Another Pretty Face
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Josh at the crux of Another Pretty Face.
Another Pretty Face is an alternate start to the first 2 pitches of Question of Balance, and this climb is viewed as the best on Questa Dome, when extended with Question of Balance's p3 and the Direct roof on p4.
Pitch 1: Begin about 40' right of the start of Question of Balance, or about 10' left of the start of Tostadas Comquesta and a big right-facing corner. [Note this climb is NOT the one with new bolts immediately right of Question's p1- that is a new 5.11 variation start to Question; Pretty Face begins farther right of that start.] Spy the lower left end of the obvious roof to get your bearings. A tricky 5.10- slab move without good pro immediately near you lets you move left to a fixed pin at the lower left corner of this roof (you might be able to also climb up steep double cracks from the left to get to this pin at 5.10+). Step left to two twig-like pine "trees", and follow continuous 5.10- cracks and flakes, passing another fixed pin, and reach a 3-bolt anchor after 150'. Note that Taos Rock suggests to belay in a lower location (before the anchor was upgraded to 3 bolts it was probably better to stop lower down, but now it is better to go as described here). Excellent pitch.
Pitch 2: Traverse left from the belay to the first bolt (maybe 5.10 with potential to fall onto the belay). The well-protected crux of the climb is the 5.11 thin face between the 1st and 2nd bolts. After the 2nd bolt, the difficulty eases but it's a 25' runout getting to the next bolt. Before you get to the 3rd bolt, you can cut left on an easier but unprotected rail to join Question of Balance pitch 2 finger crack, or continue up the thin face past the 3rd bolt, after which you'll join Question midway through pitch 2 anyway. Follow this 5.9 finger crack up and right to an anchor (2 bolts, 1 piton). Classic face climbing. Because these bolts were replaced recently, falling on them is not as horrifying as it probably used to be.
Rappel from here to the ground with 2 60m ropes (it will just barely reach), or continue up Question of Balance, which is recommended and the next 2 pitches are classic. The link-up of the 2 pitches of this route, p3 of Question of Balance, and the 5.11 variation finish through the right notch in the big roof has been dubbed Questa Direct. If you keep going and top out the dome, it should be about 5 pitches total, plus some easy scrambling. Walk off the east side.
A nice topo is found on the Questa Direct page of Gary Clarks Classics collection
The topos in the guidebooks covering Questa Dome are good too.
Another Pretty Face begins just left of Tostadas con Questa, the prominent left-facing dihedral near the right side on Questa Dome, and about 40' right of the start of Question of Balance. It starts below a big roof.
1 set nuts, 1 set cams to 3", with 2 ea. in finger sizes useful.
In 2004, fat new bolts replaced 1/4" originals, at all the most important places (thanks to Josh Smith).
|Comments on Another Pretty Face
|By Jason J Patton|
Feb 9, 2009
Anyone know if this was put up ground up or rap bolted?
|By Mike Howard|
Mar 8, 2009
FA: Peter Prandoni and Bruce Holthouse
I'll bet ground up from stances without hooks. I'll ask next time i see Bruce.
|By David Baltz|
From: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Dec 6, 2009
This one was definately ground up but I hear that the original mankey 1/4" bolts have been replaced. The only rap-bolted route on Questa Dome that I know of is Aero Questa, and on that, only the anchors were placed on rappel.
|By Naomi Galinski|
May 7, 2012
rating: 5.11 PG13
Sky lead the first pitch following the right angling twin cracks. It was awkward climbing following. Expect 5.10 slab moves as said.
I lead stellar second pitch. My opinion is: NOT 5.11 thin face climbing. STRAIGHT UP 5.11 slab climbing. If you know what you're getting into then just super fun climbing. 2nd to 3rd bolt is far but it's a clean fall if you fall. If you got to the 2nd bolt then you're kind of rewarded with small finger holds thereafter, and if you weren't freaking the shit out before getting to the 2nd bolt - yey you! -, then the run out doesn't seem so bad.
We climbed Questa Dome Direct today and it was awesome.
|By George Perkins|
From: Los Alamos, NM
May 7, 2012
Naomi & Sky - Glad you guys had a blast! I did not mean to sandbag or mislead you. That slab can be freaky if you're not tuned in. I'm glad I haven't taken that fall in a few trips up this. Looking forward to seeing the photos.