Protected from the wind in a small canyon and surrounded by pristine Ponderosas that shade multiple campgrounds along with many of the boulders throughout the day. With boulders lining both sides of the canyon it makes for all day climbing if your skin can handle the fresh virgin boulders. Climbing heights range from a few feet to ankle busting high balls. The rock is new so holds break often. Multiple crashpads highly recomended. Most landing zones are flat, however, some have steep hillside landings. Spotters, be on your toes.
From where the road turns to dirt at the Pond you go 5.2 miles staying to the left as you pass a couple forks in the road, the turn off is an easily accessable off road trail to the left heading up a wash.
We referred to this as "Spider Canyon" for the one jillion spiders we used to climb with there. From my notes from 2002-03 in case you missed a problem or two:
"To get to "Spider Canyon", go just a few hundred yards North on FR10 from Peck's Peninsula until you see a two-track heading North to the left. Follow this road to the obvious boulders. Actually, the road doesn't go very far before ending. It's a small canyon.
Spider Canyon: 13S0353823 3955802 Spider Bites - up the choss slab left of arete Ricky's Arachnids - little overhanging arete to the right 13S0353848 3955793 "tall boulder cool pockets" 13S0353826 3955867 Attack of the 8-legged freaks - little roof 13S0353970 3956242 "cool boulder" 13S0353893 3956979 "Holy F*cking Sh*t" nice prob, SDS "
UTMs are prolly NAD27. "Peck's Peninsula" is what we used to call the rock ridge above First Arete (they call the area now the "satellite" I guess). Glad someone is climbing there again!
You are likely going to have to walk a bit to discover new bouldering in the Ponderosa area. It is not impossible, but not likely. There have been many waves of development and not everyone cares to post stuff on the web or even in guide books.
Satellite is above the Pond, this spot is another 5 miles or so beyond satellite. There are a lot of good climbs here. All of which I myself along with others have peeled off large amounts of loose rock from the boulders. I have been climbing for 15 years and not once have I gotten on established climbs and pulled off rock as much as I have here. I know the rocks I have climbed are in fact FAs. I have no doubt in my mind that someone has climbed here. It's far to noticeable for a climber to pass up a look. If anyone deserves credit for this then they can contact me with their information. I would love to speak to this person or these people who have climbed here already. My personal email is firstname.lastname@example.org. The intent on submitting this information was not to be the first, it was to tell others where an amazing climbing spot can be found. I hope no hard feelings are amongst any one. Please feel free to contact me personally if you have any comments. Or... you can meet us out there this weekend. I'll be heading up there in a few hours.
Satellite is 4.5 miles up road from the pond. It isn't above the pond. Directly above the pond is the upper ridge, and on the other side of that is the coral. Where you put the GPS marker for Big Cat Canyon (aka Spider Canyon) is directly above the Satellite.
I am not sure anyone really cares too much about back-country ponderosa first ascents* but it's great to have them cleaned up and some beta for the less adventurous! Bear in mind that many adventure boulderers don't bother scrubbing or pulling off choss... the point of first ascent anyhow is moot. I am glad someone is cleaning this stuff. Thanks.
* I mean no one is going to get their knickers in a twist over re-naming problems that were probably unnamed in the first place.
Interestingly, I have not seen a spider yet. I wonder what time of year that was? This place seems to have the highest concentration of moderate problems (v2-v6) in the Jemez. Additionally, most of these problems have way too much cleaning to be a first ascents, though certainly not all. There is a half inch thick plate over most of the rock that is easy to break off. Once the loose plate is removed, the rock yields great climbing. These are not back country ascents, you can drive your car right up to most of them, and this place promises to have a revival/discovery when people realize what they have been overlooking. I think this is the best bouldering in the Jemez.
Can't wait to check it out, hopefully before road closes this season. Sorry didn't mean backcountry bouldering to be a slight - whenever Im out there it has a real backcountry feel to it, like you're a long way from anyone. but yeah its roadside, even if it is currently a pretty bumpy ride out there.
There's tons of moderates at the pond in that grade range. At the range too. Good to know there's another area for us mere mortals to climb at.
There are no FAs in the Jemez and certainly not next to the road. The rule is to 'develop' lines with little or no cleaning, don't tell anyone, then when names and photos from whippersnappers pop up on MP, tell them you did the FA 10-20 years ago without pads, modern rubber, and iphuns.