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Mosaic Rock
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Unknown (Left of Baby Cakes) T,S 
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Walking Dread T 

Dung Alley 

YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c

   
Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 100'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: ??
Page Views: 416
Submitted By: Chris Wenker on Sep 2, 2008

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BETA PHOTO: Dung Alley, 5.8, Mosaic Rock, Tres Piedras, NM.

Some rocks in this area are on private property. Property owner requests signed waiver. MORE INFO >>>

Description 

This unfortunately-named climb starts out with 30 feet of actual, thrutchy offwidth crack climbing, and then transitions into a face climb through a licheny area of semi-detached plates. The crux is near the bottom of the offwidth, as you're trying to gain entrance to the crack. Protects fairly well throughout, if you've got the big cams.

This route is not described in any of the modern guides, but is noted in the old-time guide. However, if you carefully read Jackson's (2006) description of Summer Dreams and compare it to the old-time guide's description of that same route, I think Jackson actually directs the climber to start at the base of Summer Dreams and to top out on Dung Alley's anchors instead of the actual top of Summer Dreams (which appears to have a bolted anchor about 20 feet right and 10 feet below Dung Alley's anchor, see the MP.com beta photo).

Location 

On the far northeastern end of Mosaic Rock. Walk around the east end of the dome, pass the bottom of the standard descent gully, and continue for about another 125 feet. The old-time guide notes that you will "trip over a large detached buttress, climb it." The left side of the detached pillar/buttress is marked by a prominent left-arching offwidth crack.
I'm pretty sure this is the correct detached buttress mentioned in the old guide, because of its close proximity to Summer Dreams, which is also described in the old-time guide. If this offwidth route is not Dung Alley, someone let me know.

Two fairly new bolts provide an anchor located at a good stance that lies about 10 feet below the top of the climb. I don't know if you can rap all the way to the ground from this point. I have only ever climbed past the bolts to the top of the formation and walked off the standard descent. I'm not convinced these bolts were necessary, because it's an easy thing to summit and walk off. However, their placement near the top of the climb does allow good communication with the second climber, which might be greatly impeded if you top out and build a belay back from the edge.

Protection 

Lemme guess: you've got a pair of # 5 and 6 camalots or friends that are still shiny and new. Break 'em out.
A single set of cams to #6 would suffice, if you don't mind walking the #6 up with you. Two #4s or 5s would be reassuring in places, though. Hand-sized cams will work once you get out of the offwidth.

As of August 2008 there was some tatty sling and cord, with a single screw-link, hung on the anchor bolts.


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By George Perkins
From: Los Alamos, NM
Sep 2, 2008

No criticism intended at all here... It is interesting how 2 people with the same guidebooks can find things differently.
Believing it was Summer Dreams, I went up the right side of the pillar shown for the start of this climb, and shared the top and went to first the right then the middle anchors. And I guessed that Dung Alley went up to the 2-bolt anchor shown on the next buttress left with that anchor shown in beta photo (although I didn't climb it).
I have no good reason to believe I'm correct about this- neither of us had been climbing at TP for very long and the guides are not particularly descriptive on this area (the back side of Mosaic Rock).
By Chris Wenker
From: Santa Fe
Sep 3, 2008

Yeah, this side of Mosaic Rock is not well described in previous guides. Like I mentioned above, I thought this was the best match for the Dung Alley description in the old guide. But, that's also partly dependent on correctly identifying the bottom of Summer Dreams based on Jackson's modern description.
Still, we've got three bolted anchors over here, and only two named routes...... Hopefully someone more in-the-know can chime in.
The time I climbed Summer Dreams I started even farther right than George, it sounds. Just under the spindly spruce tree in the right side of this photo, then up the crack a short ways, switch to the crack farther right, and then left up the platey face (I totally missed the lower anchor, and ended up at what I'm calling the Dung Alley anchor, which is what I deduce Jackson's Summer Dreams description wants you to do). Obviously lots of options over here; go climb 'em.
By Chris Wenker
From: Santa Fe
Jul 11, 2009

We took a shot at the buttress that has the mystery anchor noted to the left in the photo. There's a sharp & slightly loose ~5.8 face that goes up the overhung arete on the left side of the buttress, starting from under the giant spruce/fir at the base (led OS by KT, but probaby not an FA). Scramble up and off from the 3 bolt anchor on top. There's also a possibly easier, grainy looking crack on the right/center of the buttress that would put you at the same anchor.