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La Cueva Canyon, Upper

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Andy Boy Wall 
Chaos Crag 
Donald Duck 
El Paisano 
Fin, The 
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La Cueva Canyon, Upper 

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Location: 35.2063, -106.452 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: Aaron Hobson, Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB, Marta Reece, Kristine Hoffman
Submitted By: Anthony Stout on Jan 22, 2006
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BETA PHOTO: Overview Map of Upper LaCueva and Chimney Canyons.


The La Luz trail, running from the foothills of the Sandias to the Sandia Crest, runs directly through this canyon. There is a high concentration of stellar routes on the rock within Upper LaCueva Canyon. Also, in comparison to many other routes within the Sandias, the approaches can be shorter and easier.

Getting There 

Though the routes within this canyon can be accessed from the lower part of the canyon (Juan Tabo Picnic Area in the foothills of Albuquerque), it is much easier to access them from the Sandia Crest. The La Luz trail begins on the South end of the Sandia Crest parking lot.

96 Total Routes

['4 Stars',8],['3 Stars',45],['2 Stars',30],['1 Star',12],['Bomb',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for La Cueva Canyon, Upper:
Northwest Ridge   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, Alpine, 6 pitches, 1000'   The Thumb
Northeast Corner   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, Alpine, 1 pitch, 80'   Donald Duck
The Cave Route   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, Alpine, 4 pitches, 360'   The Pulpit
Estrellita   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, Alpine, 1 pitch, 110'   Estrellita
Beat Around the Bush   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, Alpine, 1 pitch, 100'   Estrellita
Miss Piggy   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, Alpine, 2 pitches, 220'   Hole in the Wall
The Happy Gnome   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, Alpine, 6 pitches, 700'   Yataghan
Aviary Ort Overhangs   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, Alpine, 3 pitches   The Thumb
Mexican Breakfast Crack   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Trad, Alpine, 2 pitches, 150'   Mexican Breakfast Formation
Paydirt   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, Alpine, 1 pitch, 102'   Hole in the Wall
Mountain Momma   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, Alpine, 6 pitches   Torreon
Sorcerer's Apprentice   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c PG13     Trad, Alpine, 2 pitches, 300'   Torreon
Shine On   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, Alpine, 1 pitch, 110'   The Slot
Another Pair of New Shoes   5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Trad, Alpine, 1 pitch, 100'   Hole in the Wall
Global Warming   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Trad, Alpine, 1 pitch, 115'   The Slot
Storm Warning   5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a     Trad, Alpine, 2 pitches, 250'   Science Friction & Windward...
Voodoo Child   5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a     Trad, Alpine, 6 pitches, 500'   Torreon
Sister Sledge   5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a     Sport, Alpine, 1 pitch, 100'   Hole in the Wall
Wizard of Air   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Trad, Alpine, 7 pitches, 600'   Torreon
The Sorcerer   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b PG13     Trad, Alpine, 4 pitches, 600'   Torreon
Browse More Classics in La Cueva Canyon, Upper

Featured Route For La Cueva Canyon, Upper
The first two pitches of Sorcerer's Apprentice

Sorcerer's Apprentice 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c PG13  NM : Sandia Mountains : ... : Torreon
This is an old and somewhat forgotten classic on Torreon. The first two pitches are some of the best climbing at the 5.10 grade in the Sandias. Be prepared for sustained climbing with small and occasionally heady gear.P1 - You can start directly below a thin crack/seam that cuts its way straight up the wall for 200ft. If you start directly there is about 50 ft of face climbing to gain a big ledge. You can access this same ledge from the left and skip the lower face. Above the ledge pull int...[more]   Browse More Classics in NM

Photos of La Cueva Canyon, Upper Slideshow Add Photo
Upper La Cueva Canyon looking southwest
BETA PHOTO: Upper La Cueva Canyon looking southwest
Overview of some of the features on the south side of Upper La Cueva Canyon.  View from the first switchback on the Crest Trail.
BETA PHOTO: Overview of some of the features on the south side...
Donald Duck & Fire Hydrant
Donald Duck & Fire Hydrant
Panorama of Upper La Cueva Canyon with The Thumb to the right.
Panorama of Upper La Cueva Canyon with The Thumb t...
From The Pulpit
From The Pulpit
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