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Observatory Wall (Upper Tier)

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Airbus T 
Goodnight Moon T 
Lichening The Serpent S 
Luna Lumina T 
Solar Eclipse T 
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Observatory Wall (Upper Tier)  

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 5,500'
Page Views: 6,160
Administrators: Aaron Hobson, Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB, Marta Reece, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Aaron Miller on Jun 7, 2006  with updates from George Perkins
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BETA PHOTO: Topo for the Observatory Wall.


The Observatory Wall is the tier of rock above the Runway, on Early Wall. North-facing and shaded (good in summer). Reach these climbs by climbing the Runway (Lower Tier) routes below them, usually continuing past the anchors through a blocky section to a higher belay at the base of the Observatory Wall routes. Due to loose rocks, you can't easily/safely traverse very far along the base of the upper tier.

To descend, some climbs may require a 70m rope, 2nd rope, or shenanigans, or walk off to the left. Check the route descriptions to see the best approach pitches, and to see if you'll want a 2nd rope.

It's worth it, the rock quality and views are great.

Getting There 

Follow the approach for The Grotto (a.k.a. The Notch) but head left (east) before entering the Grotto proper. Climb a route on the Runway (Lower Tier) to reach the upper tier, the Observatory Wall.

Climbing Season

Weather station 6.8 miles from here

5 Total Routes

['4 Stars',3],['3 Stars',2],['2 Stars',0],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Observatory Wall (Upper Tier):
Solar Eclipse   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, 2 pitches, 80'   
Luna Lumina   5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c PG13     Trad, 2 pitches, 200'   
Airbus   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c PG13     Trad, 2 pitches, 200'   
Lichening The Serpent   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   
Browse More Classics in Observatory Wall (Upper Tier)

Featured Route For Observatory Wall (Upper Tier)
body squeeze in the crux

Airbus 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c PG13  NM : Santa Fe Area : ... : Observatory Wall (Upper Tie...
An obvious long offwidth pitch can be seen from across the canyon as a corner thats adjacent to the right most rock buttress with lots of lichen (lichening the serpent is on this). The first pitch is either a dirty 5.8 stem corner that leads to a stellar cove below a clean squeeze bombay chimney or an easy traverse from a 5.8 sport route. Great belays with chain anchors. Fight your way up a hard 5.11 squeeze that gets you on top of a large chockstone with mostly 5.10 wide climbing above. B...[more]   Browse More Classics in NM

Photos of Observatory Wall (Upper Tier) Slideshow Add Photo
routes on the far right side of Early Wall (photo ...
BETA PHOTO: routes on the far right side of Early Wall (photo ...
Looking down at Observatory Ledge's two sets of be...
BETA PHOTO: Looking down at Observatory Ledge's two sets of be...

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