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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.
9 Total Routes
Browse More Classics in Gemstone West
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Gemstone West:
Broken Ladders 5.7 5a 15 V+ MVS 4b Trad, Alpine, 1 pitch, 100'
Gemstone 5.8 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c Trad, Alpine, 2 pitches, 180'
Pair of 4s 5.9- 5c 17 VI HVS 4c PG13 Trad, Alpine, 1 pitch, 150'
Shoots & Ladders 5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a Trad, Alpine, 2 pitches
Seamingly Hard 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- E2 5b Trad, Alpine, 1 pitch, 200'
Featured Route For Gemstone West
Broken Ladders 5.7 5a 15 V+ MVS 4b NM : Sandia Mountains : ... : Gemstone West
This is a single pitch (100') on very nice solid rock with great gear. This could be considered a P3 extension to shoots and ladders, as it starts 25 feet from the top of P2 of shoots and ladders. Belay in a notch between the wall and large block. Climb double crack for 10-15', then hand traverse on thin crack (crux?) for 15 ' to gain left facing dihedral. Climb this dihedral until it become a crack, flake system on face which finally disappears. Finish by climbing up into large blocks to a slin...[more] Browse More Classics in NM
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