El Rito Traditional Area Rock Climbing
|GPS:||36.416, -106.198 Google Map · Climbing Area Map|
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|Shared By:||Anthony Stout on Jan 20, 2006 with 4 Suggestions|
|Admins:||Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Marta Reece, Drew Chojnowski|
On July 1, 2020, the New Mexico state governor issued an executive order (cv.nmhealth.org/wp-content/…) requiring all visitors from out of state to self-isolate or self-quarantine for a period of at least 14 days from the date of their entry into the State of New Mexico or for the duration of their presence in the State, whichever is shorter. The terms "self-isolate" or "self-quarantine" refer the voluntary physical separation of a person or group of people in a residence or other place of lodging. Any person who is self-isolating or self-quarantining may only leave a residence or place of lodging to receive medical care and should not allow others into the residence or place of lodging except for those providing medical care, emergency response, or other individuals designated by the New Mexico Department of Health.
The executive order also closes all New Mexico State Parks to non-NM residents.
This Executive Order shall take effect on July 1, 2020 and shall remain in effect through the duration of the public health emergency declared in Executive Order 2020-004 and any extensions of that emergency declaration or until it is rescinded.
Additionally, NM state guidance requires all persons to wear a mask anytime they are out in public, including outdoor recreation areas.
Its attributes include: lack of crowding, good access, interesting and solid rock, generally good protection, and that very rare commodity: high quality climbs at moderate difficulty levels. This is the perfect spot for a beginning climber to learn multi-pitch technique, with plenty of exposure to motivate mastering the art of placing protection. These are the "El Rito Trad" cliffs. (text copied from Gary Clark's online guide: lamountaineers.org/Elrito/t… )
See Gary Clark's online PDF guide for route details and an excellent topo.
There are two spots for camping at the parking area with established fire rings. 3G cell service with Verizon at parking & base of the rock.
GOOGLE MAP DIRECTIONS FROM HIGHWAY 84: goo.gl/maps/Er17AeteGQ6pJPp79
At the NE end of El Rito, Highway 554 makes a 90 degree turn, turning SW or SE depending on your direction of travel. Forest Service 44 (FR44) continues off the pavement to the NE at this point. Zero your odometer and head up FR44.
Mile 1.2: Ignore the left turn onto FR248. Stay right.
Mile 3.7: Keep going straight on FR44, ignoring the left turn onto FR44A. At this junction is a parking area and some primitive camping near the trailhead for the El Rito Sport Area. Keep going straight on FR44.
Mile 4.3: Drop down to the left road - FR44B, which is significantly less substantial and probably unmarked. After this, you'll likely appreciate having high clearance and maybe four-wheel drive. Even so, with dry conditions and care, front-wheel drive vehicles with some clearance can typically drive FR44B.
In wet conditions or without a high-clearance vehicle, park as soon as practical on FR44B and hike the remaining ~1 mile of the road.
Mile 5.2: Do not pass through the gate indicating private property. Instead, turn into a hilly "parking lot" just before the gate on the right.
HIKING TO THE WALL:
Look for a cairn marking the trail just after the fire ring at the SE end of the parking area. The trad wall is roughly a quarter mile up a good trail. You can see the wall through the trees.
DESCENT OFF THE TOP TO THE NORTH:
Do not descend into the steep rocky gully at the north end of the wall! Instead, do the work to find the descend trail which will get you back down to the bottom via a very easy trail that skirts the rock at the north end of the formation. The best way to find this trail is to head straight up to the top of the ridge, then start looking for cairns on the ridge itself or a just a bit down on the east side. Follow the cairns north past the steep gully and continue all the way down and around back to the fallen tree which crosses the main trail coming from the parking lot. Take a left at the fallen tree to get to the base of the wall or right to get back to the parking lot. If you end up in the steep gully by mistake, head up the gully and look for the cairns marking the descend trail.
DESCENT OFF THE TOP TO THE SOUTH:
From the top of the ridge, follow the cairns south. You'll descend into a steep gully that comes out immediately south of the Cave Woman route. There are several areas that require down climbing.
Classic Climbing Routes at El Rito Traditional Area
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