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diablo or white rock?
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By kinz
From Austin, Texas
Feb 27, 2014

Will be traveling from Taos to ABQ and have a day to spend on basalt. Which is better for the traveling easy 5.11 sport climber with one day to visit? Or is there a better crag in the area. Already planning on doing El Rito and Las Conchas.


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By the schmuck
From Albuquerque, NM
Feb 28, 2014

I would skip Las Conchas, and go to Area 37 or the UEF instead. The climbing is much better at those areas. El Rito may be really cold, and I would check the weather forecast (It has been really warm lately). As for White Rock vs. Diablo, Diablo has better climbing, much longer routes (70m rope almost mandatory), and poorer rock. White Rock has very short pocketted and bullet basalt. Both are quite good in the 11s.


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By ChefMattThaner
From Lakewood, co
Feb 28, 2014
ducking ropes at Copper

The girlfriend and I were just down in taos and Santa fe last weekend. We climbed in El Rito and would have to recommend skipping the cobblestone walls of El Rito. We climbed on the el Norte wall and found it disturbingly loose and chossy. We were pulling off bowling ball sized cobbles and had over half of the feet crumble beneath your weight. Literally over 50 percent of what we touched came off. The bolting appeared to be done well for the most part but a few of the bolts are in cobbles that will surely by pulling out in the next 5 years. The walls are all super short and the juice just really isn't worth the squeeze. We climbed at the john dunn bridge area on johns wall on some bullet proof basalt with some very intriguing 5.10's. This area is awesome as the approach is less than 5 SECONDS, and there are several walls within a short walk. Also if its sunny, johns wall is about 10 degrees warmer than the surrounding area. Diablo has the longest routes of anywhere you mentioned but the rockfall is a serious issue there too, not as bad as el rito but still something to consider.


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By the schmuck
From Albuquerque, NM
Feb 28, 2014

Matt, you just picked a bad wall to go to. I've climbed at El Rito a bunch and rarelly pull stuff off. Also, Rad Wall has 60 to 70 foot routes 11+ to 12, and super slab has easy stuff up to 100', so not all short. It is just a small area with not a ton of routes, but definitelly not a choss pile, especially for a cobbled area.


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By Omar Little
Feb 28, 2014

Don't let ChefMatt's take on El Rito dissuade you from going. El Norte is very new, and from the looks of it has the worst quality rock in El Rito. The rock at the better established areas (Rad Wall, Gnar Wall, Pirate Wall, etc. etc.) has cleaned up very well and has some phenomenal 5.11s. I'd say if the temps are above 50 with little wind and sun you should be good to go.

As mentioned, a lot of routes at Diablo need either 2 ropes to get off of or to be willing to do shenanigans with a 70. If you don't have the ropes I would check out the Overlook in White Rock.


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By JoeS
Feb 28, 2014

I was surprised to read the description of El Rito being all chossy and dangerous. I visited there for several days a couple of years ago and had a great time. We climbed many stellar routes without any significant loose rock. I loved it.


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By Owen Summerscales
From Los Alamos, NM
Feb 28, 2014
Gerle creek at loon lake

Some funny advice here. El rito is actually completely bomber, just avoid that new crag el norte from the sounds of it. Las conchas is better climbing than area 37, but UEF is better if youre looking for 11s. Description of diablo vs white rock is accurate - better climbing, worse rock. Pick your poison.


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By Glenn Schuler
From Monument, Co.
Feb 28, 2014
A grey fox skull wedged in a crack 100' up on a FA I was working on - don't see that every day...

Another vote to ignore chefboy's advice - El Rito is super fun, you will like it.


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By George Perkins
From Los Alamos, NM
Feb 28, 2014
a

Re: Diablo. I would recommend the area for 5.10-5.11 basalt sport. I think 90% of the climbs at Diablo are fine with a single 60m rope and no trickery.


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By kinz
From Austin, Texas
Mar 4, 2014

thanks for the replies. yeah def had my heart set on el rito and the weather looks nice with highs in the 60s. sounds like white rock is a better bet for me considering i don't like choss and am used to texas sport routes which are quite short compared to what you guys got. 35-50ft is about the norm. will be in taos next Monday a week from today and will be making my way back to ABQ in the following days if anyone wants to meet up. see ya out there!


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By kinz
From Austin, Texas
Mar 4, 2014

and btw Upper East Fork looks way cool. is this online guide pretty complete? probably do that over las conchas...


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By the schmuck
From Albuquerque, NM
Mar 4, 2014

It is sort of complete, but not that great. It should get you fairly oriented however. If looking for .11, definitelly recomend Warepig. Also, Pegasus is great and probably more like 11c/d than 12-.


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