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The Playground

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Advanced Start T,TR 
Barlow's Buttress T,TR 
Battle of the Bulge T,TR 
Beginner's Hand Jam T,TR 
Black Wall T,TR 
Blow Hole T,TR 
Burnt Crack T,TR 
Cactus Climb T,TR 
Cheeks, The T,TR 
Face Variation TR 
Fingertip Layback T,TR 
First Strike T,S,TR 
Flakey Face TR 
Flakey Nine T,TR 
Flying A T,TR 
Flying A Buttress T,TR 
Luke and Carlo's route TR 
Moment of Inertia T,TR 
Mononucleosis T,TR 
Moon Dog T,TR 
Mr. Foster's Lead T,TR 
Open Project TR 
Original Horak Route T,TR 
Playground Traverse 
Playgrounder, The T,TR 
Repo Man T,TR 
Route 1 T,TR 
Route 16 T,TR 
Route 17 T,TR 
Route 18 T,TR 
Route 20 T,TR 
Route 25 T,TR 
Route 37 T,TR 
Route 6 T,TR 
T2 Flake T,TR 
Texas T,TR 
Tree Climb T,TR 
Unrelenting Nines T,TR 
Upper Left Roof T,TR 
Vulture Roof TR 
Zander Zigzag T,TR 
Unsorted Routes:

The Playground  

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Location: 35.8164, -106.1912 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 16,302
Administrators: Aaron Hobson, Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB, Marta Reece, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Mark Mathis on Jul 18, 2007
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Great kids cliff, even with a place to stash them ...


The Playground is a 60 foot south-facing basalt cliff. Numerous moderate to difficult crack and face climbs ascend the cliff. Routes at this area are not bolted (by agreement), so be sure to bring your gear to lead. While route bolts are strictly verboten, anchor bolts are allowed. However, the last anchor bolts to be installed (over Beginner's Hand Jam) were chopped and few currently exist, so many climbs require trad gear to establish anchors.

Climbs are numbered from left to right with numbers as in 'Jemez Rock' and as shown in the beta photos.

Getting There 

To get to the Playground from NM state road 4, turn south on Rover blvd. After about 100 yards, take a left on Meadow lane. Follow this street (it will slowly curve south) passing the turnoff for the Overlook, and continue to 719 Meadow Lane. Park near by, being careful not to block mailboxes or driveways (several residents have complained in the past). Take the public access trail between 719 and 721 Meadow Lane. From here, turn right and walk toward the rim of the canyon. Follow the rim for 300 yards and locate an approach gully with a 30 foot basalt tower on it's left side. At the bottom of this gully is the Playground.

Climbing Season

Weather station 4.6 miles from here

41 Total Routes

['4 Stars',1],['3 Stars',15],['2 Stars',18],['1 Star',7],['Bomb',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for The Playground:
Texas   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 60'   
Beginner's Hand Jam   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 60'   
Upper Left Roof   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 75'   
Flakey Nine   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Trad, TR, 60'   
Mr. Foster's Lead   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Trad, TR, 70'   
Cactus Climb   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 70'   
T2 Flake   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b R     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 50'   
Fingertip Layback   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b     Trad, TR, 55'   
Burnt Crack   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Trad, TR, 50'   
Flying A   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 60'   
Blow Hole   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 80'   
Unrelenting Nines   5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII 25 E4 6a     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 50'   
Flying A Buttress   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a R     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 60'   
Browse More Classics in The Playground

Featured Route For The Playground
Despite the name, near the top the route is a nice finger crack.

Beginner's Hand Jam 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a  NM : Los Alamos & White Rock : ... : The Playground
The best route here at this grade. Perfect hands for ~20ft to a ledge, then small hands to fingers on increasingly thinner ground to the belay ledge....[more]   Browse More Classics in NM

