Tortilla Flats Rock Climbing
BETA PHOTO: The left (northern) end of Tortilla Flats, White R...
The Tortilla Flats crag lies along the same cliff band as The Big Enchilada
, but is located northwest of that area, in a shorter, more broken section of the cliff.
This area has been described as a beginners' top-roping area. It has also been described as not a good beginners' lead
area, but actually some good, easy trad leads do exist here. Climbs for more advanced trad leaders may be less interesting here than at other White Rock crags, but for solitude, this is one of your better bets.
According to the on-line LAM guide
, the area was developed mostly by Roy Lucht, Mike Montoya, Lou Horak and Jim Straight, in the 1990s. The ratings were based, as closely as possible, on the system used by Gary Clark at Potrillo.
The cliffs are fairly short (40-50 feet), and the bottom sections of many of the routes are pretty broken up and ledgy. Top-rope setups are pretty straightforward, with lots of boulders on top and some junipers that can be slung. Most of the trees are set back from the edge, and static line or long slings are commonly necessary if you're not using gear anchors. Careful selection of toprope anchor locations can often allow multiple climbs to be accessed from a single setup. The cliff faces roughly west-southwest, and is therefore shaded until early afternoon.
Route guides include the on-line LAM guide
, which contains a quaint but fairly crude topo of the overall crag. Beverly's (2006) Jemez Rock book also covers most of the climbs here, but Jackson (2006) does not cover this area.
Drive, park, and begin the approach as for Big Enchilada, The
and the Potrillo Cliffs
Follow NM State Road 4 west and south out of White Rock to Monterey South on the edge of town. Turn left (SE) and stay on Monterey South to Potrillo Road, where you take a right. Take Potrillo to Estante Road and turn right. Follow Estante around a left curve to a pullout just past a fire hydrant on the right side. Park here and don't block the hydrant or the mailboxes. Make sure you are all the way off the pavement. Behind the fire hydrant, follow the trail southwest for ca. 100 yards. At the prominent fork, take the trail heading left (south). Follow this for about 5 minutes, curving to the southeast, until a low rocky mesa is just off to the left (northeast) side of the trail.
/If you miss the little mesa and you come to the abrupt end of the trail, overlooking an east and south facing cliff, you've gone too far (this is The Big Enchilada, actually). Backtrack ca. 200 yards./
Cut off the trail to the southwest (a cairn may mark the turn-off, but it is frequenty dismantled) and find one of two downclimbs to the Flats. There is a Class 2 descent gully on the south end of the cliffs and a slightly harder one (Class 3-ish) on the north end. The climbs are bounded by these two gullies.
The identified (and possible) routes, from left to right (west to east). Unnamed 1
5.4 slab (Beverly #1) Unnamed, left face
5.6 (Beverly #2) Unnamed, right face
5.6 (Beverly #2) Tortilla Slab left
5.9/9- (Beverly #3; online #3) Tortilla Slab crack
5.7 (Beverly #4) Tortilla Slab right
5.8/5.9 (online #3A) Unnamed 2
5.5/5.7 route is indicated in the online topo, with two starts on either side of a tree Possible route A
indicated in the online topo as "?" Possible route B
indicated in the online topo as "?" Green Chili
5.10 super face (Beverly #5; online #5) Hot Salsa
5.10 superb hand traverse/face (Beverly #6; online #6) Hot Salsa direct
5.unrated (Beverly #6a; online #6 direct) Smorgasbord
5.7/5.8/5.9 chimney/crack/face (Beverly #7-9; online #7-9) Possible route C
indicated in the online topo as "?" Jalapeno Dip
5.9 face/overhang (Beverly #10; online #10) Jalapeno Crack
5.7 crack (Beverly #11; online #11) Bean Dip
5.10 face (Beverly #12; online #12) Frijoles Crack
5.8 offwidth (Beverly #13; online #13) Possible route D
indicated in the online topo as "very hard face" Unnamed, left of the nose
5.7 crack (Beverly #14; online #14) Possible route E
indicated in the online topo as "?" Unnamed 3
indicated in the online topo just left of Teetering Rock (probably Beverly #15, which is also drawn, but not numbered, on the online photo right of #14) Possible routes F & G
are indicated in the online topo as "? ?" right of the Teetering Rock My Lichen
5.9 face (Beverly #16; online #15) Not My Lichen
5.7 crack (Beverly #17; online #16) Lichen Delight
5.9/10 offwidth (Beverly #18; online #17) Vintage Wine
5.9 crack/mantle (Beverly #19; online #18) Five Feet and Wine
5.8 (Beverly #20; online #19) Possible route H
indicated in the online topo as "? [illegible text]" Cactus Nose
5.9 (Beverly #21) Cactus Junction
5.6 dihedral/mantle/overhang/layback (Beverly #22)
Weather station 2.9 miles from here
9 Total Climbing Routes
['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',0],['2 Stars',0],['1 Star',7],['Bomb',2]
Featured Route For Tortilla Flats
Five Feet and Wine 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c NM
: Los Alamos & White Rock
: ... : Tortilla Flats
This is a surprisingly fun little 5.8 route, for Tortilla Flats anyway.Start up an awkward hand crack left of the keystone. Step right, across the slopy ledge behind the keystone (which may be loose!) and head up right toward a fun roof finish. An alternate easy finish avoids the roof by heading left, but the roof protects well....[more] Browse More Classics in NM
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BETA PHOTO: The central faces of Tortilla Flats, White Rock, N...
BETA PHOTO: The right (southern) end of Tortilla Flats, White ...