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Routes in Checkerboard Wall

Checkmate T,S 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Circus Finish T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Cross-trainer T,S 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Green Thumb T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
King Me T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13
Knight's Move T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Lone Piton T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Opening Moves T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Pawn's Promotion T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Punch In The Nose T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Queen's Gambit T 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c
Red Squares T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Ring Leader T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Ring Route T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Sotol Roof T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Worth the Effort T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Type: Trad, 4 pitches
FA: unknown
Page Views: 1,184 total, 9/month
Shared By: Aaron Hobson on Nov 17, 2006 with updates
Admins: Aaron Hobson, Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Marta Reece, Drew Chojnowski

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This is another Un-named route that I have dubbed. It is on several old topos for the Checkerboard as one of the more prominent first pitch variations. What makes it nice is that it is easy to recognize, and offers a fixed anchor midway up tha wall. It also has good rock (except for the start which is flaky), fun moves, and a beautiful and easy off-width portion. The crux move is getting into the offwidth.

The climb follows the wide crack and traverses right under a roof or two. After one such traverse, there is a prominent and attractive off-width which cleaves a smooth slab (about 20 ft long). Optionally you can continue traversing right passing some old poot slings, and climb a chimney variation (with a big tree in it).

OPTIONAL - the full four-pitch "B" variation:
What makes this route nice is that it is easy to recognize, has good rock (except for the start which is flaky), a beautiful and easy off-width portion, and a short chimney section at the top.
5.8, PG13

P1: 30 meters, 5.6. Lead past / around right of three roofs. About when the V crack comes into view, veer right to shallow cracks leading up to hanging belay (ignore old slings).

P2: 35 meters, 5.7 PG13. Start up the V crack (crux), continue up and then step right and up into a vegetated area. Cross right onto a slab and then up roughly another 30 feet to a belay ledge with a good horizontal crack immediately above the ledge. This last 30 feet is difficult to protect, perhaps offering just one or two distant protection points.

P3: 35 meters, 5.7. This pitch is easier to protect than it appears. Head up the slab the easiest way, eventually passing a bolted belay beneath a thin ~8 foot vertical crack (crux). Continue up and into a huge grassy alcove left of a big green bush.

P4: ~55 meters, 5.8. Lead directly up the major crack / chimney system. Exit left at the roof above. Alternately, one can exit left about 20 feet below the roof … ~5.8 either way. Find a broad / tall flake on the left and head up to the summit. Breaking this into two pitches may be wise for communication and/or rope drag.

Protection: Standard rack plus double up (about 6 pieces) in the range of 2 to 4 inches. Some hexes in this range are nice. A 4 inch cam works well at the advertised crux in the topo.


The middle of the Checkerboard wall has a large protruding buttress. This climb starts on the right side of this buttress in a large crack with two roof sections jutting out. From the belay ledge, a double rope rap can reach the ground, or continue up other variations to the summit.


Standard rack, with a few large pieces, especially for the off-sidth section. the off-width crack can be climbed without a large piece by protecting at the crux move with a bomber nut, and then running out the rope for 20 ft on easier terrain. The belay ledge has plenty of loose rock, and has one old 1/4" bolt, as well as some poot-slings for fixed gear.


Marta Reece
Las Cruces, NM
Marta Reece   Las Cruces, NM  
Once you get established int the off-width the climbing is pretty much over if you stay there, but you can step right and continue on good rock to the regular belay.

You can continue by getting up onto the boulders leading up to the branches of the large tree. Step over to the left there and go up an easy slope to a nice ledge for belay of Pitch 2.

Pitch 3 can be done on the other side of the buttress, up a groove and then left before yet another tree. From there walk left under the head wall to a rap station on top of a large boulder. A single two-rope, 70m rappel will take you to a fourth-class terrain. Dec 20, 2012
Aaron Hobson
Clinton, TN
Aaron Hobson   Clinton, TN  
I dubbed this route Green Thumb due to the amount of vegetation that had to be cleared out of the off width. It was so choked with vines that it was not even clearly recognizable from below. But they came out very easily, and revealed this nice climb. Nov 17, 2006