This short sport climbing area, developed in the mid 1990s by Lewis Rutherford and Jon Repa is located downhill of the Sandia Man Cave, near a bridge above mile marker 11 (alternately the area is 1.9 miles uphill on dirt from the end of the pavement near Placitas).
Climbs are listed left to right. Ten draws are sufficient. The cliff faces west, good for afternoons in cool weather and mornings in warm weather.
This small face is visible from the road. It is commonly used for dry tooling (climbs 1-4).
1) 5.9-: quality
2) 5.11b R: clip first bolt of #4 then climb left, watch for groundfall at 3rd bolt!
3) 5.11+?: clip the first two bolts of #4 but then climb up (dry tooling route?)
4) 5.10: climb right for three bolts then up, quality
5) 5.11c: quality
6) 5.12b/c: quality
Follow the drainage up the hill but The actual Terrace requires a little third classing up and right to the large shelf.
1) 5.9/5.10- Uncle Dwight: climb a small corner for two bolts
2) 5.11c Santeria: same start as #5 but climb left at the dihedral
3) 5.12b/c Berna Town: same start as #4, climb right through the bulge
4) 5.12c Hale Bopp
5) 5.11? Something Brilliant: same start as #8 but climb left at the ledge with an old birdís nest, quality
6) 5.12a Marcelle: same start as #7, climb right at the Y near the prominant hole, quality (5.12a if you hand traverse into the hole; 5.11c if one climbs high past the second bolt and then traverses into the hole)
7) 5.12a Damascus: quality
8) 5.11b Mi Vida Loca: quality
9) 5.11c Cornerstone: bolt in scary looking block
The next three climbs are located on the extreme right end of the Terrace following a rotten section of rock containing no climbs. These climbs would clean up with additional traffic.
10) 5.11a: quality
Follow the drainage up the hill but traverse right under the rock to the area below the extreme right end of the Terrace to the point one can gain the ledge and traverse left back to the center climbs.
1) 5.8: both climbs start on a relatively small ledge, quality
Thanks for posting this. I spent a lot of time exploring this area and always wondered if a topo existed. It's a much shorter approach than palomas though the rock quality looked suspect in areas. Always made me wonder if there were other forgotten areas near ABQ.
More detail for finding the crags. At 1.9 miles (the mile marker 11 sign does not exist) from the start of the dirt road above Placitas on the L there is a metal culvert. Cross over the stream just below the culvert via some logs that have been placed there. There is a steep and loose dirt path that leads up to an obvious trail that runs along the cliff. You will be a few hundred feet "downstream" from the L Cliff climbs. Continue past L Cliff a few hundred feet, and just past a log that has fallen against the cliff is the 3rd/4th class scramble up to Center Cliff. The routes are to your R. Returning down the scramble continue "upstream" a hundred yards or so to the 3rd/4th class scramble to R Cliff. You cannot see the climbs from the trail below. If you want to hike up to just above R Cliff then exactly 2.1 miles from the start of the dirt road above Placitas there is a bridge. Park on the far side and walk back to the downstream side of the bridge. There is a faint path that leads essentially straight up through a debris field . 5 minutes of hiking up leads to a clear more or less flat path. To your R is the Sandia Man cave, to your L and down the path ~ 200ft is the scramble to the Right Cliff and it's two routes. On Route 4 Left Cliff there is a long run out between bolts 4 and 5. A #1 Camalot in the crack will make it feel much more secure. The six or so easier climbs make this a great beginner area for a day. Note: Other than Left Cliff this is not a dog friendly area as the ledges are narrow and the scramble is more than the average dog could handle.