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Gemstone West

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Broken Ladders  T 
Christian Crack T 
Fin Left, The T 
Flail Out T 
Gemstone T 
Green Snake - P2 T 
Pair of 4s T 
Seamingly Hard T 
Shoots & Ladders T 

Gemstone West  


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Elevation: 8,000'
Page Views: 5,618
Administrators: Aaron Hobson, Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB, Marta Reece, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Monomaniac on May 7, 2007
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BETA PHOTO: Alongside the route Gemstone are some lesser known...

Description 

This excellent crag offers numerous slab and crack climbs. This is a popular area for first-timers and large groups, due to the apparent low-commitment. These routes are generally devoid of loose rock, and offer a great variety of difficulty and techniques.

Getting There 

Begin at the La Cueva picnic ground. From the outhouse, walk 50 feet south on the paved road to the first parking space on the E side of the road. Pick up a trail heading E from the parking space. This trail joins the "Tramway Trail" after 200 yds. Head N (left) on the Tramway Trail for about 200yds. Just before the trail enters the La Cuevae Canyon river bottom, there is a brown wooden post on the left that identifies the Tramway Trail. Head E at this junction on a good trail into La Cueva Canyon. You will cross numerous slabs, but stay on the S (rt) side of the river for the first 5 minutes or so. The trail is always good, so you shouldn't be bushwhacking, but occasionally the trail disappears as it crosses open slabs.

Eventually the trail crosses the river. Continue on the N side of the river to a point where many large boulders have recently fallen to the canyon bottom. At this point some easy scrambling over boulders is required. At the top of this talus field, Flake n Bake will appear on the left (N). Coninue E another 50 feet, along the N side of the creek, then follow the canyon as it snakes hard to the left (N). After heading N for 50 feet, the trail heads back toward the creek through thick brush. Duck under a massive boulder and cross the crick (if you were born near Datil, or creek if you were born elsewhere). You are now on the E side of the creek. Head S for 10 feet, then turn back to the E and head up a small slab. Traverse right along the top of the slab, then pick up a steep but good climbers trail that switches back up the rounded ridge. Continue towards the "Aid Boulder" (see photo) -- a steep short overhanging boulder with some old aid relics and bolts. Once at the boulder, traverse E below the Gemstone slabs.

Climbing Season



Weather station 2.2 miles from here

9 Total Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',2],['2 Stars',7],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',1],['5.7',1],['5.8',1],['5.9',4],['5.10',2],['5.11',0],['5.12',0],['5.13',0],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Gemstone West:
Broken Ladders    5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, Alpine, 1 pitch, 100'   
Gemstone   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, Alpine, 2 pitches, 180'   
Pair of 4s   5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c PG13     Trad, Alpine, 1 pitch, 150'   
Shoots & Ladders   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, Alpine, 2 pitches   
Seamingly Hard   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, Alpine, 1 pitch, 200'   
Browse More Classics in Gemstone West

Featured Route For Gemstone West
Eric G working it out.  Camera courtesy of Howard ...

Flail Out 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a  NM : Sandia Mountains : ... : Gemstone West
Starting beneath the snout of rock, navigate to the left side and up over loose plates. The line continues up the obvious crack in solid granite. About 3/4 of the way up is a 2 or 3 inch chockstone after which the difficulty of the climbing eases. Continue to a gear belay near the top of the first pitch of Gemstone. From there, we continued up the route Christian Crack.The old Loucks' guide rates both this route and Gemstone as 5.9. This route is more sustained than P2 of [[10606494...[more]   Browse More Classics in NM

Photos of Gemstone West Slideshow Add Photo
Gemstone West.  The crag's centerpiece route, the ...
Gemstone West. The crag's centerpiece route, the ...
Unknown party on Gemstone on 6 May 07
Unknown party on Gemstone on 6 May 07
Howard Snell enjoying the day.
Howard Snell enjoying the day.

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