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Routes in The Legs

Bear Mountain Picnic Massacre (Original 5.8) T 5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c
Full Repertoire, The T 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
No Questa About It T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a


The Legs (also called the Nutcracker) is a smaller formation left of the main Questa Dome, and is the 2nd biggest rock in the area. It is home to a nice popular 3-pitch 5.8 route, with a 5.10 variation. This formation is a good choice for a first visit to this area.

These climbs are described in full in J.Foley's "Taos Rock" guidebook.

2 ropes are required for the standard rappel descent.

There is also potential for find-your-own adventure climbs in the 5.5-5.8 range up the low-angle crack systems right of the Legs, yet left of Questa Dome proper.

Getting There

Take the main trail up from the parking area (30 minutes or so). To get to "the Legs" formation, head up on a faint cairned trail at the first place the trail meets the boulderfield. This is still 10 or 15 minutes before you reach the main Questa Dome.

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Classic Climbing Routes at The Legs

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c
Bear Mountain Picnic Massacre (Origin…
Trad 3 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Bear Mountain Picnic Massac… 5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c Trad 3 pitches
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Owen Summerscales
Los Alamos, NM
Owen Summerscales   Los Alamos, NM
There are about 5 or 6 routes on the legs I think. See the following link for descriptions of:…

New Again 5.7 *** Start at southern nose of the legs (aka nutcracker) next to two large dead trees and just left of the large right facing corner. P1 Climb up short steep crack to a wide crack and follow the wide crack left of the arête. Belay at second tree. P2 Climb on the right side of the tree, crux, and then up the wide crack to the Pinon tree. Note: P1 and P2 can be combined with a 60m rope but is not recommended. P3 Climb up to the right facing and right angling corner and continue until it meets the left facing Great White Corner. Climb the corner up to it’s end and belay. P4 Climb the slab angling up and right till a finger/hand crack appears on your left (about 40 ft). Climb crack up to ledge and then continue up a run out but easy face to a summit about 30 ft right of the top anchor for Bear Mountain Picnic Massacre. Descend by traversing to BMPM and rap twice with two 60m ropes. Standard rack up to 5”. FA: ?

Ro Sham Bo 5.10b PG-13 * This route is on the far east side of the legs and climbs the splitter crack after the small roof on the clean south face. P1 Start right of dark corner and climb broken cracks to belay below roof. Two #2 camalots needed for belay. 5.8PG-13. P2 Climb over roof, crux, and continue up the offwidth crack till it it is possible to exit right. Descent: Traverse right to gulley and rap from tree with sling. 60m rope needed. Rack: Standard rack to 5”. FA: Scott Resnick, Dan Greenwald.

The Paw (aka triple crack area)
Approach: From the southern nose, skirt up and along the east side for about 200ft to a cleared ledge just above a ledge loaded with wooden debris. Belay from cleared ledge. Climb up easy slab past two trees to a short steep section (5.7) and then continue up the right facing corner system. After 40ft, climb a short finger crack (5.7) on left up to ledge with bolted anchor directly below the Offwith Crack. For the other routes, lower down and left for 20ft to a cleared ledge. Desent: Rap down and right toward right facing corner from the anchor.

The Block Crack 5.11a/b *** From the lower ledge, climb up slab to the crack on the east face with a large block. Crux is moving past block. Lower from 2 bolt anchor. Rack: Strandard rack. FA: Dan Greenwald, Gina Hawryluk.

Corner Hand Crack 5.10d *** From the lower ledge, climb the obvious corner. After the lip, clip bolt to reduce rope drag and belay at ledge with 2 bolt anchor shared with the Offwidth Crack. Rack: Extra hand and thin hand. FA: Dan Greenwald, Gina Hawryluk.

The Offwidth Crack 5.10 ** From the bolted belay ledge, climb the slab up and left of crack bypassing overhang. Then traverse right to the crack and continue up passing a bolt and then up and left to bolted belay. Rack: Red Alien to protect traverse and Camalots from #1 to #5. FA: Dan Greenwald, Gina Hawryluk. Jan 16, 2013

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