Hasta La Hueco
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This route works up to and follows the striking, wildly hueco’d wall up the middle of the south face of the Maiden. Pitch 1 starts just right of a large juniper tree, directly below the “Stone Oven Belay” (top of 1st pitch of the South Face route). Look for the juggy holds over a small roof and start there. Though we initially thought this pitch was new terrain, it turns out this was done earlier by David Light and Greg Miller as part of the free Kor-Dalke. Pull the roof low, step up right onto a slab, and work up to a ramp, following it up left and then straight up to a red/chocolate roof, moving right over airy ground to the belay ledge (5.9 or 10-).
The second pitch is the business and fires up the continuously overhung, bullet-proof, patina’d wall. The first 5 bolts travel through juggy 5.10+ or 11- terrain to a stance just past the 5th bolt. From there, power up sustained 5.12 moves to a break above the 8th bolt, then finish it up to the top via one more cruxy section. This is very sustained and pumpy, with reachy and powerful moves in a spectacular setting. During the process of establishing this route, we’d frequently hear wild turkeys gobbling away or coyotes howling nearby… recently I was treated to some fresh mountain lions tracks in the snow. The environment here is wild and beautiful… tread lightly.
The location and particularly the Stone Oven Belay are surprisingly warm. The spacious belay ledge is in a wind-sheltered, concave area on the wall that tends to bake when the sun is out. Consider this a winter route, though great conditions can also be found on the cooler fall or spring days.
A 60-meter cord is sufficient for both leading and rapping off each pitch. A third pitch on the final headwall is in development though it probably won't be finished till later in the year....
Follow the same approach as for all Maiden south face routes. The start of the first pitch is directly below the big belay ledge at the top of the 1st pitch of the South Face route, which is about 20-30 yards further uphill than the start of that route. Belay next to the juniper tree under a small roof.
Only a very light rack is needed for the first pitch, from small nuts/RPs to a #2 Camalot. Bring 4 or 5 long slings to minimize drag. For the second pitch, 9 bolts lead to a 2-bolt anchor. There’s also an optional old pin to clip a few feet above the belay if desired. It might have been associated with the old South Face route?
BETA PHOTO: A closer view of the second pitch.
Bret on an early burn, Nov. 2012.
Climbers on Hasta La Hueco.
|Comments on Hasta La Hueco
|By adam brink|
From: Boulder, CO
Apr 5, 2013
Way to go, Steve and Brett!
|By Peter Beal|
From: Boulder Colorado
Apr 6, 2013
Is there a third pitch planned?
Apr 15, 2013
rating: 5.12d 7c 28 IX E6 6b
Superlative rock climb. Great work, Bret and Steve. The good huecos on the lower half will make you feel like a superhero...until you encounter their evil, sloping, widely spaced cousins on the upper half. The problem is, they all look like good huecos from below; so you just won't know until you know, and then...you'll know!
|By Margo Hayes|
Apr 28, 2013
rating: 5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ E6 6c
Such a fun route! =] I thought that it was a stiff 12d, maybe even 13a. Thank you, Steve, for taking us up there!!
Nov 16, 2013
rating: 5.12d 7c 28 IX E6 6b
Great route! Make sure you’re wearing a knee-pad for two locker left knee-bars. One at the seventh bolt, just before the crux. Harder for anyone under 5’8” due to its reachy nature.