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This is a fun, burly old-school 5.7 that protects very well. Although it's a little vague, we tried to follow Hill's description and topo (1993:122-123) as much as possible. It goes, so we must have been nearly on route most of the way. I'm not clear how pitch 1 of this route might relate to Arrow Heads and Pitons.
P1. Climb to a ledge and find a stellar lieback splitter that trends to the right. At the top of that crack, step left around an arete into a V-shaped alcove with a thin splitter on the left. Continue up the weakness to the left and belay on a large sloping ledge. No fixed gear was observed on this pitch.
P2. This pitch is shared with some other climbs like the North Face Direct, and probably AH&P. Start up a deep chimney under a suspended block. Gain the block, and make a bunch of thuggish moves past more overhanging blocks. Pass by an old ring pin and a relic bolt to a large platform below the summit block. A big easy crack then leads to the top.
Ascends the northern face of the Chimney. Start near the right-hand (west) side, by a log lying right at the base.
Rap as described on the main page.
A single set of nuts, 1-1/2 set of cams to 2.5" suffice (we took a #4 C4, but it was not critical). Some old fixed gear is present, but it is of dubious reliability. Gear is necessary for all belays.
The summit has no anchor, so a belayed downclimb back to the lower platform will be necessary.
Randy traversing left into the V-shaped alcove on ...
Randy following on Pitch 2, at the awkward chimney...
From: The 505
Aug 17, 2010
Was this route really three stars? I was over on the Clandestine Wall on Saturday watching you guys climb it and it looked awful except for the flaring chimney.
Glad you enjoyed it at least.
|By Chris Wenker|
From: Santa Fe
Aug 17, 2010
Ha, anytime I give 3 stars to a Sandia route someone calls me on it. Well, we found some fun splitters, and only one loose rock. Good movement over some heady ground with solid pro, and a summit floating in the sky.
Although it didn't look like much from afar, I found it more satisfying than some more popular comparable stuff like Miss Piggy, for example. YMMV.
|By John Kear|
From: Albuquerque, NM
Aug 22, 2010
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ MVS 4b
This is actually a pretty good route, I used to do it quite a bit. For the grade and length it's one of the better routes in the Sandia's. Almost like a hidden gem but with more lichen.
I think Karl Kiser and Chris Kessler did a direct finish to the second pitch climbing straight up the corner and over the roofs above. I think they said it was 5.8+.
The Chimney is very cool formation and worth climbing by any route.
|By Jay Carroll|
Aug 31, 2013
rating: 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ MVS 4b
This felt a bit on the hard side for 5.7, but I think that was partially psychological and partly because I gave myself too much rope drag. It really does start on the west side of the north face. We stumbled on the actual route without being sure, but a post-climb image comparison confirmed it. There were two loose rocks, but they're gone now. We chose to belay in the cave instead of up by the bushes. It was a good belay, but led to more rope drag on pitch 2. I'd really like to give it 2.5 stars. It really is a fun climb.