A prominent 200 foot formation just off State Highway 4 north of Jemez Springs. Honestly not the best quality rock but well worth climbing for the iconic value. Be prepared for lots of (non-climber) spectators as the rock looms over a popular weekend picnic area.
From Albuquerque, take highway 25 North to Bernalillo and exit at highway 550. Follow 550 to San Ysidro and head North on state road 4 for about 11 miles. If coming from the other direction (Los Alamos) Battleship Rock is about 25 miles past Las Conchas. You can avoid paying the $5 parking fee by parking just off the highway, rather than directly at the picnic grounds.
P1: The first pitch follows the arete forming the "prow" of the ship for almost a full rope-length. Easy climbing (5.6) past a surprising amount of fixed protection (see comments) leads to the base of a pillar where someone has tied off slings for a potential (double-rope) rappel. Belay from here or continue up and left through the first 5.8 section of the climb (layback to mantle) to a spacious belay ledge above.P2: The shorter (and more enjoyable) second pitch continues directly up and sli...[more]Browse More Classics in NM
The best climb is straight up the prow, and should be done in two pitches. The first pitch starts on the left side of the prow, is easy, but has poor protection, soft rock, and few placements (at least when I climbed it), but there were a few loose pitons that you didn't want to fall on. It will get your attention if still boltless.
The second pitch begins at a beautiful off-width crack (perhaps 6-8" wide) that takes you all the way to the top on very good rock. When I climbed it there were no bolts, and I hope it is still unbolted, because it is a classic, gorgeous, and smooth off-width. It would accept but 2 cams for the 40' crack, one at the bottom, and one at 20' up in a truly desperate location. It is very important to get that cam in because the layback gets even more desperate higher up (a 1.5 cam if I remember correctly).
A much easier exit is to bypass the off-width and exit to the left. Not even close in pucker factor, beauty, or difficulty. It is a walk off from the top.
Climbed this route in 1986. What a blast. As I recall, there was a bolt on pitch 1 that was driven straight down into a small ledge, and an old pin was near it. After that it was stoppers, hexes, and one cam. Did two variations on the top pitch: Straight up the dihedral (hard), and the other was off to the left to go through a small cave to the top. In addition, there was a fixed stopper over at the waterfall, and it was hard to get in to the little canyon the waterfall comes out of. Fun place. There was a cool amphitheater along the right side of the Battleship, with a single huge pine growing in the middle of it.
Did anyone but me ever climb Hidden Spire? It is back down toward the pueblo, through a little slot in the red rock wall where they filmed part of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. It was a really scary climb to the top of the spire, using some wooden wedges in addition to regular gear. I soloed it that same year and scared myself pretty good.