Sign Up  |   Log In:Login with Facebook
REI Community
Observatory Wall (Upper Tier)

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Airbus T 
Goodnight Moon T 
La Naris S 
Lichening The Serpent S 
Luna Lumina T 
Solar Eclipse T 
You're Scaring the Horses S 

Observatory Wall (Upper Tier) Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 5,500'
Page Views: 6,364
Administrators: DisturbingThePeace, 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
This Afternoon

42° | 29°

46° | 20°

41° | 20°

43° | 18°

44° | 20°

47° | 25°
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [1 person likes this page.]
Know the location? Show us! We need it for cool new features!
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

7 Total Climbing Routes

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

Classic Climbing Routes in Observatory Wall (Upper Tier)

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Observatory Wall (Upper Tier):
Solar Eclipse   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, 2 pitches, 80'   
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 Rock Climbing Classics in Observatory Wall (Upper Tier)

Featured Route For Observatory Wall (Upper Tier)
Rock Climbing Photo: The Golden Boy on the first ascent.

Lichening The Serpent 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a  NM : Santa Fe Area : ... : Observatory Wall (Upper Tie...
The opening moves set the tempo for this exposed and sustained classic. The crux is through the bottom moves but does not jump out at you as a crux at any time. It is pretty sustained, balancy, and thin climbing from the get go. You have to move like a serpent would in S shapes and have good footwork. Very interesting and a must do, but not on a wet day....[more]   Browse More Classics in NM

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

Comments on Observatory Wall (Upper Tier) Add Comment
Show which comments
- none yet -

The Definitive
Climbing Resource

Inspiration & Motivation
to Fuel Your Run

Next Generation Mountain
Bike Trail Maps

Backcountry, Sidecountry
& Secret Stashes

Better Data. Better Tools.
Better Hikes!