Outdoors

Camelback Mountain Combines Beauty, History, and Adventure in One Fragile Phoenix Park

It was a fine morning on the day after Christmas, crumpled gift wrap still lying in the sleepy Paradise Valley homes below as a 17-year-old climber clung desperately to a sheer rock face at Camelback Mountain.

Getting to the top of this freestanding 100-foot finger of pink rock on the northern slope of the mountain was more than a little crazy. He was heels-to-the-air with scant protection -- one slip away from a possible death fall.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.
Contact: Ray Stern