Oklahoma climbing: Quartz Mountain Fall Gathering is weekend of Nov. 1

Quartz Mountain, also known as Baldy Point.

Quartz Mountain, also known as Baldy Point.

If you’re in Oklahoma or north Texas and interested in rock climbing, save Nov. 1 on your calendar.

That’s the day of the Quartz Mountain Fall Gathering. Quartz Mountain is a small granite peak in southwestern Oklahoma that has some pretty fantastic climbing routes. Quartz Mountain, also known as Baldy Point, is the most prominent peak on the western edge of the Wichita Mountains. You can find great rock climbing throughout the range (slabby granite is pretty much the rule here), but many believe the best walls are on Quartz.

Here are some details about the Gathering, which I gleaned from the event’s Facebook page:

– Cost is $3 per person per night covers camping fees and showers (available at the Nature Park camping area a short drive away).

– Parking is at the foot of the climbing area, which means short approaches to climbs and quality tailgating between.

– Open campfires are not permitted. If you plan to cook out, bring a stove.

– Help protect this pristine area and the privilege to gather here by minimizing your impacts. Please disperse your tent sites, make use of the restroom facilities, and carry-out all trash. By doing so, you will insure that Baldy’s natural resources are protected and that the Park continues to grant the climbing community a special use permit for future events.

Also, please note Quartz Mountain Nature Park’s rules and regulations for the event:

1) No liquor or drugs. Beer is permitted.

2) No firearms.

3) No mountain bikes.

4) No campfires.

5) No tree cutting or trimming.

6) Pets must be on a leash at all times.

7) Barbecue grills are permitted in the parking lot.

8) Bivying and tent camping are permitted 100′ east of the parking lot.

9) Sleeping in your vehicle is permitted.

10) Carry-out and dispose of all trash and waste.

Getting there: (Directions via Summitpost.org) Baldy Point is located in extreme southwestern Oklahoma 17 miles north of Altus and 45 miles south of Interstate 40. From I-40, exit 66 at Clinton/State Hwy 183. Drive 45 miles south to the town of Hobart. At Hobart, turn west on state highway 9 for 10.2 miles to the town of Lone Wolf. Just before Lone Wolf, turn south on state highway 44 and drive for 9.5 miles to the entrance to Quartz Mountain State Park on the right. From Dallas/Ft. Worth, take U.S 287 northwest to Vernon, Texas. At Vernon, go north on U.S. 283 to Altus, OK. In Altus, 283 changes to state highway 44. Go 17 miles north of Altus on state hwy 44 to entrance of Quartz on the left.

At the entrance to the park, drive north for 1.4 miles on 44A until coming to a “Y” intersection. A sign will be there for “Baldy Point.” Go left (west) at the “Y”, following the sign, and continue on new paved road for about a mile until passing Baldy Point on the right and reaching an intersection. If you cross a new bridge, you have gone too far. Turn right (north) at the intersection and drive on a paved road for 1 mile until reaching a dirt road aligned with telephone poles on the right. A sign will be on the right for “Baldy Point.” Turn right (east) on the dirt road for .4 miles. The road will Y….go right, then a left shortly after to the parking lot.

For more information about the peak, check this link.

So there’s the scoop. For more information about the Wichita Mountains Climbers Coalition, check out the coalition’s website here.

Bob Doucette

On Twitter @RMHigh7088


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