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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
Flail Out 5.9 5c 17 VI 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
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