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The Pulpit

New Mexico > Albuquerque Are… > Sandia Mountains > La Cueva Canyon, Upper

Description

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

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

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.

Routes from Left to Right

5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 31
The Cave Route
Trad, Alpine 4 pitches
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 5
Water Stains
Trad, Alpine 4 pitches
Easy 5th 1+ 3 I 5 M 1c PG13
 7
Southeast Ridge
Trad, Alpine 4 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
The Cave Route
 31
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad, Alpine 4 pitches
Water Stains
 5
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad, Alpine 4 pitches
Southeast Ridge
 7
Easy 5th 1+ 3 I 5 M 1c PG13 Trad, Alpine 4 pitches

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

The Pulpit from NW Ridge, The Thumb
[Hide Photo] The Pulpit from NW Ridge, The Thumb
The Pulpit - Rappel station from the rear face, which leads back to the La Luz trail.
[Hide Photo] The Pulpit - Rappel station from the rear face, which leads back to the La Luz trail.
The Castle from The Pulpit
[Hide Photo] The Castle from The Pulpit
The Pulpit
[Hide Photo] The Pulpit
A question about the route Poontang, regarding the protection on pitch 2:<br>
<br>
I'm guessing the bolts marked here are for the end of P2 of Poontang after the last traverse to the left.  Poontang is 5.10, grade III in Hill's guide.  These bolts are about 30 feet right of the bolts at the back of a huge ledge (end of pitch 2 for both Water Stains & Cave Route).<br>
<br>
For Poontang, Hill's guide states "<em>Several small pitons might be reassuring on the second pitch.</em>"  Anyone know whether that is still the case?
[Hide Photo] A question about the route Poontang, regarding the protection on pitch 2: I'm guessing the bolts marked here are for the end of P2 of Poontang after the last traverse to the left. Poontang is 5…
West face of The Pulpit as viewed from the southwest from La Luz Trail.  There is a large section of The Pulpit to the right of this photo.<br>
<br>
[Hide Photo] West face of The Pulpit as viewed from the southwest from La Luz Trail. There is a large section of The Pulpit to the right of this photo.
Overview of the Pulpit/Yataghan area from the La Luz Trail, approximately below the Thumb
[Hide Photo] Overview of the Pulpit/Yataghan area from the La Luz Trail, approximately below the Thumb
West Face of the Pulpit
[Hide Photo] West Face of the Pulpit

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

Bill Lawry
Albuquerque, NM
[Hide Comment] 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
longfeather
Albuqurque ,NM
[Hide Comment] 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