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The Playground

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Advanced Start 
Barlow's Buttress 
Battle of the Bulge 
Beginner's Hand Jam 
Black Wall 
Blow Hole 
Burnt Crack 
Cactus Climb 
Cheeks, The 
Face Variation 
Fingertip Layback 
First Strike 
Flakey Face 
Flakey Nine 
Flying A 
Flying A Buttress 
Luke and Carlo's route 
Moment of Inertia 
Mononucleosis 
Moon Dog 
Mr. Foster's Lead 
Open Project 
Original Horak Route 
Playground Traverse 
Playgrounder, The 
Repo Man 
Route 1 
Route 16 
Route 17 
Route 18 
Route 20 
Route 25 
Route 37 
Route 6 
T2 Flake 
Texas 
Tree Climb 
Unrelenting Nines 
Upper Left Roof 
Vulture Roof 
Zander Zigzag 
Unsorted Routes:

The Playground 


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Lat, Long: 35.8164, -106.1912 Map Incorrect?
Page Views: 15,227
Administrators: Aaron Hobson, Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB, Marta Reece, Kristine Hoffman
Submitted By: Mark Mathis on Jul 18, 2007
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  Print a Mini-Guide with routes

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Great kids cliff, even with a place to stash them ...

Description 

The Playground is a 60 foot south-facing basalt cliff. Numerous moderate to difficult crack and face climbs ascend the cliff. Routes at this area are not bolted (by agreement), so be sure to bring your gear to lead. While route bolts are strictly verboten, anchor bolts are allowed. However, the last anchor bolts to be installed (over Beginner's Hand Jam) were chopped and few currently exist, so many climbs require trad gear to establish anchors.

Climbs are numbered from left to right with numbers as in 'Jemez Rock' and as shown in the beta photos.


Getting There 

To get to the Playground from NM state road 4, turn south on Rover blvd. After about 100 yards, take a left on Meadow lane. Follow this street (it will slowly curve south) passing the turnoff for the Overlook, and continue to 719 Meadow Lane. Park near by, being careful not to block mailboxes or driveways (several residents have complained in the past). Take the public access trail between 719 and 721 Meadow Lane. From here, turn right and walk toward the rim of the canyon. Follow the rim for 300 yards and locate an approach gully with a 30 foot basalt tower on it's left side. At the bottom of this gully is the Playground.


41 Total Routes


['4 Stars',1],['3 Stars',15],['2 Stars',18],['1 Star',7],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',0],['5.7',0],['5.8',1],['5.9',5],['5.10',17],['5.11',11],['5.12',5],['5.13',0],['>=5.14',1],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',1],['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 The Playground:
Texas   5.8 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 60'   
Beginner's Hand Jam   5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 60'   
Upper Left Roof   5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 75'   
Flakey Nine   5.9+ 5c 17 VI E1 5a     Trad, TR, 60'   
Mr. Foster's Lead   5.9+ 5c 17 VI E1 5a     Trad, TR, 70'   
Cactus Climb   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- E2 5b     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 70'   
T2 Flake   5.10c 6b 20 VII E2 5b R     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 50'   
Fingertip Layback   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ E3 5b     Trad, TR, 55'   
Burnt Crack   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ E3 5b     Trad, TR, 50'   
Flying A   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ E3 5b     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 60'   
Blow Hole   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ E3 5b     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 80'   
Unrelenting Nines   5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII E4 6a     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 50'   
Flying A Buttress   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ E5 6a R     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 60'   
Browse More Classics in The Playground

Featured Route For The Playground
Pulling through the crux of <em>Blow Hole</em> and Brian Quiter starting up the "Unnamed (crack left of Blow Hole)." July 29, 2008.

Blow Hole 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ E3 5b  NM : Los Alamos & White Rock : ... : The Playground
Probably the longest climb at the Playground, with sustained quality climbing. Blow Hole is one of the only climbs at the Playground that doesn't have the big ledge near the top of the cliff interrupting it.The immediate first crux is the first 15', where you climb a finger crack with poor feet; this spits off many suitors. Place a good small cam (#0.3 camalot or equivalent) to keep from decking on the rocks. There are variations to the start at about the same difficulty...[more]   Browse More Classics in NM

