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Potrillo Cliffs

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Ardeidae Arete 
Belly Flop 
Belly Up 
Call of the Crane 
Car Camping with the Kids 
Cave Route Center 
Chuckwalla 
Chuckwalla Right 
Cindy's Chimney 
Desperate (Left) 
Double Trouble 
Dream of White Gerbils 
Fickle Fingers 
Fool on the Hill 
Grandstanding 
Gymnast 
Heron's Fissure 
Jane 
Kor's Dog 
Left Cave Route 
Lower Kor's Crack 
Pieces of Eight 
Pillars of Hercules (left var.) 
Pillars of Hercules (right var.) 
Porky's Bad Luck 
Right Cave Route 
Route 1 
Route 1.5 
Route 19 
Route 4 
Shaky Flake 
Sleeper 
Tarzan 
Upper Kor's Crack 

Potrillo Cliffs 


Photos: Recent | Best | Popular
Location: 35.7943, -106.2162 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 5,546
Administrators: Aaron Hobson, Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB, Marta Reece, Kristine Hoffman
Submitted By: George Perkins on Feb 1, 2008
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Description 

Potrillo cliffs is the primo beginner toproping/trad area in White Rock, and was the first major basalt cliff "discovered" for climbing in White Rock. The cliff has two faces: one facing south, and one facing west, so you can find sun or shade as you like.

It's a great place for the beginning trad leader, as the cliff is short, hosts many 5.6-5.9 routes, and the pro is great. The cliff is a little shorter than most at White Rock (45'), but for the more experienced there are few harder climbs.

Some climbs may have bolted anchors, but be prepared to build anchors by tying off the trees or with trad gear (which is recommended).

A detailed guide is found here, with photos showing the routes.
www.lamountaineers.org/pdf/Potrillo_Cliffs.pdf
The route numbers on this page coincide with those in that online guide.


Getting There 

Take NM state road 4 just south of White Rock, turn onto Monterey South. Stay on Monterey South, turn right on Potrillo Rd. Then turn right on Estante Rd. Follow Estante around a left turn and park when you see a fire hydrant on the right side. Don't block the hydrant or the mailboxes. Walk the trail on the south 100yds, where it forks, take the trail heading right. Follow this trail to a large gate and a sign. 75' after the gate, head left on a trail to the cliff top. To get to the base, scramble down the east side of the cliffs- this last part is 3rd class (May be challenging for some dogs or little kids without help). Should take about 10 minutes.


34 Total Routes


['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',3],['2 Stars',17],['1 Star',14],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',3],['5.7',4],['5.8',8],['5.9',6],['5.10',7],['5.11',4],['5.12',2],['5.13',0],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Potrillo Cliffs:
Car Camping with the Kids   5.6 4c 14 V S 4b     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 45'   
Pillars of Hercules (left var.)   5.7 5a 15 V+ MVS 4b     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 45'   
Cindy's Chimney   5.7 5a 15 V+ MVS 4b     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 45'   
Chuckwalla   5.8 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 45'   
Pillars of Hercules (right var.)   5.8 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 45'   
Cave Route Center   5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a     Trad, TR, 45'   
Upper Kor's Crack   5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a     Trad, TR, 45'   
Lower Kor's Crack   5.10 6b 20 VII- E2 5b     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 40'   
Browse More Classics in Potrillo Cliffs

Featured Route For Potrillo Cliffs
Pillars of Hercules, left variation, 5.7, Potrillo Cliffs, White Rock, NM

Pillars of Hercules (left var.) 5.7 5a 15 V+ MVS 4b  NM : Los Alamos & White Rock : ... : Potrillo Cliffs
This is route #18 in the on-line guide. Pillars of Hercules route is easily identified by the two massive buttresses that mark the prow of the cliff. The climb has two start variations; both starts lead to the base of a broad chimney betwixt the two mighty pillars. This left start variation requires one first to mantle onto the left side of the large, flat-topped boul...[more]   Browse More Classics in NM

Comments on Potrillo Cliffs Add Comment
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By Logan Eckhardt
From: Albuquerque
Feb 1, 2008

I agree that anchors at some of these other areas would be helpful and would help to spread out many of the people who tend to not carry long webbing or static lines or who don't have a rack of gear to set up anchors. A problem at many areas in White Rock are that the trees are dying due to drought and bark beetle invasion.

By Chris Wenker
From: Santa Fe
Feb 13, 2008

Note on the LAM pdf file that is linked here:
The narrative directions to get to this crag are generally correct, but the the map illustrated as Figure 1 in the online guide is incorrect. The actual Potrillo cliff lies ca. 400 meters south of the location plotted on that map. It appears that whoever created the map based it on an actual topo map or aerial image, because there is in fact a low mesa with a cliff at the indicated location, but it is not the same cliff as the Potrillo crag.

By Brett Kettering
Oct 27, 2012

October 27, 2012: Today at Potrillo Cliffs we found a couple of slings with locking biners hanging on the hangers of one of the west-side routes. If you can identify them and provide me contact information, I will return them to you.

Regards,
Brett Kettering

By Brett Kettering
Nov 5, 2012

No response to my inquiry here or on LAM website. I've repurposed the gear.

Brett

By Orlando
Apr 14, 2014

Found a chalkbag; I believe it belongs to one of the two ladies that were climbing here yesterday (one of whom is named Burgundy and is from the Los Alamos area). Contact me if you want it back and we'll figure something out. Cheers.