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Routes in The Pulpit

Cave Route, The T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Southeast Ridge T Easy 5th 1+ 3 I 5 M 1c PG13
Water Stains T 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
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Access Issue: Seasonal Raptor Closure Details

Description [Edit]

The Pulpit is the lowest formation in "Upper La Cueva Canyon", and the first crag encountered when hiking up the La Luz Trail. Due to its distance from the Sandia Crest, this crag sees little action, and any ascent guarantees a long day.

This is a true spire that requires a rappel descent. One 60m rope is adequate if you don't mind a short, 2nd class scramble.

Getting There [Edit]

Approach from the Sandia Crest, down the La Luz trail. When the La Luz trail crosses to the North side of the Canyon, continue down for several hundred yards past the Frog. The trail will make a distinct trun to the north, at which point it traverses below the Lost Spectacle cliff. The next cliff north is the Pulpit. The La Luz then climbs over a subtle saddle. Depart the La Luz trail 20 yds north of this saddle, by scrambling up a faint climber's trail. Continue to the cliff base.

Sandia Select indicates its a wash approaching from the top or bottom. This may be true in terms of time (if you account for relative driving times), but is likely untrue in terms of hiking effort.


Descent information provided by Bill Lawry

From the summit, rapping east into the saddle behind The Pulpit is typically a double-rope rap followed by a hike / scramble initially heading north from the saddle. The rap anchor has included a chain around a boulder for at least the last 11 years (2015).

One can rap from the above anchor with one 70 meter rope. Just be sure it's hanging by its middle!

I also understand that downclimbing north from the summit (i.e., to the left if one is facing towards the mentioned saddle) leads to a couple of single-rope raps from trees. I have not gone this way.

3 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at The Pulpit

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
The Cave Route
Trad, Alpine 4 pitches
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Water Stains
Trad, Alpine 4 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
The Cave Route
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad, Alpine 4 pitches
Water Stains
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad, Alpine 4 pitches
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Weather Averages

Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season
Bill Lawry
New Mexico
Bill Lawry   New Mexico
Early in the year, The Pulpit becomes climbable long before La Luz Trail is clear of snow in Upper La Cueva Canyon - perhaps one reason to consider the 1 1/2 to 2 hour approach from below. Apr 6, 2008
Albuqurque ,NM
longfeather   Albuqurque ,NM
We just climbed a new var or so.

west face center ..find lower trash slings from old rap offs go direct two pitches keeping right of shredded slings or right of chossy red granite then climb slot with giant loose block. keep left of bolted belay ledge . climb straight up and clip a strange bolt . head direct up from there keeping right to summit finish on cool low angle crack . ( on start ood sport route potential to go thru red granite and climb arete)

noticed a fixed line on south side of west face couldn't understand its purpose but let it alone . Its easy terrain my dogs made it to the middle of the fixed line

I was a bit confused that day( calling pulpit Pear a formation at lumpy ridge (Age ) my guess 5.8- r ish . fun. probably not worth another try to get it better. The rap anchors on the back side should be removed and a modern rap route installed. I removed a mountain club anchor that was tight on a nice tree restricting its growth. thanks for the rings.

Also day of Bear Attack and thanks for not letting us drive to top (why we climbed off of busy La Luz) Hey you fat stupid sheriffs.. Kill the idiot car camping with food not the BEAR. many days in sandias overnight Hang food its urban wildreness in most areas.... Jul 17, 2010

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