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The Castle

New Mexico > Albuquerque Area > Sandia Mountains > Chimney Canyon

Description

The Castle is a prominent rib off of the ridge that separates the Chimney Canyon complex from Mummy Canyon. The smooth face with two prominent cracks is obvious from the La Luz trail.

Getting There

The Castle forms the right (west) side of the El Tecolote descent gully. Tecolote forms the far North end of Muralla Grande. Tips: Take the Muralla Grande trail down about four switchbacks. From the North point of the 4th switchback (35.21412, -106.45502), go another 100 feet and head straight down hill. Look for a ridge that has a field of small aspens on the left (south) side and pines on the right. The field/meadow comes to a rock point/platform with a view. Go straight down the rocky ridge until you are forced to the right side of the ridge--this really fun ridge scrambling so don't bail off the ridge until you need to (maybe 500 feet down). Stay close to the rocks on the right side of the ridge until you hit the saddle between Tecolote and the Castle. You should be able to see the Mummy formation to the north when you are walking down. Approach time to here is ~35 minutes from the car. The Castle is the obvious detached fin that forms the right side of the gully.

Routes from Left to Right

5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
 2
Upper South Ridge
Trad, Alpine 5 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 4
Crujida de la Reina
Trad, Alpine 2 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a A1
 0
Crujida Puta
Trad, Aid, Alpine 2 pitches
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 2
Crujida Fria
Trad, Alpine 5 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Upper South Ridge
 2
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b Trad, Alpine 5 pitches
Crujida de la Reina
 4
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad, Alpine 2 pitches
Crujida Puta
 0
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a A1 Trad, Aid, Alpine 2 pitches
Crujida Fria
 2
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Trad, Alpine 5 pitches

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Lower face of the Castle.
[Hide Photo] Lower face of the Castle.
Looking up from the base. Fria climbs straight up the prominent crack on the right. Puta P1 goes to the belay 120 feet up,then left to the small tree and then up.
[Hide Photo] Looking up from the base. Fria climbs straight up the prominent crack on the right. Puta P1 goes to the belay 120 feet up,then left to the small tree and then up.
Close up of the upper face at the base of the formation.
[Hide Photo] Close up of the upper face at the base of the formation.
The Castle. The lower half of the face (including all of Crujida Puta) is hidden by a ridge. Rap in from the shoulder for the easiest approach.
[Hide Photo] The Castle. The lower half of the face (including all of Crujida Puta) is hidden by a ridge. Rap in from the shoulder for the easiest approach.
The strikingly narrow, but memorably grand summit of the Castle.
[Hide Photo] The strikingly narrow, but memorably grand summit of the Castle.
Rapping in to the base is the fastest way. From about half way down the descent gully, do a few moves of 5.6 to the obvious shoulder on the Castle. The rap is 35M. A single 60 meter rope won't do it.
[Hide Photo] Rapping in to the base is the fastest way. From about half way down the descent gully, do a few moves of 5.6 to the obvious shoulder on the Castle. The rap is 35M. A single 60 meter rope won't do it.
About half way down the gully, look for the obvious bench on the Castle ridge. Bust right about where the tree is in this photos. A few 5.6 moves get you to the ridge where you can rap in to the base of the formation with a single 70m rope. The rap is 35M exactly to a great ledge.
[Hide Photo] About half way down the gully, look for the obvious bench on the Castle ridge. Bust right about where the tree is in this photos. A few 5.6 moves get you to the ridge where you can rap in to the ba…

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

George Perkins
The Dungeon, NM
[Hide Comment] From the Tecolote-Castle gully, you can rap in from the shoulder (recommend, see posted photos, 1 35m rap off fixed anchors, maybe bring tat since no one goes here) to get to the Crujida climbs. Or hike farther down around and climb a poorly protected, somewhat bushy 5.2 pitch.
If you're worried about getting lost trying to figure out the Tecolote approach down the ridge that separates Mummy Canyon from Chimney Canyon, you could also go down Chimney Canyon past Muralla and hike up to the base, but it would be longer. Mar 4, 2018