El Rito Sport Area Rock Climbing
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|Shared By:||Anthony Stout on Jan 20, 2006 · Updates|
|Admins:||Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Marta Reece, Drew Chojnowski|
This climbing area is shared with raptors that nest on the cliffs. Help us maintain access and please avoid climbing near active nests/ledges that raptors are using. If a raptor is disturbed during nesting season it may exhibit aggressive defensive behaviors like vocalizing or dive-bombing. If you witness this behavior, retreat from your climb immediately and find a location on a different formation or a different part of the wall far enough away from the raptors that they are no longer noticeably agitated. If they remain agitated, then please leave the area immediately.
Raptor awareness is especially important during nesting season from mid-February to late May but needs to be considered through the end of August. Please report disturbed and/or nesting raptors to the Carson National Forest the appropriate district office (see below) and share relevant information here on MP. Human-raptor encounters can have negative impacts for the birds and climbers in the area. The Cason NF wants to maintain climbing access while protecting raptor reproduction and relies on climbers to recreate responsibly and share information in order to avoid the need for formal raptor closures.
Questa Ranger District
Camino Real (Comales Canyon) Ranger District
Tres Piedras Ranger District
El Rito Ranger District
Fun, vertical to overhanging conglomerate matrix of metamorphosed sand and mud with inclusions of smooth, rounded cobbles of all sizes. The cobbles, and the holes they leave when they fall out of the matrix, form excellent holds that allow relatively moderate climbing for such steep rock. Fully overhanging routes can be below 5.11, and anything less than vertical will probably clock in at 5.8 or below. All routes are sport bolted, so you can concentrate on the climbing instead of the protection. Text copied from Gary Clark's online guide.
El Rito is located about 50 miles north of Santa Fe (please see a road map to find El Rito). From the east end of the village, turn north on Forest Road 44 (dirt). Drive 3.75 miles from the pavement, and park to the left just after the sign "Cañada del Potrero." Camping is available at several locations up this spur road, which ends in about a half-mile. Now walk across the road to a trail paralleling it headed south. The trail crosses a bridge, then turns south up the sidehill to the crags. (~15 min.)
The primary parking area is relatively small. Please park head-in and save space for other vehicles.
Gary Clark created free PDF guides for the El Rito sport and trad climbing areas. Gary has moved away from New Mexico and Jason Halladay has adopted the guide updates. The most recent update is from 2017 but is still quite valuable and helpful for navigating the areas.
Pack Out Your Used Toilet Paper (Leave No Trace ethics)
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