This area is upstream from Las Conchas and is very similar in look and feel. Fun, varied climbing next to the Jemez River.
Upper East Fork is towards the Valles Grande from the Las Conchas climbing area, about half a mile past mile marker 37 (“Climbing Area 37”). Park at the paved parking area next to the large rock that lies just off the road.
Post fire access has changed the approach, which I think is now more aesthetic as you leave the noise of the highway more immediately. After passing through the fence continue North on main trail until you reach a clearing and meadow on your left (west). Follow cairns, logs, and bull dozer track west along the southern most drainage of the meadow. The trail will gain the ridgeline that after heading southwest will intersect the old approach trail descending into the canyon. At the river, go downstream a hundred yards to the obvious walls. Ford the river. This is the Monster Wall. Approach time will be about fifteen or twenty minutes. The climbing area and stream remain unimpacted by the fire. Likely thanks in large part to the fire crews that created this new trail as a fire break.
Update 11/12/2013 by JH : The "old approach trail" along the highway is the standard approach again. From the parking area, go through the fence and immediately turn left to hike across to slabs to a solid trail paralleling the highway before going up and over the ridge to the river.
Spaghetti Western Wall is another quarter mile down stream, on the same side of the river as the Monster Wall.
Logs have been used as bridges to access the walls, but they’ll likely be gone each spring.
This is a pretty new area, and many of these routes have only been climbed a few times. The rock is also pretty soft, so BE CAREFUL. It can and will break. Some of the routes are still a little dirty as well (some will likely always be), so if be prepared for that. Please use the trails as much as possible to keep the grass from getting demolished.
Most all of the routes face south so it can get pretty warm here. Spring, fall and summer nights are the best climbing times.
The rock and moves on many of the routes at UEF are best described as tricky. I've climbed here with many different folks and get mixed reviews about sandbagged ratings, tricky moves, sneaky technique and sketchy rock. To some degree I can agree with all of those descriptions. It's gritty and interesting rock and it's best to go into with the expectation of it being tough and perhaps a bit sketchy. But the setting is amazing along the river and you don't hear the roar of motorcycles or jake brakes from trucks and you wont see the local church group TRing on the same four routes all day.
Enjoy the setting and climb lightly. If that jug looks like it could come off, despite the FA's best attempts to clean it, it probably could.
What happened to the Overview map? It seems to be MIA.
The climbing here was fun. The rock is still a little grainy, so expect pebbles to drop off if you are dragging your foot on the wall or trying to use unchalked holds. I did not really find the grades sandbagged, but maybe a little inconsistent, which makes sense, fewer opinions to come to a consensus at this point.
My first day at UEF. Based on some comments on this site and experiences with other sprayed-up new crags I was expecting overrated choss, but boy was I wrong! We found generally high quality rock with interesting and varied features and sustained difficulty. Climbs really well! The setting is idyllic. This will be on my short list of day-trip crags, particularly for afternoons in the warmer months.
Post fire access has changed the approach, which I think is now more aesthetic as you leave the noise of the highway more immediately. After passing through the fence continue North on main trail until you reach a clearing and meadow on your left (west). Follow carins, logs, and bull dozer track west along the southern most drainage of the meadow. The trail will gain the ridgeline that after heading southwest will intersect the old approach trail descending into the canyon. Not sure if it is any longer than before. The climbing area and stream remain unimpacted by the fire. Likely thanks in large part to the fire crews that created this new trail as a fire break.
Unfortunately, as of 9/7/2011 the USFS has closed the trailhead that had served as the access to UEF since the Las Conchas Fire. Signs and red ribbon are now posted at the trailhead/parking area.
That is interesting since it was not there over Labor Day weekend. Wonder what changed their minds?
As I understand it the Jemez Ranger District has a relatively new ranger. The new ranger had talked with a few friends of mine a few weeks ago at the parking area for UEF. He was very friendly and couldn't explain why that particular trail was open and said that if they deemed it necessary to close it, it would be ribboned off. The trail did pass through a very short burned section but nothing that I would personally consider hazardous. Certainly the area along the river, including the walls we climb on, is completely unscathed so I question the decision to close the trail and hope that it reopens soon.
By Shane Sully From: Albuquerque, New Mexico May 22, 2013
Hello. So after a few trips to UEF, I had no climbing partners and I decided to bring some pads down and clean/develop the boulder that sits down stream in the middle of the stream. I don't believe it had been climbed I found it quite dirty with moss and ancient cobwebs. From a certain angle the piece of rock looks like the heads from the stone carvings of Easter Island, thus the name Easter Island boulder. Took me half a day to scrub it down clean and find holds. As far as I know i am the first to climb it, but it is in a popular area so potential for others to have come before me is high. Any info would be cool. Here is a little video I made about it. PEACE AND LOVE FRIENDS.
All ratings subject to critique, I had no idea lol, generally my ratings are easy(v1-v4), medium(v5-v7) and hard(v8-v10).
Shane, I saw the chalk on this the other day, psyched to see someone else bouldering out there! Its called the Mojito boulder, owing to the mint that grows there during the summer. Its been climbed a bunch, in spite of the fact that its very dirty still!!
We aim to give this thing a deep clean later in the summer. PM me if you wanna help out!
Hike 10 mins upstream. On the left you will see a sick overhang, its called the Saloon. Go play :) Currently there are problems V0-6 and there are two double digit projects. Hopefully by the end of summer this will all be cleaned and climbed out sufficiently for us to write a little guide on MP.
By Shane Sully From: Albuquerque, New Mexico May 23, 2013
NICE! see I knew it was too nice of a boulder to have not been climbed haha. Mojito is a fitting name. Beautiful little spot to boulder.