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Hummingbird 

YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c PG13

   
Type:  Trad, Alpine, 3 pitches, 400', Grade III
Consensus:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Gary Hicks et al.
Page Views: 835
Submitted By: Orphaned on Sep 2, 2009

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (6)
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Description 

This route follows the major cleaved fault that runs up the main face and can be easily seen from the Spur Trail. However, there are many variations (like Smorgasbord on the Shield). The rock is way worse than it was just a few years ago and I've pulled off some huge stones that I used to place pro in. That being said, the route is WAY cleaner now.

The first pitch starts at the golf ball I found and wedged into flake near the ground. Follow the crack up to easy face climbing with little protection. Pass trees on your left and gain a nice belay stance near the major fault.

The next pitch goes up the vertical fault line (great pro) for about 50', then turns back into more grippy and fun face climbing. An optional belay stance can be gained or you can run it up to the two bolt belay stance at the large ledge.

From the only two bolt belay, there is a pitchfork selection to finish:
Left: Cruise the slab and turn a well protected crack (5.8 ish)

Right: from the bolts, go 8-10' right and start up a swirving crack to the right (the old ground level belay stance is farther to the right of this start). Finish by a bit of 5.8+ r/o to the top.

Up the gullet (FFA Marc Beverly, Steve VanSickle 2009): Look up and find a single bolt. Clip it and crank hard to turn the roof. The fun's not over. Creative gear on pockets and shallow grooves goes straight up (5.10).

Walk off the back. Take Runnel Runner out past Sick Bird or walk out via the scree gully via the Point Summit.

Location 

Approach via the "Y" and wiggle through brush down Echo Canyon. Stay to skier's right and pass the start of the Ramp where a small outcrop of rock can be passed by simply going around it to find the start of Hummingbird. The golf ball start marks the rope-up area.

Protection 

Sandia Trad rack.


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By Karl Kiser
Jun 20, 2010
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

This may not be a first ascent variation. John Kear and I climbed the route in the mid 1990s. John lead a pitch at the top without much protection which matches the description given for Hummingbird.
By John Kear
From: Albuquerque, NM
Aug 27, 2010
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

For whatever reason this route is far less enjoyable than I remember it being 15 years ago. It seems looser, like there has been more frost wedging and erosion effecting this face in recent years. I would say avoid it altogether unless you really like Sandia moderate adventure climbing (read licheness choss) . There are sections of good rock but in general the scruffiness overrides any real enjoyable climbing. I was also under the impression that the anchors were now fixed at all the belays, this is not the case only the top of pitch three is bolted.

The new variation finish, The Spicy Hummer is exactly that. It has fairly hard moves up and over the lip of the roof above the belay. The mantle onto the slab above is delicate and thrilling. The upper slab is great rock with cool features, its unfortunate that such good climbing in guarded by three pitches of loose and grungy terrain.

The last pitch that Karl and I did 15 years ago is to the right of Marc and Steve's variation by 6-10 feet. We did not pull the roof directly but stepped right and up a wide corner on to the slab above.
By Dean Kuethe
Sep 27, 2010

There is a fifth exit that goes through the roof with trad pro at about 5.9.  Unlike a lot of Sandia roofs, it has pleasant rather than unpleasant surprises.  The start is between the bolts and the left hand exit described by Marc as "turn a well protected crack."  There is a left-facing corner in the roof toped with a crack that strongly suggests an overhanging layback position for starters.  There are some slabby moves above the roof before joining the crack of the left-most finnish (done by Greg Graef and Dean Kuethe, 14 Aug. 2010).  

There is a great gear belay about 25 feet below and to the left of the double bolts.  It has a large, nearly-level ledge, takes bomb-proof wired stoppers from chest to just-above-head level, and has pro at foot level for upward forces.  After emerging from the corner and climbing past loose rock and blocks on the second pitch, an obvious continuation of your line goes over a mini-roof with a crack in solid rock that takes pro.  After pulling this mini-roof, look up.  There are two roofs above, the lower ends on the right with a blocky horn. The upper roof is the one below which the double bolts (not visible from here) are located.  From where you are, face climb up and left to find the nice belay ledge about 15 feet below the lower roof.  This belay is better situated for the left hand exits for avoiding rope drag.  Make sure to flip the ropes left of the block/horn after passing it.  This belay is also well-situated for the right-hand exits.