The Tunnel Rock Climbing
||Recent | Best | Popular
|Location: ||32.9461, -105.8602 View Map Incorrect?
|Page Views: ||14,467|
|Administrators: ||Aaron Hobson, Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB, Marta Reece, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide), Emily Roeben|
|Submitted By: ||Monomaniac on Feb 6, 2007 with updates
from frank bonnevie|
BETA PHOTO: Overview of the Tunnel with approach routes marked
The Tunnel provides high-grade sport climbing on generally mediocre limestone, in a beautiful desert setting. This crag has been popular among Alamogordo locals for decades, but has only recently caught the attention of the general populace. Grades range from 5.7 to 5.14d, however, don't expect to enjoy the climbing unless you climb at least 5.11c. The crag really excels in the 5.12+ - 5.13 grades. With more than 15 routes 5.13 and harder, the Tunnel offers the highest concentration of hard climbing in the state.
Like many NM crags, the Tunnel is an acquired taste. Cliffs become covered in dust and grime after summer rains, and the lack of traffic ensures that almost all of the routes provide a "First Ascent" vibe each time you visit. It's common for projecting climbers to clean their objectives from rappel prior to attempting. Others complain of the repetitive nature of the crags slopey crimps, the ubiquitous cliff-base graffiti, or the noise pollution common to such road-side crags. However, if you can disregard these drawbacks, the Tunnel has a lot to offer.
The Tunnel is located entirely on Lincoln National Forest. Occasionally the forest closes due to fire danger, as in the late Spring/Summer of 2006. Additionally, as with any road-side crag, be extremely cautious not to knock rocks and debris onto the highway.
Note on Star-Ratings: For my own purposes, I've decided that 3 stars is the limit for this crag, due to the stank rock. So if I give a route here 3 stars, that's as good as it gets!
The Tunnel is approximately 10 miles NE of Alamogordo on Highway 82. Begin just North of Alamogordo at the junction of highway 54 and 82. Head East on 82 for 7 miles. The road winds up into the mountains towards Cloudcroft, passing several small limestone cliffbands. About 5.5 miles up the road, a dirt road appears on the right (south) side of the road. There is ultra-ghetto free camping down this road. At about 7 miles a signed pullout appears on the left (N) side of the road, about 200 yards before the road enters a tunnel. There is only one tunnel on this road, so its pretty hard to get confused. Please park only in the official pullout on the north side of the highway. The "Sunny Side" crags are located to the North of the highway, and the "Shady Side" crags are on the South side of the highway.
Weather station 1.4 miles from here
61 Total Climbing Routes
['4 Stars',5],['3 Stars',29],['2 Stars',21],['1 Star',6],['Bomb',0]
Classic Climbing Routes in The Tunnel
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in The Tunnel
Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for The Tunnel:
Featured Route For The Tunnel
The Dig 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c NM
: New Mexico, other Southern ...
: ... : The Dig
This excellent line is the best warmup option for the Sunny Side, and may be the best route at the crag. A few sequential moves lead to a two foot roof and good jugs. Its best to clip the 2nd bolt from this stance, although it is a difficult clip if the draw isn't in place. Above the 2nd bolt is the power crux which features a series of 3 shouldery reaches, and finally a great set of jugs at the 4th bolt.From the great rest, the route heads right with a balancey, slab-style crux, that eventua...[more] Browse More Classics in NM
This Chuckwalla just wouldn't leave the first hold...
Across the valley from mid-town on the shady side.
Mar 19, 2007
Glad someone is adding this type of stuff...thx
By Joe Collins
Mar 28, 2007
Nearly all FAs at the Tunnel are courtesy of John Hymer. Some of the harder routes are courtesy of Chris Grijalva and Lance Hadfield.
By Devin C.
Oct 15, 2008
I dont know if this is the right place to ask, but here it goes. Does anyone know if the tunnel has been reopened. we climbed out there a few weeks ago, we didn't see any signs posted and were completely unaware that it was closed. we're planning on heading out again this upcomming weekend, but if it's still closed we'll have to go elswhere.
thanks for any info
By Dan Carter
From: Las Cruces, NM
Oct 27, 2008
The parking lot (that has been under construction most of the year) next to the tunnel is now open.
By Keith Beckley
Oct 1, 2013
Can someone tell me where there is some reasonably decent camping without ATV's and loud partiers somewhat close to The Tunnel? All it has to be is a flat spot to prepare meals and sleep. No amentities required. Thanks