Rio Arriba County (Brazos, San Juans) Rock Climbing
|GPS:||36.501, -106.48 Google Map · Climbing Area Map|
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|Shared By:||George Perkins on Nov 9, 2008|
|Admins:||Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Marta Reece, Drew Chojnowski|
For a long time, the Brazos Cliffs (New Mexico's biggest wall, exceeding 1500' in its highest section), were explored and the focal point of Los Alamos climbers. Los Alamos climbers have been epic-ing on these cliffs for years, as the LA Mountaineering Club had special access until recent years (as this group no longer has any sort of special access privileges). Nowadays, the Brazos Cliffs see much less traffic and remain truly wilderness adventure climbing.
In between these areas, the striking and scary looking sandstone spires of the Ghost Ranch area have been explored by Cam Burns and Mike Baker, at times using innovative aid climbing techniques. Many more spires of this nature no doubt remain to be climbed in this area and elsewhere in the region.
There is probably some ice climbing in the high country in the San Juans for those willing to hunt it down, but it's unlikely you'll find it publicly documented.
This region of New Mexico has a reputation for being rough, renegade, and scary. Many outsiders seem to be scared of interaction with locals, which may or not be not warranted.
Supplies Small markets can be found in El Rito, Abiquiu, and Chama. For a full supermarket, Espanola, Taos, Alamosa, or Pagosa Spgs are nearest, but the market in Chama is fairly good too.
Camping Nearly unlimited camping opportunities can be found on Carson National Forest Land. Be alert to not trespass on the Tierra Amarilla Land Grant area near the Brazos and to pay attention to other private property notices. A number of forest service/BLM campgrounds are around the area as well (none of them located really close to the crags).
Other activities The Rio Chama provides excellent rafting and fishing. Cliff jumping on one of the southern arms of Abiquiu Lake might seem like a good idea on hot days. Ghost Ranch is worth a visit.
Classic Climbing Routes at Rio Arriba County (Brazos, San Juans)
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