Gemstone West Rock Climbing
BETA PHOTO: Alongside the route Gemstone are some lesser known...
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.
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 For the La Cueva Canyon, Lower area.
Weather station 2.2 miles from here
9 Total Climbing Routes
['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',2],['2 Stars',7],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]
Classic Climbing Routes in Gemstone West
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Gemstone West
Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Gemstone West:
Gemstone 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad, Alpine, 2 pitches, 180'
Featured Route For Gemstone West
Pair of 4s 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c
: Sandia Mountains
: ... : Gemstone West
This route follows a large flake on a gentle angle slab. The initial 40 feet are unprotected slab, but is low fifth class. Your target is a large left facing flake. Climb this flake using stemming and lay back (crux - some lettuce, should clean up with use) for about 40 feet (Two #4 Camelots come in handy here, but not critical), until a hand crack is reached. Climb the final 60 feet hand crack to a sling belay at a large pine (fir) tree. ...[more] Browse More Classics in NM
Gemstone West. The crag's centerpiece route, the ...
Unknown party on Gemstone on 6 May 07
Howard Snell enjoying the day.