Comments: You're welcome J. I went up the rest of the canyon beyond the climbing area yesterday and it's pretty bad up there. Most of the way up, both sides of the canyon are burned with very little ground vegetation remaining. I'm guessing that even if Santa Fe NF lifts the stage III restrictions, Pajarito Canyon will remain closed for quite some time due to flood potential.
Comments: I got my first look at the Dungeon post Las Conchas Fire and was pleased to see the actual climbing area was mostly spared from the fire. The area the approach trail passes through was scorched heavily and little to no ground vegetation exists there now. This would be a bad place to be during a heavy rainfall due to the flooding potential. The area still remains closed as part of the Santa Fe National Forest closure and will likely be closed for a... more >>
Comments: Thankfully Las Conchas and nearby areas Area 37 and Upper East Fork appear to have avoided major fire damage, surprisingly. I saw a photo of Area 37 today and was very surprised it didn't look worse. It appears the approach trail to Upper East Fork is burned pretty severely but reports are the climbing area itself and trees above the walls were spared.
Now to hope for some rain so the Santa Fe National Forest can re-open...
Comments: Thanks guys. The light was quite dramatic that evening. Snow squalls had been passing through all day and then the sun peeked through the clouds right before setting and illuminated the Sisters for a short bit. Very dramatic.
Comments: On 6/3/11, I sure didn't like the looks of the block all the anchor slings were slung around (the block wiggled a bit) so we slung a *much* larger block off to the left and used the biner from the "fixed" nut at the crux and an old locker of mine on the new anchor sling. Booty it if you want but definitely check out the old anchor block first--it's sketchy.
Comments: As of two weekends ago the road was in very good shape and passable with a standard passenger vehicle. It did snow here in northern NM last night and today so it might be a little sloppy tomorrow but should dry up well by Saturday morning.
No offense but, why not bolt the route smack in the middle of sport climbing area? It adds some variety, helps distribute crowds and offers another warm-up. One star is defined as "OK" and I've climbed many enjoyable one-star routes. If the FA folks have the time, energy and hardware, I believe it's a fine idea.
Comments: The sling on the bolts has been replaced with new sling. The hangers are homemade and a bit sharp on the inside of the bolt hole so the new sling is padded by chunks of the old sling. It would be best to replace the hangers with new hangers should anyone feel inclined. This anchor also serves Ninja Turtle Crack (if we climbed the "correct" line).
Comments: This route has a two-bolt anchor with chain, not visible from ground. It's on a nice comfy ledge and makes for a good way to get down from other neighboring routes. Take a wrench to tighten the left anchor bolt.
Comments: Ouch, Levi. Glad you're OK. While I've heard from many concerned people about the boulder behind the climber I've never actually heard of anyone hitting it in a clean fall. The rope behind the leg while leading will most likely be bad no matter what--if the leader's head doesn't hit the boulder first, it'll hit the wall instead.
Mind the rope, then the boulder, then the ground. :-)
Comments: Matt, I talked with another local climber recently and he'd never seen nor heard of anyone climbing this line. I hadn't either. I'd looked at this crack before but figured it too small to protect well. Thanks for inspiration to climb it. I'd say you have the FA of the line and should give it a name. I found the line entertaining with a fun sequence of moves through the crux. It's inconsistent in difficulty with the short crux section and easier climbing below and above that. It protects adequat... more >>
Comments: Daniel, the new anchor setup is really nice. Thanks to you and James for making that upgrade.
The old anchor placement was on a horizontal plane which allows moisture to seep into the holes more easily. It was also in an awkward spot for both routes. Making the extra mantle moves up on to the platform adds some more fun and interesting moves after the crux. The new location also allows for better position through the crux for those TRing the route.
Comments: Today we cleaned the route a bit more, added a bolt on pitch 1 and added a belay bolts at about 105' up on a small ledge on the arete. The route can now be done in two pitches with a single 70m rope, possibly a single 60m with stretch on the P1 rappel.
Comments: The direct start to this route is chock full of fun moves and highly recommended.
The big block in the crack at the bottom of the huge flake looks completely detached from the wall on all sides and scares me, actually. It doesn't wiggle at all but it boggles my mind as to how it's still there. I suggest not placing pro around it and not using it for holds--it's not difficult to not use it.
Comments: Excellent that you want to replace them, Curt. Thanks. Obviously, steel biners are best but expensive. Any type of aluminum biner works but, as you've seen, will wear pretty quickly. Bent gate biners are nice and easier for clipping but not required. I'm in the habit of using one steel, one aluminum with the steel preferably taking most of the load. I have some nice steel biners (there's one on Holy Wall now) that I'll be glad to place one on this route next time I'm there.
Comments: Hey Owen, I've applied both types and find the zip ties degrade and crack pretty quickly. The bailing wire doesn't negatively impact the chains or biners in any fashion and lasts longer. Thankfully, I believe folks have finally understood that the biners are "fixed" and they've stopped disappearing. It just took a little while for that mindset to set in. Also, spray painting the biners an ugly rust color helped in that the biners were far less appealing that way. And they are more cammoed so the... more >>
Comments: We had a great weekend here climbing mostly at the Super Hero Wall (Grey Wall) area. All the hard work is much appreciated. Putting up all the routes from the ground must be quite difficult, time consuming and potentially scary so thank you. It's a great desert setting and I'm sure we'll return. Good stuff.