Hill's guide indicates this is a 5.2 route but it's really 5.6-ish by today's standards. PG-13 is for our P3 where the chimney / offwidth appeared not easy to protect unless one carries unusually large gear; see "Protection" below.
We climbed this route in mid-March, two days after a snow storm. The route had quite a lot of snow and all of our party of four stayed in approach shoes / boots until the chimney or off-width pitch.
P1: ~200 feet of 4th class. From the toe at the La Luz Trail, ascend the ridge until just before a distinct notch in the ridge. We did this unroped and so am uncertain of the length. Hill's guide shows a 5.6 variation out on the west face which we did not explore (i.e., "Express Lane Variation" - Brian Holcomb, Mark Fuge, 10/88).
P2: ~100 feet, 5.5. Cross the notch and then up to where the ridge goes vertical / bulges. Escape to right side of ridge to an easy hand crack. Ascend the crack up and further right to a large pod and belay.
P3: ~100 feet, 5.6. Escape the pod by ascending up and rightward to a chimney or offwidth. Now ascend this to its top and belay at boulders at left on top of the ridge, or belay at tree further left (i.e., west) of the ridge. Note: There are other easier variations - see 9/7/2011 comment below.
P4: ~130 feet, 5.6 or 5.7. Continue to the summit. We stayed on the ridge itself, finding one or two tricky moves near the west face at a point visible from the belay at the top of P3: 5.7? - foot work! ... and there may be an easier way a bit to climber's right. Note: Turns out there is an easier way to the right - see 9/7/2011 comment below.
Hill's guide shows a 5.6 var out on the west face which we did not explore.
Start where the La Luz Trail is just south of the toe of the ridge. We started in the gully and then crossed left to the ridge proper.
Standard rack. If leading at your limit, it would be good to have something large to protect the first move or two up the chimney / offwidth which is between 8 and 10 inches (?) in width.
BETA PHOTO: Off-width on the 3rd pitch
View of Albuquerque from 3rd pitch
|By Jeremy Aslaksen|
From: Albuquerque, NM
Mar 26, 2010
Cool...didn't know anybody else who has done this thing!
I down climbed it one day and it didn't feel 5.7.
Maybe I went a different way?
Nice views though!
|By Bill Lawry|
From: New Mexico
Sep 7, 2011
Jeremy, I think you're right. Some info since writing the description: the OW / Chimney can be avoided via easy climbing to climber's left and then up the ridge; and our last described pitch is quite a bit climber's left of an easier line. Perhaps a re-write is due. Will do next after next time I'm up there or someone else could who is familiar. Bill
|By Howard Snell|
From: Belen, New Mexico
Dec 15, 2012
Found a jacket off to the east side of the ridge on 8 December, 2012. Looks like it had been there awhile but still in useful condition. Email (snell at mindspring dot com) details and I can arrange pickup in Albuquerque.