Photos of The Playground Slideshow Add Photo
Far right side of the Playground. Beginner's hand jam is the route on the far left side of the photo.  <br /> <br />Someone should put numbers on these, I do not have the software or memory to do it.
BETA PHOTO: Far right side of the Playground. Beginner's hand ...
Playground, far left side. Photo by <a href='/u/wa3lt//105890904'>Wa3lt</a>. <br /><a href='/v/route-1/106382916'>Route 1</a> 5.10a <br /><a href='/v/open-project/106382026'>Open Project</a> 5.?? <br /><a href='/v/mononucleosis/106382840'>Mononucleosis</a> 5.11d <br /><a href='/v/burnt-crack/106316914'>Burnt Crack</a> 5.10d <br /><a href='/v/unrelenting-nines/106058819'>Unrelenting Nines</a> 5.11 <br /><a href='/v/route-6/106352762'>Route 6</a> 5.12a for hard start shown <br /><a href='/v/t2-flake/106058839'>T2 Flake</a> 5.10c <br /><a href='/v/first-strike/106382844'>First Strike</a> 5.12c <br /><a href='/v/original-horak-route/105995986'>Original Horak Route</a> 5.10a
BETA PHOTO: Playground, far left side. Photo by Wa3lt. Route 1...
Middle-right portion of the Playground. Sorry about the lack of numbering, someone with photoshop (and a good memory) should re-label these.
BETA PHOTO: Middle-right portion of the Playground. Sorry abou...
Playground, middle left side. Photo by <a href='/u/wa3lt//105890904'>Wa3lt</a>  <br /><a href='/v/original-horak-route/105995986'>Original Horak Route</a> 5.10a <br /><a href='/v/luke-and-carlos-route/106382848'>Luke and Carlo's route</a> 5.12d <br /><a href='/v/zander-zigzag/106256042'>Zander Zigzag</a> 5.10d <br /><a href='/v/texas/105995992'>Texas</a> 5.8 <br /><a href='/v/flying-a-buttress/106335632'>Flying A Buttress</a> 5.12a <br /><a href='/v/flying-a/106024768'>Flying A</a> 5.11a <br /><a href='/v/the-playgrounder/106382852'>The Playgrounder</a> 5.12b <br /><a href='/v/route-16/106107289'>Route 16</a> 5.9+ <br /><a href='/v/route-17/106382857'>Route 17</a> 5.11b <br /><a href='/v/route-18/106228614'>Route 18</a> 5.10a <br /><a href='/v/the-cheeks/106382867'>The Cheeks</a> 5.11b <br /><a href='/v/route-20/106382873'>Route 20</a> 5.11c
BETA PHOTO: Playground, middle left side. Photo by Wa3lt Orig...
Far left side of the Playground. Someone with photoshop should work on adding the numbers (which are missing from this set of photos - and I don't remember well enough to accurately label them)
BETA PHOTO: Far left side of the Playground. Someone with phot...
Playground, middle right side. Photo by <a href='/u/wa3lt//105890904'>Wa3lt</a>  <br /><a href='/v/the-cheeks/106382867'>The Cheeks</a> 5.11b <br /><a href='/v/route-20/106382873'>Route 20</a> 5.11c <br /><a href='/v/vulture-roof/106382881'>Vulture Roof</a> 5.11b/c <br /><a href='/v/moment-of-inertia/106382891'>Moment of Inertia</a> 5.10c <br /><a href='/v/mr-fosters-lead/106090620'>Mr. Foster's Lead</a> 5.9+ <br /><a href='/v/route-25/106382933'>Route 25</a> 5.10d <br /><a href='/v/black-wall/106096495'>Black Wall</a> 5.10c <br />(27) Unnamed 5.10d <br /><a href='/v/cactus-climb/106024773'>Cactus Climb</a> 5.10b <br /><a href='/v/face-variation/106382929'>Face Variation</a> 5.11a <br /><a href='/v/beginners-hand-jam/105995997'>Beginner's Hand Jam</a> 5.9
BETA PHOTO: Playground, middle right side. Photo by Wa3lt The...
Middle-left portion of the Playground. 4th route from the left (including variations) is Texas. Someone with Photoshop should label these.
BETA PHOTO: Middle-left portion of the Playground. 4th route f...
Playground, right end. Photo by <a href='/u/wa3lt//105890904'>Wa3lt</a>  <br /><a href='/v/beginners-hand-jam/105995997'>Beginner's Hand Jam</a> 5.9 <br /><a href='/v/advanced-start/106382920'>Advanced Start</a> 5.11a <br /><a href='/v/upper-left-roof/106024896'>Upper Left Roof</a> 5.9 <br /><a href='/v/fingertip-layback/106382924'>Fingertip Layback</a> 5.10d <br /><a href='/v/barlows-buttress/106194928'>Barlow's Buttress</a> 5.10 <br /><a href='/v/battle-of-the-bulge/106238862'>Battle of the Bulge</a> 5.11b/c <br /><a href='/v/flakey-nine/106092889'>Flakey Nine</a> 5.9+ <br /><a href='/v/route-37/106193487'>Route 37</a> 5.11a <br /><a href='/v/blow-hole/106032245'>Blow Hole</a> 5.10c <br /><a href='/v/repo-man/106382907'>Repo Man</a> 5.12b <br /><a href='/v/moon-dog/106382911'>Moon Dog</a> 5.10b
BETA PHOTO: Playground, right end. Photo by Wa3lt Beginner's ...
Overlook from The Playground
Overlook from The Playground

Comments on The Playground Add Comment
Show which comments
By Wa3lt
Mar 22, 2009
The routes from #24 on are incorrectly numbered. I assume the Beverly guide (which pretty much just copied what I did) made this mistake, which I corrected in pen on my hardcopy many years ago...

Anyway, #24 should be Unknown 5.10d, not Mr. Foster's lead. Numbers should continue from there (ie, Beginner's hand jam #29, etc)

I'll try to upload some photos...
By harry p ness 69
Apr 27, 2011
There is a route directly below the play ground, maybe a 5.10a. It goes through 2 bolts up to a nice finger crack that protects with tcu s. there are bolts at the top. It's called Code Brown
By Sky Sjue
From: Santa Fe
Apr 4, 2012
The anchor bolts are gone from Flying A, Cactus Climb and Upper Left Roof. I did not check on the status of others aside from noting that Unrelenting Nines was spared. I saw studs on Cactus Climb but it's quite impressive, as if there were never any bolts there, on Flying A.