Type: Trad, Alpine, 200 ft, 2 pitches, Grade II
FA: Wayne Taylor, Eric Keto, 78
Page Views: 4,387 total · 30/month
Shared By: Chuck McQuade on Jan 6, 2007
Admins: Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Marta Reece, Drew Chojnowski

You & This Route

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Access Issue: Seasonal raptor closure for some areas in the Sandias Details


Like the Candle in Chimney Canyon, this route leads to one of the few spire summits in the Sandias. An interesting route with a good hand crack on P1, the second pitch contains the routes crux which occurs right off the belay. The climb ends at a bolted anchor just short of the spires summit. A short section of class 3 scrambling can be done to top out on the summit.

P1: (90’) Starts at the spire’s west face, underneath a large roof. Follow a good hand crack broken up with intermittent ledges. The pitch ends at a bolted belay on a small but good ledge.

P2: (70’) Head straight up negotiating a small bulge (crux). Follow a broken dihedral to the bolted belay.

Descent: Rap the route [straightforward with 2 ropes or a 70m rope; a single 60m rope will also work but is not ideal]


Standard rack: double Camalots 0.5-2", some slings.


George Perkins
The Dungeon, NM
George Perkins   The Dungeon, NM
If you don't want to rappel off, and don't need to return to the base, you can top out by continuing up Garden Party (1 long pitch+ 1 short pitch, "5.8+"), which (despite the name) actually has pretty good climbing too Jun 22, 2007
Ryan Smyth
Albuquerque, NM
Ryan Smyth   Albuquerque, NM
First time leading a 5.9 trad. What a blast. Once you reach the crack, it is on. only got to do the first pitch because thunder and rain scared us off. Lots of jamming and some good liebacking. I wouldn't recommend trying to rappel from the first belay station. unless you have a 70m rope or are willing to do some downclimbing hah. heh. Aug 5, 2008
LeeAB Brinckerhoff
LeeAB Brinckerhoff   ABQ, NM  
Ryan, you are correct, the rappel needs a 70m rope to reach the ground. Don't worry, the first pitch is the better of the two and a half, you should go back though to tag the summit. Next time if your out and getting threated with weather you could TR feeding frenzy and if the S**T hit the fan just lower and pull the rope and get out. Aug 6, 2008
A #3 protects the p2 crux quite well. May 5, 2018
Another rap option with a 60-m might be to rap the Bush Shark anchor into the gully, then descent the 3rd class gully carefully to a 2BA on the wall to climbers right, maybe 30 feet or so before the gully turns vertical.There is an old pin with rap rings lower down the gully but the 2BA would be a superior alternate. It looks pretty new, not sure if it was placed as a rap anchor or a belay station or both.
Full disclosure: we were in the gully for other reasons and did not actually complete the described descent, BUT, based on how much rope we had at the 2BA, a rap down the gully to the ground should work with a 60-m, but buyer beware. Maybe someone can chime in definitively if they have made this rap. Oct 8, 2018
George Perkins
The Dungeon, NM
George Perkins   The Dungeon, NM
Orlando, that last (newish) bolted rap station in the Bush Shark gully is part the rap-route approach to "Ghost Rider", but it is not a belay station on that route. It worked for us with a single 70m rope, not sure about a 60m. I'm *pretty sure* (and I believe Marc also told us) that a 70m rope was needed for the full "Ghost Rider" rap-in approach, but I don't remember lengths of individual rappels, it was ~5 years ago. I repeated GRider again more recently (hiking in), and the top anchor didn't have chains/webbing, so the full GRider rap approach is really only practical for those intending to return to the very top of the buttress. Oct 8, 2018