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Areas in The Tunnel

Shady Side 1 / 41 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 42
Sunny Side 0 / 19 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 19
Elevation: 6,500 ft
GPS: 32.946, -105.86 Google Map · Climbing Map
Shared By: Monomaniac on Feb 6, 2007 with updates
Admins: Aaron Hobson, Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Marta Reece, Drew Chojnowski
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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.

61 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
Runaway Truck
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Warm Up
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
The Dig
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Bandit
Sport
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
El Nino
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Jump Start
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Scott
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
The Arete
Sport
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Heat Stroke Straight Up
Sport
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
Julie
Sport
5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b
Gluttony
Sport
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c
Jerk Off
Sport
5.13- 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E7 6c
Rebecca
Sport
5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c
Down in a Hole
Sport
5.13c 8a+ 30 X- 31 E7 7a
Big Bad Love (a.k.a. Bill)
Sport
Runaway Truck Shady Side > Far Side Right 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Warm Up Shady Side > Mid-Town 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
The Dig Sunny Side > Dig 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Bandit Shady Side > Shady Side Left 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
El Nino Shady Side > Mid-Town 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
Jump Start Sunny Side > Sunny Side (Right End) 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Scott Shady Side > Shady Side Left 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
The Arete Shady Side > Mid-Town 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Heat Stroke Straight Up Sunny Side > Sunny Side (Right End) 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Sport
Julie Shady Side > Shady Side Left 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b Sport
Gluttony Sunny Side > Dig 5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b Sport
Jerk Off Shady Side > Shady Side Left 5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c Sport
Rebecca Shady Side > Shady Side Left 5.13- 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E7 6c Sport
Down in a Hole Sunny Side > Dig 5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c Sport
Big Bad Love (a.k.a. Bill) Shady Side > Shady Side Left 5.13c 8a+ 30 X- 31 E7 7a Sport
More Classic Climbs in The Tunnel »

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Corona  
Does anyone know how well trafficked this area is? I will be visiting Cloudcroft in October for a week for work, and want to know if there is any chance of hooking up with other parties. Sep 19, 2017
Can someone tell me where there is some reasonably decent camping without ATV's and loud partiers somewhat close to The Tunnel? All it has to be is a flat spot to prepare meals and sleep. No amentities required. Thanks Oct 1, 2013
Dan Carter
Las Cruces, NM
Dan Carter   Las Cruces, NM
Just saw this about some new, hard routes put up at the Tunnel this year.

lasportiva.com/news_approfo… Sep 24, 2012
Dan Carter
Las Cruces, NM
Dan Carter   Las Cruces, NM
The parking lot (that has been under construction most of the year) next to the tunnel is now open. Oct 27, 2008
I dont know if this is the right place to ask, but here it goes. Does anyone know if the tunnel has been reopened. we climbed out there a few weeks ago, we didn't see any signs posted and were completely unaware that it was closed. we're planning on heading out again this upcomming weekend, but if it's still closed we'll have to go elswhere.

thanks for any info Oct 15, 2008
Nearly all FAs at the Tunnel are courtesy of John Hymer. Some of the harder routes are courtesy of Chris Grijalva and Lance Hadfield. Mar 28, 2007
426
426  
Glad someone is adding this type of stuff...thx Mar 19, 2007

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