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Standard S Route T 

Standard S Route 

YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b

   
Type:  Trad, Alpine, 4 pitches, 800', Grade III
Consensus:  YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b [details]
FA: unknown
Season: Aug to Feb (due to closure)
Page Views: 1,959
Submitted By: mtnrobb on Feb 4, 2009

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (5)
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BETA PHOTO: Here are some obvious lines around the top of [[10...
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  • Description 

    A fun outing up the middle of the Shield. Easy fifth class gets you into the gully leading up and right to a large clump of trees. From here, traverse left on a ledge with trees, climb up onto a narrowing ledge that ends by a left-facing dihedral. Make a move down and left into the dihedral, before climbing up, back right onto a little prow and mantel up by a tree with a sling on it. From there climb up and left to the next large clump of trees. Mid-fifth class climbing gets you into the next gully, which you follow up and right to its end. From here you can probably choose which dihedral to climb for the last pitch(crux).


    Location 

    The route is in the middle of the Shield. Approach via the Fletcher trail and when it starts a long right-ward traverse, bushwhack straight up to the start. Alternately, traverse in from the Rincon Spur. Descend by down-climbing the Knife-Edge (fastest) or continue to the Crest and take the Chimney Canyon or La Luz trail down. Moving quickly, you can do the approach in just over an hour, but 2 hours+ seems the consensus.


    Protection 

    Light standard traditional rack.



    Photos of Standard S Route Slideshow Add Photo
    The S-Route takes the ramp up and right to the first large clump of trees, then left to the next large clump, then angles up and right in a gully to a final nice pitch leading to the top.
    BETA PHOTO: The S-Route takes the ramp up and right to the fir...
    Standard S Route as seen from the top of the Prow.  2/6/09.
    BETA PHOTO: Standard S Route as seen from the top of the Prow....
    Realizing there are other variations, this is the one we mostly followed.
    BETA PHOTO: Realizing there are other variations, this is the ...
    Comments on Standard S Route Add Comment
    Show which comments
    By mtnrobb
    Feb 4, 2009

    There are 3 apparent exits from the last gully - the first dihedral appears longest and starts before you get to the top of the gully. The second is right at the top of the gully (the one I did), and the third appears down and right from the top of the gully. Input from others who have climbed this route would be welcome!

    By Bill Lawry
    From: New Mexico
    Feb 22, 2009
    rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

    On the approach: We took the Fletcher Trail. We left it just before it seemed to lose elevation on the way to the base of UNM Spire. Above the trail, our way to the climb was pretty much a classic-Sandias scramble/bush whack. Time from car until roped-up-and-climbing was about 2 1/4 hrs.

    On the climb: We found a couple sections of significant snow in the couloirs. This was in late February just before the closure and so the snow was not too big of a surprise. 4 or 5 technical pitches covering around 800 feet is good. Allow for an additional ~400 feet of scrambling between technical pitches.

    Thanks for posting the route, Robb! Prompted me to give it a go.

    By Chris Wenker
    From: Santa Fe
    Mar 2, 2009

    Approach: We used the Rincon Spur trail. Time from the car to roped-and-climbing was 2-1/4 hours also. The traverse along the cliff base from the bottom of the Knife Edge was really cool, and didn't involve too much bushwacking at all; highly recommended.
    Descent: Downclimbing the Knife Edge wasn't a big deal; we did rope up and protect the traverse through the 'W' because we hadn't ever done it before; no raps needed.

    By Bill Lawry
    From: New Mexico
    Aug 23, 2009
    rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

    Some comments on the following technical pitch: "From here, traverse left on a ledge with trees, climb up onto a narrowing ledge that ends by a left-facing dihedral. Make a move down and left into the dihedral, before climbing up, back right onto a little prow and mantel up by a tree with a sling on it." We tried two variations this time: i) There is a more direct albeit run-out line to the obvious tree and onward by starting before the end of the ledge - apparently seldom climbed as we found a #2 BD camalot of known origin with a sun-bleached sling. ii) Or, after making the move down into the dihedral and then up it a couple moves, follow a narrow water-polished ledge to the left for maybe 10 feet and then climb up a weakness that passes quite a bit left of the obvious tree - 5.6/5.7 climbing although some of the rock looks a bit weak.

    See the Photo with the lettered options for various finish pitches and comments on those.

    By Reed Cundiff
    Sep 25, 2009

    Dave Hammack and I did either this route or the Hill route about 1959 or 1960. We have been credited with doing the first route on the Shield but I believe that Dick Ingram of NMSU (physics professor and writer of the original Organ Mountain Guide) did it before us. We heard that this party had gotten benighted so we got started very early and were on the rock around 7:30 am. We pushed extremely fast since we didn't want to spend the night and knew there had to be some hard work higher up. We got to the top by 9:30 am. Felt like something out of Calvin and Hobbes, what the heck do we do with the rest of the day? Dropped down the gully to the south of the Needle and almost decided to do the SW Ridge of the Needle to finish out the day but it was really hot and we just headed on down.

    By Paul Davidson
    Sep 25, 2009

    Welcome Reed !
    Thanks for posting the historical info.
    Please continue...