Questa Dome Rock Climbing
|GPS:||36.795, -105.535 Google Map · Climbing Area Map|
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|Shared By:||George Perkins on Jun 17, 2007|
|Admins:||Mike Howard, Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Marta Reece, Drew Chojnowski|
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DescriptionQuesta Dome proper is the centerpiece of multi-pitch climbing in the Taos area, with ~5 pitch routes on beautiful white granite. The climbs here range from 5.10-5.12, and have quality crack/slab climbing in the same style as parts of the S. Platte and the Organs. Questa Dome has a deserved reputation for runout/scary slabs, but it is so much more varied than just that! Most climbs follow cracks or seams for much of their length with slab/thin-face sections linking these features. Most climbs in the center of the Dome tackle the intimidating roof that looms at the 350' level. And above the roof- well you'll just have to find out what's up there! Questa also has a (perhaps out-of-date) reputation for old bolts- some climbs have been updated, some haven't- check route descriptions.
Season: May through October, typically. The cliff gets a lot of sun, and can be hot on summer days, or warm enough in spring or fall if it's not windy.
Descent: Top out the dome, scramble up the ridge a little ways, and walk-off to the east, down a faint trail and contour back to the base of the dome. If you have to bail from any of these, you'll need 2 ropes or will need to leave gear and build intermediate stations.
A guidebook or at least a topo is recommended. 'Taos Rock' and 'Rock Climbing: New Mexico' are both excellent guides to the area, and both include the best climbs. 'Taos Rock' includes 2 or 3 more routes that aren't in RC:NM. There are some lines/variations that are not in any guidebook.
Wilderness Area Details
"Climbers or others may not use power drills to place permanent fixed anchors". The BLM has the authority to manage climbing activities in Wilderness Areas. Although climbing generally does not require an authorization permit, BLM may require a permit for climbing and activities associated with climbing on public lands. As established by the Wilderness Act and the BLMs regulations on management of designated Wilderness Areas found in 43 CFR 6302blm.gov/nv/st/en/fo/ely_fie…, climbers or others may not use power drills to place permanent fixed anchors in non-emergency situations. Climbers may use hand-powered drills to place permanent fixed anchors. Appendix 1 lists some of the relevant BLM authorities that apply to climbing in Wilderness Areas.
Getting ThereFrom Taos: Take NM 522 north past the village of Questa. 6 miles past Questa take a right at a sign to El Rito. Go just under a mile to where the road turns (at a house) to dirt. Veer right and then climb up the steep road for just under a mile farther. High clearance is helpful (or add about 0.5 miles of walking on the road). At the T-junction, go right, and continue for 0.2 miles to a small parking lot and trailhead on the left.
The trailhead is an ok place to camp.
The trail climbs through the pine forest and soon meets a beautiful creek. In early season, the trail may be flooded by the creek in some places, but should not be a problem. As the trail gets steeper, the dome is obvious on the left. Stay on the trail until about level with the base, then traverse left to the base of the rock. This will take 45 minutes or so.
Classic Climbing Routes at Questa Dome
Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season