Elevation: 6,265 ft
GPS: 35.867, -106.202 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 17,170 total · 111/month
Shared By: George Perkins on Jan 29, 2008
Admins: Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Marta Reece, Drew Chojnowski
Access Issue: COVID-19 New Mexico State Requirements Details

Description

The "Y" is a narrow portion of lower Los Alamos Canyon with 45' climbs on both sides and an intermittent stream flowing through it. It is one of the better choices for basalt climbing in Los Alamos/White Rock in the summer, because the canyon is relatively peaceful and cool, though the south-facing wall is in the sun most of the day. You can seek out sun or shade as you desire- but most of the climbs are on the north (south-facing) side. The "Y" is more novice-friendly than many other areas in White Rock, but still contains enough interesting routes for those of all abilities.

It's a popular toproping area, though many of the climbs can be led. You'll need to bring gear to set anchors on most climbs.

What's that smell? That peaceful stream is effluent from the waste-treatment plant for Los Alamos (the town, not the lab). This area occasionally flash-floods, also.

There are many petroglyphs in this area. Please don't climb on them or right next to them, and certainly don't damage them or do other dumb things. Access has been closed in too many other areas in the southwest US for climbing too close to petroglyphs. There's 300+ other climbs in White Rock.  Some people appreciate these cultural resources and hikers sometimes come in this canyon just to see the rock carvings.

Getting There

The "Y" is just south of NM 502, a little bit east of the intersection of NM 502 and NM 4 (where the road forks to go to White Rock or Los Alamos). From the junction of 502 and 4, get going eastbound, and park on the shoulder where the first guardrail on the south side comes to an end (if you drop down past a water tank, you've gone way too far). Hike south 1 minute to the clifftop. The downclimb is 3rd class and is found by heading west along the cliff's edge.

23 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Y, The

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 11
Twin Cracks
Trad, TR
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b PG13
 13
Wisconsin
Trad, TR
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a X
 6
The Nose
TR
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Twin Cracks Y - S Side
 11
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad, TR
Wisconsin Y - N Side
 13
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b PG13 Trad, TR
The Nose Y - N Side
 6
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a X TR
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