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George entering the crux of "Tarantula"
Tarantula is a nice line. Start with a clean finger crack splitting the slab under the roof. Move left to a wide crack in the right-facing corner. Escape the corner to its left about 15' below the upper left corner of the roof. Pass through a bulge (crux); traverse right to a chimney, and follow easier grooved cracks to the top. A short 3rd class pitch might be needed to reach a downclimb off the back of the rock.
- This climb goes in a single pitch. The rope drag would be better if you split it up, but there isn't an obvious place for an intermediate belay. Use long runners to minimize rope drag.
- Mick's book says you can also turn the roof at its upper left end at hard-to-protect 11-.
- There was more looseness on this climb than I was expecting. I don't think it sees much traffic.
Tarantula follows the thin crack in the center of the Mexican Breakfast formation, then escapes the prominent roof on its left side.
Cams and nuts up to 3", with extra finger-size cams.
|By John Kear|
From: Albuquerque, NM
Aug 26, 2009
I've done Tarantula a couple of times and always gone the way Mick's guide describes the route, exciting 11-, but a quality line for sure, definitely recommended.
|By George Perkins|
From: Los Alamos, NM
Aug 26, 2009
Thanks, John. It felt insecure compared to other 5.10b's in the Sandias, following what I was pretty sure Sandia Rock said was the easier way to go. Nice climb certainly.
|By Paul Davidson|
Aug 28, 2009
When I did this, years ago, it was a long walk for one pitch. Probably still is... It was certainly 5.11 then. I was climbing well when we did this (John Fleming led it) and it felt plenty hard. Certainly 5.11 and as I recall, the pro was pumpy to get at the roof.
BTW - as I recall, we came at it from the Torreon approach, is that the best way or is there a way to get at it off the trail ?
|By Sky Sjue|
Jun 24, 2012
It takes about 10 minutes of stomping through the trees and hopping rocks to reach the formation from the trail. Both Breakfast Crack and Tarantula were worth the visit, especially if linking them with one of the routes on Torreon. Why not add another excellent pitch?