Camelback Mountain; An Arizona Backdrop or the Ultimate Rock Climbers Goal?
Paradise Valley is, not to sound redundant, paradise. The sheer views of the mountains and surrounds make you feel like you were painted into a landscape. For one 17-year-old local adventurist, there is joy in climbing Camelback Mountain, while staring down at the tiny community known as home. Climbing the steep rock face is not just for the daring, but for the advanced.
Many locals and visitors come to visit the mountain just to see the wonder of Echo Canyon. But for young Gary Driggs, everyday is a new adventure, not meant for the average person. He is not there for the view or the exercise, he is there for the challenge! Paradise Valley locals admire the rock formation that resembles a kneeling figure in prayer, but no human has ever stood on top of the natural structure. Known as the “Praying Monk”, it sits right outside of the residential area of the community.
Mountain climbing is a popular outdoor activity in Paradise Valley, but it takes years of experience to get to the level Driggs has achieved. Although many locals will continue to stare at the “Praying Monk” as if it were part of a Arizona backdrop, a few will view it as a goal, or a challenge, that they will someday achieve.