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Fire Wall and Upper Tier

New Mexico > Taos Area > Comales Canyon

Description

This is a nice west facing wall that sits directly above Water Wall, the other sections of the Upper Tier are down stream from Fire Wall. Fire Wall itself catches tons of afternoon sun as there is a lack of living trees on the bench above Water Wall, but the routes to the left do have some big trees that provide shade once the sun comes around. The routes up here are mostly if not all sport climbs, there are about 12-15 routes on Fire Wall, a few on the next wall left and Family Man on a further section of wall.

Getting There

From the upper parking area hike up the main trail for about 5 minutes. Turn left off the main trail 100 feet past a log crossing the creek (look for cairns). If you hit Water Wall you've gone just a little too far.  The steep trail climbs up around the left end of Water Wall and reaches the smaller formation with Nicole's Corner.  Go right for Fire Wall, left for Tim's Thumb (Family Man, etc.)

Routes from Left to Right

5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 16
Fun for the Whole Family
Sport
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 21
It Takes a Village to Raise a Route
Sport
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 5
Summer Solstice
Sport
5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII 25 E4 6a
 6
Father's Day
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 22
Family Man
Sport
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
 3
The Black Sheep
Sport
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 12
Aaron's Route
Sport
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
 16
Nicole's Corner
Sport
5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 12
Shadow Caster
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 14
E-Z Rider
Sport
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13
 5
Dennis Hopper Memorial Route
Trad
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 26
In Descent
Sport
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 13
Stella's Groove
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 10
The Anvil
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 7
Hammer Time
Sport
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
 5
Fiyo
Sport
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
 1
Up In Smoke
Sport
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
 6
Still Smokin
Sport
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
 15
Reignite
Sport
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 22
Burnt
Sport
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
 11
Toast
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 26
Fire Walker
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 18
The Egg
Sport
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 27
Prescribed Burn
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 22
Kindling
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Fun for the Whole Family
 16
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
It Takes a Village to Raise…
 21
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Summer Solstice
 5
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
Father's Day
 6
5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII 25 E4 6a Sport
Family Man
 22
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
The Black Sheep
 3
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c Sport
Aaron's Route
 12
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
Nicole's Corner
 16
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Sport
Shadow Caster
 12
5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
E-Z Rider
 14
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Dennis Hopper Memorial Route
 5
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13 Trad
In Descent
 26
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Stella's Groove
 13
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Sport
The Anvil
 10
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Hammer Time
 7
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Fiyo
 5
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a Sport
Up In Smoke
 1
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a Sport
Still Smokin
 6
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Sport
Reignite
 15
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a Sport
Burnt
 22
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
Toast
 11
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a Sport
Fire Walker
 26
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
The Egg
 18
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Prescribed Burn
 27
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Kindling
 22
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

the right crag of the fire wall
[Hide Photo] the right crag of the fire wall
Unlisted route left of “Aaron’s Route”
[Hide Photo] Unlisted route left of “Aaron’s Route”
Dan Greenwald cranking the first ascent of Fathers Day
[Hide Photo] Dan Greenwald cranking the first ascent of Fathers Day

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

[Hide Comment] Beta from CLIMBING MAGAZINE March 2011
Comale Upper Walls
 
Tim’s Thumb – Furthest north formation with pointy summit.

Family Day  5.12a  ***  Climbs steep orange face behind big tree to black arête above.  FA: Tim Naylor, Jay Foley, Donna and Milan.
 
The Block  - Middle formation, routes listed left to right.
 
Aaron’s Route  5.8  **  Start on right side of dead tree and after 4th bolt angle up left and over bulge to left facing corner.  5 bolts.  FA: Gina Hawryluk, Dan Greenwald.
 
Nicole’s Corner  5.10a  ***  Start 10 feet right of dead tree.  Crux move is right off the ground and can be protected with small gear or avoided by starting by dead tree and traversing to first bolt, which keeps the route at 5.9.  6 bolts.  FA:  Nicole Heckmann, Dan Greenwald.
 
Shadow Caster  5.10c  **  Start by large tree on left side of roofs and climb over two roofs.  In the shade all day!  5 bolts.  FA: Scott Resnick, Dan Greenwald.
 
Fire Wall – Large formation above lower walls, routes listed left to right.
 
