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Routes in Jemez Cave (a.k.a. Crystal Cave) - CLOSED

Botox S 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Dope S 5.13a/b 8a 29 IX+ 29 E7 6c
Faith S 5.13 8a 29 X- 30 E7 6c
Leper S 5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c
Leprosy S 5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Minutia S 5.12+ 7c 28 IX 27 E6 6b
New 1 S 5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Rosebudd S 5.13c 8a+ 30 X- 31 E7 7a
Soul Crusher S 5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c
Unknown S 5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c PG13
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Elevation: 6,551 ft
GPS: 35.792, -106.687 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 11,401 total · 77/month
Shared By: Anthony Stout on Aug 6, 2006
Admins: Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Marta Reece, Drew Chojnowski
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Access Issue: Closed Permanently for Sensitive Archaeological Resources Details



The Santa Fe National Forest issued a closure order for Jemez (aka Crystal) Cave on August 21st, 2012. The closure applies to all users and is in effect until rescinded or for one year and includes the cave and surrounding area within 50 feet as well as the access trails. They plan on fencing and posting the area next week. Violations are punishable by fines of up to $5000 and/or imprisonment of up to 6 months.

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This crazy place is made up of a mineral called travertine, a mineral deposit from hot springs. It has a feel of limestone with multiple pockets.

The routes here are difficult, all overhanging as they travel through the cave. Not only are they difficult to climb, we found them quite difficult to find! Typically you are lowered off single chains from the roof of the cave, and left wondering what route you did! There were many that were described in the guidebook "Jemez Rock", and we could not even figure out which was which. So, be warned, fun and difficult climbing with confusing route finding!

Please leave the biners on the chains for lowering!

Closure Order

From the closure order at… :

Pursuant to 16 USC 551 and Title 36 CFR 261.50 (a) and (b), the following acts are prohibited within the area as
described in this Order (the " restricted area") and as depicted on the attached map, hereby incorporated into this
Order as Exhibit A, within the Jemez Ranger District, Santa Fe National Forest, Sandoval County within the State
of New Mexico.
1. Going into or being upon the Jemez Cave, the area surrounding the cave, and/or the user-created trails
leading to the cave. 36 CFR 261.53(c), 36 CFR 261.53(d), 36 CFR 261.53(e) and 36 CFR 261.53(f).
Pursuant to 36 CFR § 261.50 ( e ), the following persons are exempt from this Order:
1. Persons with a Forest Service permit specifically authorizing the otherwise prohibited act or omission.
2. Any Federal, State, or local officer, or member of an organized rescue or firefighting force in the
performance of an official duty.
3. Persons employed by the Jemez Mountain Electric Cooperative conducting routine maintenance activities
on existing utility power lines and poles.
The restricted area is described as Jemez Cave and the area surrounding the cave, extending 50 feet upslope from
the roof of cave, extending 50 feet on either side of the mouth of the cave, extending down slope to New Mexico
Highway 4 Right-of-Way, and including all access trails leading to the cave. The restricted area does not include
the unimproved parking area immediately adjacent to the highway Right-of-Way.
The purpose of this Order is to provide short term natural and cultural resource protection for the Jemez Cave and
to protect public safety and welfare until current damages to natural and cultural resources can be assessed and a
long-term management strategy developed.
1. This Order will be in effect when signed and shall remain in effect until May l, 2019, or until rescinded,
whichever occurs first.
2. Any violation of this prohibition is punishable as a Class B misdemeanor by a fine of not more than $5,000
for individuals and $10,000 for organizations and/or imprisonment for not more than six months, or both.
[Title 16 USC 551, Title 18 USC 3559, 3571, and 3581.]
3. This Order supersedes any previoiz orders pro ibiting; the same acts covered by this Order.

Getting There

Follow the directions to the Jemez Valley, and continue up highway 4. About one mile beyond the town of Jemez springs is the Soda Dam. Once you see the Soda Dam, continue to drive just past by some guardrails and park in the left side parking lot. Follow a trail going up the left side of the canyon, directly across from the Soda Dam, for 2-3 minutes and you will run into the cave.

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Classic Climbing Routes at Jemez Cave (a.k.a. Crystal Cave) - CLOSED

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
New 1
5.12+ 7c 28 IX 27 E6 6b
5.13a/b 8a 29 IX+ 29 E7 6c
5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c
5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c
Soul Crusher
5.13 8a 29 X- 30 E7 6c
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
New 1
5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
5.12+ 7c 28 IX 27 E6 6b Sport
5.13a/b 8a 29 IX+ 29 E7 6c Sport
5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c Sport
Soul Crusher
5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c Sport
5.13 8a 29 X- 30 E7 6c Sport
More Classic Climbs in Jemez Cave (a.k.a. Crystal Cave) - CLOSED »

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lance hadfield
lance hadfield   tijeras
it sucks that the descriptions of my climbs were pulled so Marc and Timmy could bolt some variations to train on and not just give updated descriptions. Mar 17, 2010
LeeAB Brinckerhoff   ABQ, NM  
I've added some photo topos with names of routes that I've been on and resubmitted the routes that I've done.

Please feel free to chime in with names of the new routes that I've just listed as "New #?" for the time being. Jun 3, 2010
Anthony Stout
Albuquerque, NM
Anthony Stout   Albuquerque, NM  
George is right. Removing the route descriptions was done because, from the information I received from Marc, the changes that had been made in the cave made these descriptions obsolete. Removal was not intended to offend anyone. I apologize if it did. Jun 11, 2010
while tightening the 4th and 5th nuts on Dope that like to loosen themselves, we discovered that the entire bolts are loose and can be moved up and down. May 7, 2012
Nice job Bryan. Removing the fixed hardware sounds like a great gesture. Jun 8, 2012
I hope this "temporary archaeological assessment closure" turns out to be a lot less permanent than the ones here in the Red River Gorge. Best of luck with the process! Aug 16, 2012

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