Elevation: 6,500 ft
GPS: 32.946, -105.86 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 71,390 total · 430/month
Shared By: Monomaniac on Feb 6, 2007 with 1 Suggestions
Admins: Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Marta Reece, Drew Chojnowski
Access Issue: COVID-19 New Mexico State Requirements Details

Description

The Tunnel provides high-grade sport climbing on generally mediocre limestone, in a beautiful desert setting. This crag has been popular among Alamogordo locals for decades, but has only recently caught the attention of the general populace. Grades range from 5.7 to 5.14d, however, don't expect to enjoy the climbing unless you climb at least 5.11c. The crag really excels in the 5.12+ - 5.13 grades. With more than 15 routes 5.13 and harder, the Tunnel offers the highest concentration of hard climbing in the state.

Like many NM crags, the Tunnel is an acquired taste. Cliffs become covered in dust and grime after summer rains, and the lack of traffic ensures that almost all of the routes provide a "First Ascent" vibe each time you visit. It's common for projecting climbers to clean their objectives from rappel prior to attempting. Others complain of the repetitive nature of the crags slopey crimps, the ubiquitous cliff-base graffiti, or the noise pollution common to such road-side crags. However, if you can disregard these drawbacks, the Tunnel has a lot to offer.

The Tunnel is located entirely on Lincoln National Forest. Occasionally the forest closes due to fire danger, as in the late Spring/Summer of 2006. Additionally, as with any road-side crag, be extremely cautious not to knock rocks and debris onto the highway.

Note on Star-Ratings: For my own purposes, I've decided that 3 stars is the limit for this crag, due to the stank rock. So if I give a route here 3 stars, that's as good as it gets!

Getting There

The Tunnel is approximately 10 miles NE of Alamogordo on Highway 82. Begin just North of Alamogordo at the junction of highway 54 and 82. Head East on 82 for 7 miles. The road winds up into the mountains towards Cloudcroft, passing several small limestone cliffbands. About 5.5 miles up the road, a dirt road appears on the right (south) side of the road. There is ultra-ghetto free camping down this road. At about 7 miles a signed pullout appears on the left (N) side of the road, about 200 yards before the road enters a tunnel. There is only one tunnel on this road, so its pretty hard to get confused. Please park only in the official pullout on the north side of the highway. The "Sunny Side" crags are located to the North of the highway, and the "Shady Side" crags are on the South side of the highway.

78 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at The Tunnel

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 22
Runaway Truck
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 41
Warm Up
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 22
The Dig
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 34
Bandit
Sport
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 26
El Nino
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 20
Jump Start
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 21
Pillar of Pummel
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 37
Scott
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 20
The Arete
Sport
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
 14
Deep Stroke
Sport
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
 17
Julie
Sport
5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b
 11
Gluttony
Sport
5.13- 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E7 6c
 10
Rebecca
Sport
5.13c 8a+ 30 X- 31 E7 7a
 5
Big Bad Love (a.k.a. Bill)
Sport
5.13c 8a+ 30 X- 31 E7 7a
 3
Mulva de la Doloris
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Runaway Truck Shady Side > Far Side Right
 22
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Warm Up Shady Side > Mid-Town
 41
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
The Dig Sunny Side > Dig
 22
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Bandit Shady Side > Shady Side Left
 34
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
El Nino Shady Side > Mid-Town
 26
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
Jump Start Sunny Side > Sunny Side (Right End)
 20
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Pillar of Pummel Shady Side > Mid-Town
 21
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Scott Shady Side > Shady Side Left
 37
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
The Arete Shady Side > Mid-Town
 20
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Deep Stroke Sunny Side > Sunny Side (Right End)
 14
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Sport
Julie Shady Side > Shady Side Left
 17
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b Sport
Gluttony Sunny Side > Dig
 11
5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b Sport
Rebecca Shady Side > Shady Side Left
 10
5.13- 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E7 6c Sport
Big Bad Love (a.k.a. Bill) Shady Side > Shady Side Left
 5
5.13c 8a+ 30 X- 31 E7 7a Sport
Mulva de la Doloris Shady Side > Shady Side Left
 3
5.13c 8a+ 30 X- 31 E7 7a Sport
More Classic Climbs in The Tunnel »

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