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WatchTower

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Alchemy T 
Cry for Merlin T,S 
Crybaby S 
Excalibur T 
Seventh Sojourn T 
Sword In The Stone (Clarent), The T 
Watchman's Secret T 

WatchTower  


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Administrators: Aaron Hobson, Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB, Marta Reece, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: DisturbingThePeace on Aug 25, 2007
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Climbing Alchemy sans clipping the bolts.

Description 

A great wall hidden in the middle of Pinnacle valley. This formation has good steep lines on quality rock. It's biggest drawback is the shortness of the climbs 3 to 4 pitches.

Climbs from Left to Right:
Seventh Sojourn 5.9
Excalibur 5.10d
Cry for Merlin 5.12b

Getting There 

Approach from the crest via the North Crest Trail. Follow this trail until it veers away from the crest. Stay left following the crest on a minor trail. Follow this trail until the first major limestone band. Just before this drop down over the crest, there will be a cairn marking the trail.

Hike downhill toward Albuquerque for about 10 minutes to a clearing. Follow cairns and climber trails to the first rappel station a large tree set back about 20 feet from the top of the cliff.

1st Rappel, short, best to use a single rope. Head slightly left to a bolted anchor.

2nd Rappel: 140' rappel down to another bolted anchor

3rd rappel: 150' rappel to ground. Best to toss ropes to climber's right and advance the knot a few feet.

EDIT: alternate rappel beta as per Marc R.
You no longer have to do the Seventh Sojourn raps. The new rap route descends the Watchman's Secret. 3-35m (70m rope needed) bolted raps take you to the base. These are clean and quick raps. From the top of the formation simple look skiers left and there is a 15 meter fixed line from 2 pitons down to the first set of anchors. Enjoy

Climbing Season



Weather station 0.5 miles from here

7 Total Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',7],['2 Stars',0],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',0],['5.7',0],['5.8',0],['5.9',1],['5.10',1],['5.11',1],['5.12',4],['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 WatchTower:
Seventh Sojourn   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, Alpine, 4 pitches, 340'   
Excalibur   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Trad, Alpine, 3 pitches, 340'   
Alchemy   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, Alpine, 1 pitch, 100'   
Browse More Classics in WatchTower

Featured Route For WatchTower
Looking up at the second pitch with the crux right...

The Sword In The Stone (Clarent) 5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b  NM : Sandia Mountains : ... : WatchTower
The first pitch is a link up of two previously established routes. The second pitch climbs the obvious corner above the Excalibur belay and is stellar with continuous 5.10+ climbing and a hard crux section. The third pitch has a bit of lichen still but nothing that makes it too difficult and in general the rock is really good for a final pitch in the Sandias.*Pitch 1- Follow the bolts of The Watchman's Secret until nearly at the first anchor of that route and where it crosses the first pi...[more]   Browse More Classics in NM

Comments on WatchTower Add Comment
Show which comments
By Bill Lawry
From: New Mexico
Aug 31, 2007
Once at the cliff top, 1st rap continues slightly to the skier's right (climber's left).

On the second rap, 2 out of 3 times I've seen the falling rope jam about 40 feet up. Perhaps pull ropes from climber's left of the anchor?
By LeeAB
Administrator
From: ABQ, NM
Aug 3, 2008
If you are comfortable scrambling about on decent sized ledges, maybe 3-4' wide, you can do the approach rappels on a single 70m rope, you only have to scramble maybe 10-15' to your right and down at the end of the second rappel.
By Alam
Aug 7, 2011
The US Forest service has done a "great" job obscurring the faint cut off trail that leads to the start of the downhill section of the watch tower trail. Will need to keep a sharp eye for the trail that keeps on the very edge of the crest.

There is now an old metal boundry sign leaned against the large rock marking the start of this trail.
By Alam
Aug 7, 2011
There is a new bolted route directly below the 1st belay of excalibur clear to the ground. Anyone know the details?
The presence of the fixed rope suggest efforts are still ongoing - perhaps details when it is finished? Thanks

We removed some additional blocks above the roof on P4 of Seven... still some loose stuff there, but the other piches are very solid rock. Check at the damage from the HUGE rockfall between watch tower and Tombstone!
By John Kear
From: Albuquerque, NM
Aug 13, 2011
Alam
The new route just below Excalibur is the first pitch of watchman's secret. This pitch goes up under excalibur than crosses over underneath heading out right to a bolted belay well right of the excalibur and cry for Merlin's anchors. This first pitch is about 10b/c good and very technical for the grade.
By Marc Ripperger
From: Albuquerque, NM
Sep 6, 2011
You no longer have to do the Seventh Sojourn raps. The new rap route descends the Watchman's Secret. (3) 70m bolted raps take you to the base. These are clean and quick raps. From the top of the formation simple look skiers left and there is a 15 meter fixed line from 2 pitons down to the first set of anchors. Enjoy