Photos of The Playground Slideshow Add Photo
Far right side of the Playground. Beginner's hand jam is the route on the far left side of the photo.  <br /> <br />Someone should put numbers on these, I do not have the software or memory to do it.
BETA PHOTO: Far right side of the Playground. Beginner's hand ...
Playground, far left side. Photo by <a href='/u/wa3lt//105890904'>Wa3lt</a>. <br /><a href='/v/route-1/106382916'>Route 1</a> 5.10a <br /><a href='/v/open-project/106382026'>Open Project</a> 5.?? <br /><a href='/v/mononucleosis/106382840'>Mononucleosis</a> 5.11d <br /><a href='/v/burnt-crack/106316914'>Burnt Crack</a> 5.10d <br /><a href='/v/unrelenting-nines/106058819'>Unrelenting Nines</a> 5.11 <br /><a href='/v/route-6/106352762'>Route 6</a> 5.12a for hard start shown <br /><a href='/v/t2-flake/106058839'>T2 Flake</a> 5.10c <br /><a href='/v/first-strike/106382844'>First Strike</a> 5.12c <br /><a href='/v/original-horak-route/105995986'>Original Horak Route</a> 5.10a
BETA PHOTO: Playground, far left side. Photo by Wa3lt....
Middle-right portion of the Playground. Sorry about the lack of numbering, someone with photoshop (and a good memory) should re-label these.
BETA PHOTO: Middle-right portion of the Playground. Sorry abou...
Playground, middle left side. Photo by <a href='/u/wa3lt//105890904'>Wa3lt</a>  <br /><a href='/v/original-horak-route/105995986'>Original Horak Route</a> 5.10a <br /><a href='/v/luke-and-carlos-route/106382848'>Luke and Carlo's route</a> 5.12d <br /><a href='/v/zander-zigzag/106256042'>Zander Zigzag</a> 5.10d <br /><a href='/v/texas/105995992'>Texas</a> 5.8 <br /><a href='/v/flying-a-buttress/106335632'>Flying A Buttress</a> 5.12a <br /><a href='/v/flying-a/106024768'>Flying A</a> 5.11a <br /><a href='/v/the-playgrounder/106382852'>The Playgrounder</a> 5.12b <br /><a href='/v/route-16/106107289'>Route 16</a> 5.9+ <br /><a href='/v/route-17/106382857'>Route 17</a> 5.11b <br /><a href='/v/route-18/106228614'>Route 18</a> 5.10a <br /><a href='/v/the-cheeks/106382867'>The Cheeks</a> 5.11b <br /><a href='/v/route-20/106382873'>Route 20</a> 5.11c
BETA PHOTO: Playground, middle left side. Photo by [[105890904...
Far left side of the Playground. Someone with photoshop should work on adding the numbers (which are missing from this set of photos - and I don't remember well enough to accurately label them)
BETA PHOTO: Far left side of the Playground. Someone with phot...
Playground, middle right side. Photo by <a href='/u/wa3lt//105890904'>Wa3lt</a>  <br /><a href='/v/the-cheeks/106382867'>The Cheeks</a> 5.11b <br /><a href='/v/route-20/106382873'>Route 20</a> 5.11c <br /><a href='/v/vulture-roof/106382881'>Vulture Roof</a> 5.11b/c <br /><a href='/v/moment-of-inertia/106382891'>Moment of Inertia</a> 5.10c <br /><a href='/v/mr-fosters-lead/106090620'>Mr. Foster's Lead</a> 5.9+ <br /><a href='/v/route-25/106382933'>Route 25</a> 5.10d <br /><a href='/v/black-wall/106096495'>Black Wall</a> 5.10c <br />(27) Unnamed 5.10d <br /><a href='/v/cactus-climb/106024773'>Cactus Climb</a> 5.10b <br /><a href='/v/face-variation/106382929'>Face Variation</a> 5.11a <br /><a href='/v/beginners-hand-jam/105995997'>Beginner's Hand Jam</a> 5.9
BETA PHOTO: Playground, middle right side. Photo by [[10589090...
Middle-left portion of the Playground. 4th route from the left (including variations) is Texas. Someone with Photoshop should label these.
BETA PHOTO: Middle-left portion of the Playground. 4th route f...
Playground, right end. Photo by <a href='/u/wa3lt//105890904'>Wa3lt</a>  <br /><a href='/v/beginners-hand-jam/105995997'>Beginner's Hand Jam</a> 5.9 <br /><a href='/v/advanced-start/106382920'>Advanced Start</a> 5.11a <br /><a href='/v/upper-left-roof/106024896'>Upper Left Roof</a> 5.9 <br /><a href='/v/fingertip-layback/106382924'>Fingertip Layback</a> 5.10d <br /><a href='/v/barlows-buttress/106194928'>Barlow's Buttress</a> 5.10 <br /><a href='/v/battle-of-the-bulge/106238862'>Battle of the Bulge</a> 5.11b/c <br /><a href='/v/flakey-nine/106092889'>Flakey Nine</a> 5.9+ <br /><a href='/v/route-37/106193487'>Route 37</a> 5.11a <br /><a href='/v/blow-hole/106032245'>Blow Hole</a> 5.10c <br /><a href='/v/repo-man/106382907'>Repo Man</a> 5.12b <br /><a href='/v/moon-dog/106382911'>Moon Dog</a> 5.10b
BETA PHOTO: Playground, right end. Photo by Wa3lt
[[1...
Overlook from The Playground
Overlook from The Playground
Comments on The Playground Add Comment
Show which comments
By Wa3lt
Mar 22, 2009

The routes from #24 on are incorrectly numbered. I assume the Beverly guide (which pretty much just copied what I did) made this mistake, which I corrected in pen on my hardcopy many years ago...

Anyway, #24 should be Unknown 5.10d, not Mr. Foster's lead. Numbers should continue from there (ie, Beginner's hand jam #29, etc)

I'll try to upload some photos...

By harry p ness 69
Apr 27, 2011

There is a route directly below the play ground, maybe a 5.10a. It goes through 2 bolts up to a nice finger crack that protects with tcu s. there are bolts at the top. It's called Code Brown

By Sky Sjue
From: Santa Fe
Apr 4, 2012

The anchor bolts are gone from Flying A, Cactus Climb and Upper Left Roof. I did not check on the status of others aside from noting that Unrelenting Nines was spared. I saw studs on Cactus Climb but it's quite impressive, as if there were never any bolts there, on Flying A.