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Cabezon Peak
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By JasonMills
From Albuquerque, NM
Nov 7, 2011

Has anyone climbed Cabezon Peak by a route OTHER than the standard class 3/4 hike? It looks like there might be several lines that are doable, but I was wondering if anyone had tried.

Thanks,
Jason


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By LeeAB
Administrator
From ABQ, NM
Nov 12, 2011
Once we landed we headed to Font to find a place to stay for the night before doing a day of wine tasting and heading to Buoux.

John Kear might know something, you could try PMing him. I think we talked once about some 5th class lines (5.10 or so) out there, but I could be remembering some other formation.


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By JasonMills
From Albuquerque, NM
Nov 22, 2011

It's funny. I've been researching this for a while now, and I can't find any beta on technical climbs at Cabezon. There are tons of accounts of "climbs" up the 3rd/4th class route, but nothing on anything else.

Thanks for the tip Lee. I'll shoot him a message and see what he says.

I think I'm going to try to do a little exploratory climbing up there to see what's there. If I find anything good, I'll post it as a new area with anchor/route information. If it's really good, I'll probably even bolt some anchors, just to be nice. :-)


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By Jeremy Aslaksen
From Albuquerque, NM
Dec 1, 2011

Jason,

Go explore and have fun. REMEMBER...you are not the first one to look for/do routes out there. Bolting any "new" lines you might find would be a bad idea as they were no doubt done without any bolts before you "discovered" them.

Think about it.

Jeremy Aslaksen
ABQ


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By George Perkins
From Los Alamos, NM
Dec 1, 2011
a

In addition to the standard SE gully route:
-A 5.8 and a 5.9 on Cabezon's south side are posted on rockclimbing.com.
-A route on the west side is mentioned in the old "Guide to the New Mexico Mountains".
-"Rock n Road" mentions 2 routes: (a) the west face- listed as Cl.3; and (b) the "Oven route".
-I think I heard about a 5.8 on the north side somewhere.
I haven't climbed any of them.

It's in a BLM wilderness study area, so it's most likely illegal to place bolts there with a power drill.


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By JasonMills
From Albuquerque, NM
Dec 2, 2011

JeremyA wrote:
Jason, Go explore and have fun. REMEMBER...you are not the first one to look for/do routes out there. Bolting any "new" lines you might find would be a bad idea as they were no doubt done without any bolts before you "discovered" them. Think about it. Jeremy Aslaksen ABQ


My bolting mantra is this: if natural pro is there, I don't bolt.

However, if a great line is there, and would be made safer with a bolt or three where there isn't natural pro, put a bolt in.

And I don't own a power drill, so all drilling is done by hand.


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By Harry Marinakis
Oct 23, 2012
West Rib, Denali, Alaska, May 1979 B.G. (Before Gortex)

I climbed a class 5 route on the south face of Cabezon back in the early 1990s. Maybe 4 pitches??? It's been a long time, don't remember.

The lower part of the face wasn't too bad, pleasant mid class 5 climbing. The middle part of the face was loose class 3.

The final pitch was a nightmare.

The final headwall is vertical volcanic ash conglomerate. Like climbing vertical hard dirt. My brother led the final pitch like a hardman. He soloed up a crack/chimney trailing a rope (no pro), while we hid in rock caves down below to avoid the barrage of rocks that he was sending down. We weren't even belaying him 'cause there was no belay anchor at the start of the pitch and there was no pro on the pitch itself.

There was no belay anchor on top, either, which my brother didn't tell us until he had brought us up to the summit on top rope (in order to keep from worrying us).

He tried to make a scree bollard on top for a belay anchor, but it didn't look very inspiring (hee-hee...). You'd need another 100 feet of rope to reach some solid rock for a summit belay anchor.

I ain't doin' that climb again. Ever.

I think this is the face that we climbed; the standard route starts on the lower right. You can see the final headwall of dark ash in this photo:


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By Jason Halladay
Administrator
From Los Alamos, NM
Oct 23, 2012
Climbing at the Belvedere crag near Nago with a great view of the northern end of Lake Garda and the town of Torbole sul Garda below. June 2013.

Great story, Harry. I appreciate that kind of adventurous spirit and going for it. And a scree bollard anchor? That's awesome.


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By Harry Marinakis
Oct 24, 2012
West Rib, Denali, Alaska, May 1979 B.G. (Before Gortex)

My brother's lead on that final headwall was one of the most mind-blowing leads I've ever seen anyone do.

My brother still lives in ABQ, but he doesn't climb anymore.


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By john strand
From southern colo
Feb 19, 2014

I am going to be out in the Cabezon area next month.. Toula says something about a 3rd class route on the west face that "steepens up at thetop" ?


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By JasonMills
From Albuquerque, NM
Feb 20, 2014

Yeah, that's the normal hiking trail to the top. There is on "Class 4" move at the top, but it's not really that bad. Mostly Class 2 once you start up the peak. Look for the cairns and a giant arrow that someone made out of rock. Once you start up, the main wall should be on your left, and the flake should be on your right.

Have fun!


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By john strand
From southern colo
Feb 20, 2014

Thanks..I'm guessing the descent will take longer than the climb


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By Chris Wenker
From Santa Fe
Feb 20, 2014
Bandera

Standard route is up the East face, not west.
I think there's a TR w/ beta pics by the Roach's on their website.


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By Jamie K.
Feb 20, 2014

The link below has descriptions and pictures that may be useful if you are interested in the standard scramble up.

www.summitpost.org/cabezon-peak/152582

There are a few sections that fall in the range of 3rd or 4th class. Going up and back can be done in a few hours with not much trouble.

Have fun!


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By docsavage
From Albuquerque, NM
Feb 21, 2014
Looking down the first crux pitch, Ellingwood Ledges, 2002 - Jay Evans photo.

I took the liberty last summer of adding a Cabezon page to MP under area of Upper Rio Puerco Valley (assuming there's a Lower ... ?):

Upper Rio Puerco Valley

Was a bit hesitant to do that because I had seen some disgruntled comments over inclusion of some other predominately 3rd/4th class routes. I think Cabezon speaks for itself & in truth believe incomplete information is the greater hazard. I personally knew the UNM athlete who broke both legs on the Standard route & had to be choppered off of Cabezon a few years back. Any feedback would be welcome on this including contributions that would fill out the page (which includes Guadalupe, an equally accessible & easier plug to the south).

Harry - hope you don't mind I borrowed your pic to trace the line of a 1974 ascent of the South Face by a UNM Mountaineering Club group. This was my first multi-pitch climb anywhere & it took comparisons later with 'good' rock to highlight just how crazed this endeavor was. It was done in two ropes of two. My partner was Dave Legits. Dave was a local climbing fixture at the time & had done some FAs in the Sandias, I don't remember the other two guys.


Cabezon South Face
Cabezon South Face


There is no reason to suppose this was an FA of the South Face but every reason to suppose that of this particular route since the face is so fractured I doubt I could follow the same line again if I wanted to - & like you, Harry, I most assuredly do not. Strangely I remember the last pitch as being the most secure although the belay off a scree bollard sounds familiar. As I recall we even rappelled the route which is totally unnecessary.

George & john - here is how Ungnade describes the West Face route: 'Cabezon has been climbed from the west side along a sloping ridge which meets the face some 50 feet below the top. The upper part of this route is very exposed and has loose rock hazard.' Short & sweet.

Jason - this is what I got. All climbing on Cabezon is loose & exposed. On the other hand I have seen as many as 30 people on the Standard route at the same time, aged 7 to 70. The more you know the better you can prepare as far as I'm concerned ...


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