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Gemstone West

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Broken Ladders  T 
Christian Rock 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 Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 8,000'
Page Views: 6,415
Administrators: Aaron Hobson, Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB, Marta Reece, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Monomaniac on May 7, 2007
This Afternoon

33° | 22°

44° | 32°

48° | 25°

42° | 24°

44° | 24°

45° | 24°
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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.

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 Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',2],['2 Stars',7],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Gemstone West

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing 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 Rock Climbing Classics in Gemstone West

Featured Route For Gemstone West
Rock Climbing Photo: Marked up photo including location of Green Snake

Green Snake - P2 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b NM : Sandia Mountains : ... : Gemstone West
P2 of Green Snake (Louck guide) is a thin slab climb that "snakes" up a small dihedral/roof to finish at the farthest left rap station reachable from Gem Stone (see photo). Nice thin slab moves to a small overlap crux.Have looked at this line on and off over the years, and finally got to TR it this weekend. While this is a great slab route - it would be a very dangerous lead - looking at no protection at the crux, with a 20, 30 foot fall on a 1 or 2 marginal #1 nut placements. Whoever put ...[more]   Browse More Classics in NM

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

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