Elevation: 6,059 ft
GPS: 35.805, -106.144 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 5,498 total · 412/month
Shared By: A Miller on Jun 22, 2020
Admins: Shirtless Mike, Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Marta Reece, Drew Chojnowski

Description

This crag is at the top of the grotto. It has stunning basalt and excellent technical climbing with exposure and views. It faces generally west with a little bit of north, so a good shady spot during morning sessions.

The Ojo sector is the first crag you will pass if taking the Mordor approach trail (preferred, see topo) and boasts an impressive collection of high quality 12- sport routes as well as a couple of worthy trad lines. It faces northwest, making it pleasantly shady for a longer period of the day than other parts of this wall. This was the crag that had the first 12- in the grotto, "Ojo", named from the iconic satellite dish feature in the middle of the eponymous route. The staging area here is comfortable, relaxing, with phenomenal views, and there is a good density of excellent climbing from that single spot, making it a little more attractive as a destination for the day.

The Evil Paradise Sector starts above the last route on the Grotto Left Wall, "Bedeviled" from a high nook that you could hike-scramble to if you are already climbing in the Grotto. From here, you will encounter some great classics including the moderate but wildly exposed Evil Paradise, the quality trad line "Bloody Sunday", and the hard testpiece "Lucifer's Hammer Drill" as well as some more technical face climbs like "Black Mass". Most of the belay stances at this sector are less than ideal, kinda scrappy, so prepare to look around a bit before you drop your packs and/or do the 3rd/4th class traverse to the base of the route. Also, if choosing this as a destination for the day, do consider approaching this sector from the Mordor trail as it will help to reduce the already accelerated erosion at the base of this wall (unfortunate, and worsening every year probably mostly due to climbers). If not, try to stick to the talus and not the erosion gullies as you hike up. Drop your packs somewhere away from the eroding mess.

Approaching the Top of the Grotto

This wall can be approached from two directions, either take the Grotto trail and hike all the way up to the end of the Left Wall, then begin scrambling a little, sticking to talus as much as possible (try hard to avoid the eroded trail by sticking right to the talus). Or the more elegant, preferred approach via the Mordor trail that starts by hiking down-canyon, through the Diablo Box, and then heading up the first side canyon to the south (left). Walk up this gravelly arroyo for two minutes to find a good trail heading up and left (north), passing the Mordor Sector to your left, and then either an easy scramble through the notch betwen the mesa and the "Exit Arete" tower or stay right and and walk around to the south. Either is fine. This is the recommended approach to all the Grotto Top routes.

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Classic Climbing Routes at Top of the Grotto (Ojo and Evil Paradise Sectors )

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
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