​E-Z Rider  5.10a  ** Left most route on fire wall.  Starts 20 feet left of  DHMR.  
​High first bolt that is easily reached from left side.  5 bolts.  FA: Tim Naylor, Jay Foley.
 
Dennis Hopper Memorial Route  5.8 PG13 **  Starts 8 feet left of In Descent.  A bolted bouldery start leads to a ledge and nice double crack system capped by a small roof above.  Exit left here and then continue up crack above.   Gear – 2 bolts plus tiny wires, small cams, and three #3 camalots.  FA: Jay Foley, Tim Naylor.
 
5.12a TR  Top rope face in between DHMR and In Decent via In Decent’s anchor.
 
In Decent  5.9  ***  Start 8 feet right of DHMR.  For 5.9 grade stay right of bolts as the route steepens about halfway or stay left here and earn 5.10d.  8 bolts.  FA: Jay Foley, Carlos Abeyta, Vali Valus.
 
The Anvil  5.11a  ***  Start 15 feet left of leftmost black streak (Fiyo).  Climb up over bulge and then up to “hanging” anvil.  6 bolts.  FA: Dan Greenwald, Gina Hawryluk.
 
Fiyo (aka Catch a Fire)  5.11d  ***  Climbs left most black streak.  A bouldery start leads to easier but STEEP climbing above.  5 bolts.  FA: Kevin Ormerod, Jay Foley.
 
Still Smokin’  5.10d  **  Starts  by dead tree and just left of Reignite and climbs up over bulges.  6 bolts.  FA: Dan Greenwald, Gina Hawryluk.
 
Reignite  5.11d  ***  Climbs left side of middle black streak.  7 bolts.  FA: Dan Greenwald, Jay Foley, Kevin Ormerod.
 
Burnt  5.11c  ****  Climbs right side of middle black streak.  8 bolts.  FA: Cliff Reed, Jay Foley.
 
Toast  5.11d  ***  Follow blonde streak left of right most black streak.  7 bolts.  FA: Jay Foley.
 
Fire Walker  5.11b  ***  Climb right side of right most black streak.  7 bolts.  FA: Spike Lynch, Jay Foley, Dan Greenwald.
 
The Egg  5.11a  **  Climb right of right most black streak over several roofs.  8 bolts.  FA: Dan Greenwald, Gina Hawryluk.
 
Prescribed Burn  5.10b  **  Climb left side of pillar to beautiful face.  7 bolts.  FA: Dan Greenwald, Jay Foley.
 
Kindling  5.10a  *  Climb up steep face to bulge half way up and step left and then back right over bulge and then continue up and right to anchors.  7 bolts.  FA: Dan Greenwald, Gina Hawryluk. Feb 11, 2011
[Hide Comment] Thanks for all the excellent routes here, well thought out clips, nice and clean, just a great little crag. Feb 12, 2011
Chris Wallwork
Albuquerque, NM
[Hide Comment] Name of route under Dennis Hopper Memorial Route is Hopper’s Face (the 5.12a*) Aug 27, 2012
[Hide Comment] I left some gear here a couple of weeks ago--cams and aliens, so if someone finds them, I'd be MOST appreciative! Oct 26, 2012
[Hide Comment] There’s a route here that’s not listed, just to the left of Aaron’s Route. It’s short - 3 bolts to chains - and my group guessed it’d be somewhere around 5.5 or 5.6. It would make a great first lead. I’ve posted a picture for those interested. Thanks to all the developers for a great crag. Jul 5, 2018
Tim Greenwood
Denver, CO
[Hide Comment] Mountain project is pretty accurate for this crag, except for on the right rock face of this crag (theres a left and a right), there is an unlisted route. It is in between the 5.11a "fiyo" and the 5.10d "still smokin". Fiyo is in the middle of the black streak and still smokin is not in the black streak. There is a route that is flirting with the right side of the black streak. The rest of the crag is awesome. Well bolted and well anchored. Oct 7, 2018
Alec Orenstein
Gallup, NM
[Hide Comment] OOPS! I accidentally left a bluetooth speaker at the base of In Descent. (Don't judge! We were 100% alone at the crag, and the music was good, and not loud.) If anyone sees it, could you message me? Thanks! Aug 8, 2019