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 ADVANCED
Middle Rock
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Albuquerque Route T,S,TR 
Bats in the Belfry T 
Cowboy Bob's Chickenhead Delight T 
Unknown T 
Unknown (East of ABQ) S 

Unknown 

YDS: 5.8- French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 14 British: VS 4c R

   
Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 125'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.8- French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 14 British: VS 4c [details]
FA: ?
Page Views: 502
Submitted By: Chris Wenker on Jul 7, 2008

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BETA PHOTO: Unknown route (5.8-), Middle Rock, Tres Piedras, N...

Some rocks in this area are on private property. Property owner requests signed waiver. MORE INFO >>>

Description 

This interesting climb combines moderate-to-easy runout friction with moderate crack climbing. Start up an unprotected, low-angle friction face that gradually steepens, aiming toward a left-angling, right-facing seam about 40 feet off the ground. Some unprotected ~5.7- moves are necessary before obtaining the seam, which you can then load up with gear. Proceed straight up the heady bulge above the seam, which then leads to another runout low-angle friction face. The big horizontal seam at the base of the headwall provides your next placements, about 40 feet above the first seam (maybe getting close to groundfall here?, but it's easy climbing). Traverse slightly right to a crack system up the bulging headwall, where fun moves take you to the top.

If the second is interested in a diversion during their climb, they can climb up to the first seam, clean the gear, and then drop back down and traverse right about 20 feet to a greenish knobby waterstreak that makes for an interesting ~5.11 toprope. The leader should put a long runner on the pieces at the base of the headwall ahead of time, to minimize the pendulum if the second is planning on exploring this option.

This route is not previously described in any available guide, but has definitely been climbed before. Any FA info out there?

Location 

The start lies about 100 feet to the right of the Albuquerque Route, not quite all the way to the harder bolted climbs at the far right side of Middle Rock that are described by Jackson and Foley.

Descend by a 3rd/4th class walk-off to the east. At first, drop a little off the northern edge of the ridgeline, then down the ridgetop, past a noteworthy krummholz spruce with a truncated top. Drop off the righthand (southern) face of the ridge a little past the stunted spruce, down a dubious water streak, aiming for a massive dead tree trunk that leans against the rock wall across the valley.

Protection 

Standard TP trad rack, with a good supply of finger-sized cams.
It's runout below the first protectable seam (definite groundfall), and then again above that seam (maybe groundfall?). The first seam itself takes smallish finger-sized cams and small nuts, and actually protects fairly well, so load it up! Lots of finger to hand-sized cracks are available to protect in the headwall. Belay off a gear anchor at the top, with lots of placement opportunities.


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By George Perkins
From: Los Alamos, NM
Apr 18, 2010
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

(Edited after climbing this in 2012)
In ~2010, this climb was bolted, it now has 2 bolts protecting its crux, and a 2-bolt anchor. I do not feel it is run-out on anything harder than 5.2. You still may want a light rack for the headwall.

A 60m rope does not reach from dirt-to-anchor-to-dirt, but works to lower to the easy slab at the start that some people won't find it at all scary to downclimb from (20' up?)
By Chris Wenker
From: Santa Fe
Apr 20, 2010

No bolts. Needs gear for an anchor. Just a bare line of undrilled rock.
What part of the description should I edit for clarity? (now that I re-read it I see it's pretty wordy).
By Chris Wenker
From: Santa Fe
Aug 16, 2010

I see that this line has indeed been bolted now. Including a bolt & chain convenience anchor for toproping, placed 25 feet below the ridgetop.

Sad.
By Matthias Graf
Sep 6, 2010

This climb has a questionable anchor about 15 feet to the left of the vertical head wall crack and about 20 feet above the horizontal head wall crack. Two sets of lightweight blackened chains attached to two bolts. The right chain misses a quick-link to properly attach to the bolted hanger. It is tied off with a weather-aged 5 mm (?) rope. I encountered this setup already in the fall of 2009, but this time forgot to bring an extra quick-link to make it safer.