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Elevation: 7,400 ft 2,256 m
GPS: 36.38908, -106.2346
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Shared By: Jason Halladay on Jul 27, 2014 · Updates
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Description Suggest change

The Little River Wall (LRW) area offers a tall, 100' foot wall situated right next to the El Rito River four miles northwest of El Rito, NM at an elevation of roughly 7,500'. In addition to the main wall, there are a few other shorter areas. The rock is conglomerate rock similar in nature to the other established sport climbing El Rito crag north of the town of El Rito. The conglomerate rock at the Little River Wall has some really good sections as well and many sections of lesser quality. Nonetheless, it has cleaned up nicely for long, enjoyable moderate sport climbs (60 meter rope mandatory!) That said, climbing development of the area only began in spring 2013 and, while most routes have seen numerous ascents, rock fall is still a strong possibility and it's imperative that belayers wear helmets and be attentive. Also, numerous rattlesnakes have been seen around the base of the walls so really pay attention when walking around.

ANCHOR INFORMATION
March 2024: With hardware provided by the American Safe Climbing Association (ASCA), the NM Mountain Club (with help from several NM climbers) completed a project to update anchors at Little River Wall with lowering hooks. All routes now have hardened steel lowering hardware installed. It's not advised to toprope through the lowering hardware. Both gates of the lowering hooks are oriented facing forward and do not ensure sufficient protection for toproping. Instead, build your own anchor with personal gear and have only the last person lower off the fixed lowering hardware. A special thank you to the climbers who came to help with this work! A donation to the ASCA helps fund future anchor upgrades.

The Layout Suggest change

There are five established areas at the LRW--The Main Wall, the Cobble Cave, Slope City (a.k.a. Pink Wall), the smaller Sideshow Attraction Wall and the region between Slope City (a.k.a. Pink Wall) and the Sideshow Attraction wall called Vaudeville. All walls face west so they're shady until around noon or 1:00pm. The cave is shady most all day. The walls and surrounding area are in the El Rito Ranger District of the Carson National Forest.

The setting of the LRW is what really makes the area a wonderful area to visit. The wall is tall with the El Rito River running right next to the base of the southern tip of the Main Wall. A huge, flat grassy meadow dotted with cottonwood trees at the base of the wall makes for an idyllic setting to lounge and lunch during a day of climbing. And with a flat, five minute hiking approach one can bring all the comforts they desire. Kids and dogs can play in the gently flowing river while others climb. It definitely is a special place.

All routes in the area were established beginning in spring 2013. The original guide document is still available online (last updated August 2015), if interested.

Getting There

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From the town of El Rito, NM, drive northwest on the paved NM Highway 110 for 3.8 miles where the road turns into a dirt road. Continue on the now dirt road (highway 110) for less than a quarter mile to a meadow with dispersed campsites on the right side of the road and a orange/white "Be Extra Careful with Fire" and "...for a healthy environment keep your forests green" sign. Look for this sign. Park here or continue another 25 yards to a small parking area on the left (west) side of the road. You will not be able to see the wall from the road as trees obscure the view! If you drive past the parking areas and arrive at the developed El Rito Campground, you've gone too far and need to turn back.

Map for accessing Little River Wall and an overview of the area.

From either of the parking areas, hike north along a small acequia towards the river. The short, flat approach trail is sometimes cairned and follows an old, faint road for a short bit before reaching the river. Cross the river and you're there. The wall will be obvious. In spring you may want sandals for the wet river crossing. However, upstream just a bit from the wall is a large downed Cottonwood tree over the river that makes for a convenient bridge. In summer and fall, the river is low enough to be crossed on large rocks in the river.

Google map driving directions from Highway 84: https://goo.gl/maps/biDBgPkDrczMcrpDA 

Camping

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The area is in the Carson National Forest. A few free, dispersed campsites can be found at the parking area meadow. 

Additional dispersed camp sites are located along the dirt road up beyond the crag parking

Pack Out Your Used Toilet Paper (Leave No Trace ethics)

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It is imperative climbers pack out their used toilet paper and trash. The steep, loose slopes behind the main wall make it more difficult to find a place to use the bathroom resulting in some very popular "poop spots." Unfortunately. there is a large amount of used toilet paper floating around these popular spots. This is gross and disrespectful to the area and other climbers. Do your part--put your used toilet paper (and poop for bonus points) in a baggie and take it home for disposal. Also, always pack out what trash you brought in. Bonus karma points for picking up trash left by disrespectful others.

36 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Little River Wall

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 34
Zero Gravity Plinko
Sport
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 37
Love Mongers for the Win
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 52
Joy-Poppin' with Bubble Gummers
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 97
Imitation Strawberry
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 41
Baby Disco Show
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 72
Bit by the Bit
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 40
Everybody Jae Chang Tonight
Sport
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 57
Busted by Dewey
Sport
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
 21
Chronostasis
Sport
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
 29
Bloody Turnip
Sport
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 13
Pickled Punks
Sport
5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
 50
Goiter Grabber
Sport
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 59
Pull the Mirrors Off Your Cadill…
Sport
5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 12
Slope-oke
Sport
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
 24
Broken Desire
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Zero Gravity Plinko Vaudeville
 34
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Sport
Love Mongers for the Win Main Wall
 37
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
Joy-Poppin' with Bubble Gum… Main Wall
 52
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Imitation Strawberry Main Wall
 97
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Baby Disco Show Main Wall
 41
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Bit by the Bit Main Wall
 72
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Everybody Jae Chang Tonight Main Wall
 40
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Busted by Dewey Main Wall
 57
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Chronostasis Main Wall
 21
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Bloody Turnip Main Wall
 29
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Pickled Punks Sideshow Attraction Wall
 13
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
Goiter Grabber Main Wall
 50
5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Sport
Pull the Mirrors Off Your C… Main Wall
 59
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
Slope-oke Slope City (a.k.a. Pi…
 12
5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
Broken Desire Cobble Cave
 24
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Sport
More Classic Climbs in Little River Wall »

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