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Probably the longest climb at the Playground, with sustained quality climbing. Blow Hole is one of the only climbs at the Playground that doesn't have the big ledge near the top of the cliff interrupting it.
The immediate first crux is the first 15', where you climb a finger crack with poor feet; this spits off many suitors. Place a good small cam (#0.3 camalot or equivalent) to keep from decking on the rocks. There are variations to the start at about the same difficulty: you start from the left by stemming between 2 cracks, or move in from even farther left with hands in a big pod, or maybe stem over from blocks to the right of the start. After the beginning, rest stance and a few body-lengths of easy finger crack. Once you reach the namesake Blowhole (a unique pocket just left of the crack), you'll start the second crux, where you'll lieback the finger crack and make a committing mantle onto a big ledge to the left. This section is well-protected with cams and med. nuts. The rest of the climb follows easier cracks with a more holds on the faces nearby; there is a little bit of rubble near the very top, but it's no big deal.
Falls near the start can be particularly nasty, and at least one accident has occurred here (have your belayer spot you to keep you off the rocks). Falls at the upper crux are clean and airy but on solid gear.
This climb is located at the far right of the Playground, at the rightmost place with sandy ground (before the boulder gully begins).
1 set wired nuts, 1 set cams up to #2 camalot.
If you haven't set it in advance, save #1, #2, or #3 camalots for the anchor.
Naomi pulls into the crux.
Naomi pulls through the crux.
From: ABQ, NM
Mar 1, 2009
rating: 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ E3 5b
There is a big rock to the right of the finger crack start near a blunt arete, you can stem into the crack from this rock and place a high piece, yellow alien or TCU, before getting started. This will protect you through pretty much the whole opening section.
There is actually quite a bit of suspect rock above the crux for maybe the next 15' or so, then the rock improves again up higher.
|By Naomi Galinski|
Oct 25, 2011
rating: 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ E3 5b
The beginning is tricky and never really liked it, but the second crux is fun. Once you figure out how to mantel onto the ledge the move is not so bad, just super strenuous.