Description

From cracks to difficult sport, there is a wide variety of basalt climbing in and around the sleepy town of White Rock.


Different ethics apply regarding bolts and bolted anchors at the different crags; some are traditional only, while others have bolts and anchors. The local climbing community has had a number of open meetings and established this White Rock bolting agreement as a compromise for differing viewpoints and to allow for climbing of all styles at White Rock.

Season: Year-round, except during occasional winter storms. You'll want to find the sun in the winter and shade in the summer. Like everywhere in the SW, monsoon-style rainstorms are common in late afternoons in July and August.

Getting There

From I-25, head either north or south toward Santa Fe (depending on where you are coming from), and get onto highway 285/84 toward Los Alamos/Espanola. From Pojoaque head west on highway 502. Highway 502 will take you directly into the town of White Rock, follow the directions to each crag from there.

Other Resources:

Several Webguides to this area can be found at: lamountaineers.org/zLOCATE.…

"Jemez Rock" by M. Beverly is comprehensive.
"Rock Climbing: New Mexico" by D. Jackson has info on the most popular cliffs.

376 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at White Rock

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
 53
Princess Buttercup
Sport
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 50
R.O.U.S. (Rodents Of Unusual Size)
Sport
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 43
Headwall Crack Left
Trad, TR
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 52
The Fire Swamp
Sport
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 54
99 Red Balloons
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 43
Cholla Crack
Trad, TR
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 43
Beginner's Hand Jam
Trad, TR
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 36
Upper Kor's Crack
Trad, TR
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 69
Holy Wall
Sport, TR
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b PG13
 40
Cholla Wall
Trad, TR
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 41
Way Beyond Zebra
Sport, TR
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
 28
Wailing Banshees
Sport
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
 28
Thorazine Dream
Sport, TR
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 28
Face Off
Sport, TR
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 24
Monsterpiece Theatre
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Princess Buttercup Gallows Edge > Main Wall
 53
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Sport
R.O.U.S. (Rodents Of Unusua… Gallows Edge > Main Wall
 50
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Sport
Headwall Crack Left Overlook > South/E side
 43
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad, TR
The Fire Swamp Gallows Edge > Main Wall
 52
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
99 Red Balloons Gallows Edge > Main Wall
 54
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
Cholla Crack Overlook > South/E side
 43
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad, TR
Beginner's Hand Jam Playground
 43
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad, TR
Upper Kor's Crack Potrillo Cliffs
 36
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad, TR
Holy Wall Overlook > South/E side
 69
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport, TR
Cholla Wall Overlook > South/E side
 40
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b PG13 Trad, TR
Way Beyond Zebra Overlook > South/E side
 41
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport, TR
Wailing Banshees Below The Old New Place
 28
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c Sport
Thorazine Dream Overlook > South/E side
 28
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a Sport, TR
Face Off Overlook > South/E side
 28
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport, TR
Monsterpiece Theatre Below The Old New Place
 24
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
More Classic Climbs in White Rock »

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Randy Carmichael
Boulder, CO
Randy Carmichael   Boulder, CO
The on-line guide book is excellent, but I would encourage posting routes here too in order to get the climbing communities wisdom and perspective. May 4, 2006
Terry J. Miller
La Villita, NM
Terry J. Miller   La Villita, NM
I have been out of climbing for nearly twenty years and am now back. I have checked this site against Rock & Ice #40 and old printed guides. I am finding many grade changes and general bashing of those that developed these areas into "modern sport routes". Please stop. The rock never has cared and never will care. Just climb and pick up trash on the way out. May 6, 2012
tony m
frisco
tony m   frisco
Terry, that is good advise for any area. thank you. i have seen too many crags littered and just disrespected. we are supposed to be a GOOD example for others. Apr 7, 2013
I want to let anyone who intends to go climbing in the vicinity of Gallows Edge and the Old New Place to be aware of some idiots who throw rocks from the cliff above Gallows Edge at about 8:25 on June 25. My daughter and I had just finished climbing at Gallows Edge when a rock came flying and landed less than three feet from my head. We yelled at them, but the rocks kept coming. We called the police and they eventually left before the police arrived. Jun 26, 2013
Is this area still closed? Oct 2, 2018