
May - October, 2001 Entries by Justin Earp and company - see A Night on Baboquivari. Many Southeast Arete ascents. Neil Gehrels ascends with family members and the west camp caretakers. Bob Kerry makes a solo attempt on the Southeast Arete but get "spooked" - takes the west approach instead. "It's all good!"
[1263 KByte]
November 2001 A climb dedicated to fellow New Yorkers... "who gave their lives this September Eleventh." A tirade about the thief who takes things from the top. "Quit being so arrogant and imperialistic you crazy American!!!" Maybe I'itoi had a use for those things? An ascent by Aron Ralston - the guy who had his arm trapped by a boulder and had to cut it off and an unplanned overnighter by Mike Dreelan and company.
[2292 KByte]
December 2001 Many assorted climbs - southeast arete and "Born of Water."
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January and February 2002 More ascents... "Backcountry?? More like God's country."
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March 2002 After 25 years, Dan McCool returns to the summit.
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April 2002 Marvin makes his 34th ascent. Forest Hill and James DeRoussel make an ascent.
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May - October, 2002 "First solo summit with my best friend Margi."
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November 2002 "I hereby claim the first blind, one-handed ascent..." - Spaceman Spliff. The Spaceman makes a couple of ascents, some more notable than others.
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December 2002 "I was classified as a high maintenance girl. But now that I have made it to the top of Babo, I have gone down in the rankings and also earned some man points, maybe even some hair on my chest. This is a day I will always remember..." - Lisa Gutman.
[450 KByte]
January - March, 2003 "First time back since the mid '70s. My profound appreciation to be able to come back into the arms of such a powerful spot" - the legendary Mark Axen. Ascents by John Diaz, Bill Lundeen, Jeff Mayhew, and Don Vandegriff. Marvin makes his 35th trip to the summit.
[1444 KByte]
April 2003 More ascents. Jeff Mayhew and Tom Chong.
[1091 KByte]
May to August, 2003 Many people living in the moment.
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September to December, 2003 A lot of theology. Marvin makes his 36th trip and Neil Gehrels is back on top. Chris Craig has been hanging around the summit a lot as well. Babo people...
[2657 KByte]
January - April, 2004 Chris Craig has been up there so much that people are leaving him personal messages in the log book. Bob and Mike make their first ascent. Neil Gehrels is back on top - I believe he was one of the climbers that used a helicopter to make the approach. Marvin makes number 37.
[1647 KByte]
May - October, 2004 Pat O'Herron and Manny Albino make multiple ascents. John Diaz is back on top.
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2004 - 2006

Vivian, Mike, and Valerie

Big sky against brown rock
Alluvial plain beyond
Friends loll against the packs and talk
A smiling, laughing bond
- Valerie

November 2004 Title page with some abusive comments by Mark Axen. Marvin makes his 38th trip to the summit. This summit log was in very poor shape when I last saw it - Marvin didn't scan the cover and all of the pages have been removed from the spiral binder.
[751 KByte]
December - February, 2005 A variety of ascents.
[424 KByte]
March 2005 More ascents. "Desert Rider" returns and is offended that some one called him an idiot on his November 2004 entry.
[636 KByte]
April 2005 Chris Craig makes his tenth and eleventh ascents.
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April 2005 Jeff Mayhew is on top and Chris Craig makes another ascent.
[181 KByte]
May - July, 2005 These pages have the entry from my second trip to Baboquivari [Bob, Mike, Val, and Viv] and my first trip up the Southeast Arete [Bob, Val, and Randy].
[447 KByte]
September and October, 2005 Matthew Nelson proposes to Mary Sarvak on the summit ...and a large group of ravens and a single golden eagle celebrate. Bob Kerry, Peter Noebels and others ascend the Southeast Arete. This climb was documented in the October 2006 Arizona Highways magazine. Erin Kelly makes her second ascent of the year with her dad Kevin (first ascent was on April 17th).
[631 KByte]
November and December, 2005 Bob Kerry is back on top again. Gary Hervert, Ed Vasquez, and Dan McCool ascend the Southeast Arete.
[880 KByte]
January - March, 2006 John Diaz makes another summit. "The view is obscured by the curvature of the earth..."
[516 KByte]
April 2006 "Desert Rider" returns from Prescott. Neil and Emily Gehrels climb the Southeast Arete.
I was on the mountain on April 23rd with Ecobarbie (Valerie), Mike and Melissa. It was a great day. The thing that stands out on this day was the two guys that were ahead of us: Bob Tomlinson and Harry Schmeichel. As we were climbing the ladder pitch, I was belaying from the chain anchors when they descended to the ledge above the anchors. I heard one of them make what I thought was a rather strange comment, "They are using fancy gear". I thought, "Well yes, I do like to use good gear..." When we had everyone from our party up and through the pitch, I saw one of them pull out a short length of thin rope. I thought it was a cordelette and that they might be setting up a gear belay on the ledge. I turns out that the cordelette was their climbing rope. Similarly, only one of them had a harness. The other fellow had the rope tied around his waist. I offered to let them use our rope to descend but they insisted on using their own. I guess that when they climbed the ladder pitch, they did it in about four or five pitches. I found it very disturbing to watch their initial descent and I have no idea how they made it down.
[992 KByte]
April 2006 Gordon Washburn and Rich Johnson. These entries are for April 22nd and are out of sequence. The log sequencing was rather confused around this date.
[181 KByte]
August - November, 2006 I made another ascent with Ecobarbie and Jens (from Dresden, Germany). The summit log was in very poor shape on this day. The can holding the log was full of water and the log was soaked. We drained the can and put the log in the sun for about an hour, but it didn't look like it helped much. "The book's too wet."
[657 KByte]

2006 - 2012

Josie and the 2006 Summit Log

May 19, 2012 - This log was replaced on April 21, 2012. All of the pages were photographed on the summit except for two. The log was photographed in three sessions: the first session was on April 4, 2009, the second on April 23, 2011, and the third session on April 21, 2012.

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Revised: February 8, 2015