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Routes in Questa Dome

Ancient Ones, The T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Another Pretty Face T 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c PG13
Con Questa Libre T 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
Jonny Questa T 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b R
Questando La Via Sin Arboles T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Questar T 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c PG13
Question of Balance T 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c PG13
Questionable Timing T 5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b R
Sequestered T 5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Tostadas Comquesta T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13
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Type: Trad, 600 ft, 5 pitches, Grade III
FA: Paul Horak, Mark Dalen, Glen Banks and David Baltz, 1977
Page Views: 9,047 total · 65/month
Shared By: David Baltz on Jun 17, 2007
Admins: Mike Howard, Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Marta Reece, Drew Chojnowski

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Access Issue: Wilderness Area Details


Pitch 1: Begin below a short, curving half-moon flake about 20 feet off the ground. Climb up to the flake and then veer a little left across a slab, up, then left again across another steep slab below a flake. Hand traverse back right across the flake and into a corner with a pin under a small roof. Pull over the roof (5.11-) to a thin hands crack then go straight up steep rock past a bolt to a chain anchor. There are various harder variations to this first pitch, as noted in 'Taos Rock' and in comments below.

Pitch 2: Climb straight up the thin crack past a pin and where the crack dies out, make some thin face moves straight up to some seams heading left. Move left following the seams to the prominent diagonalling crack seen from the ground. Follow the flaring finger and hand crack another 80 feet to the bolted belay. (5.10-).

Pitch 3: Drop down and right traversing along a small dike to its end. Delicate friction moves lead up to a thin crack/flake, followed by more friction up and right to a second flake/crack system. Follow the crack and then make a hard move past a 1/4" bolt and up to another dike below the roof system extending across the top of the face. Clip another 1/4" bolt and then traverse left 30 feet under the roof system to a belay below an overhang with a thin crack running through it. (5.10).

Pitch 4: Step a little left to a huge pocket, go straight up over the roof following a crack to where it becomes a seam (5.10+). Climb up the runout seam to awesome chickenheads to a belay at tree (180 feet). An alternate finish traverses 20 feet down and right before the crack becomes a seam and follows a lower crack to the chickenheads (not as runout). There is also a bolted 5.10 slab finish directly up and left, after you turn the roof.

Pitch 5: Climb easy, featured rock on great chickenheads aiming for the tall pines on the summit of the rock.

This climb was originally called A Questa of Balance.


Standard rack up to blue camalots. Bring doubles on gray and green camalots.


From very near the summit, go right (east) following a faint trail to a gully. Pass above the gully and continue around the next outcropping to an easy tree-covered descent on a now obvious switchback trail. After descending several hundred feet, the trail enters a dry streambed and becomes faint. Bear right and traverse the slope back toward the main dome before dropping again to the base of the climbs.
Jason Halladay
Los Alamos, NM
  5.11a/b PG13
Jason Halladay   Los Alamos, NM  
  5.11a/b PG13
A wonderful route. I can recall experiencing rock and solitude like this on Charlotte Dome in California. A great mix of everything and the 5.11 crux is well-protected and done early in the route.

Bob D's rack recommendation here is great although we added a second small blue and purple camalot. Nice. Aug 26, 2007
Luke Hanley
Boulder, CO
Luke Hanley   Boulder, CO
One of the best in the state. If you go to New Mexico, this route should not be missed. Jan 16, 2008
I believe it is Dave Baltz. FA done in 1977. Apr 2, 2008
George Perkins
The Dungeon, NM
  5.11b PG13
George Perkins   The Dungeon, NM
  5.11b PG13
Great climbing on some of the cleanest rock in New Mexico.
This climb goes at 5.10+ A0, as the 5.11 crux on the 1st pitch is short, and can easily be aided by pulling on the fixed pins. There is mandatory 5.10 slab in a few places on pitches 1&3.

Alternate Start: An alternate harder start to this climb begins just to the right of the traditional start. It joins the rest of QoB at the first belay; it's 5.11 with new bolts and fun, thin climbing. Greg Swift and Sharon Dogruel first did the upper section traversing over from QoB's normal pitch one (noted as Var. #1 in 'Taos Rock'); Josh Smith added the direct independent start later. Bring extra #0 TCUs.

Alternate Finish: The Questa Direct roof variation to pitch 4 (5.11, FA: Rick Smith) is right of the normal route. From the upper part of pitch 3, continue straight up to a 2-bolt anchor. Turn the pumpy roof, passing 2 fixed nuts, and belay as soon as you can after that. This variation is recommended, if you're up for it. This variation is called "Oops" in the 'Taos Rock'. The old 'RC:NM & Texas' guidebook erroneously showed the normal QoB passing through this notch, so people sometimes mistakenly went this way. Apr 11, 2008
Stu Ritchie
Stu Ritchie   Denver
Super route! 1/4 inch bolts are not an issue on this route. We carried a 3 and 4 Camalot, but felt they were not mandatory. Only 4 hours from Denver! Sep 15, 2008
Daniel Trugman
Los Alamos, NM
  5.11- PG13
Daniel Trugman   Los Alamos, NM
  5.11- PG13
Beautiful route that lives up to its reputation of being one of the best in the state.

The MP route description is excellent but is missing pitch-by-pitch ratings. My opinion [edited, after climbing it a second time]:

P1: 11- (or 5.10 A0).
P2: 5.9/10a
P3: 10c (PG? PG-13? Hard moves over thin gear, but it will hold.)
P4: 10c through the roof (great pro), then there are a few variations:
---10a bolted variation goes straight up (PG-13? R? 4 good bolts in over 100 feet. You do the math.).
---5.10? following the crack/seam (I haven't done this).
---5.6/5.7 PG-13 goes hard right after the roof.

All pitches are stellar. Jun 28, 2009
Jason Halladay
Los Alamos, NM
  5.11a/b PG13
Jason Halladay   Los Alamos, NM  
  5.11a/b PG13
To add to Daniel's comment, we belayed from a tree at the top of the groove above the bolted 5.10a variation finish of P4. From there it was still another rope length (or more) to the summit but it's easy and way less exposed so we coiled the ropes and scrambled to the summit.

This 5.10a slab variation was very nice and I'd recommend it over the the more standard finish to the right. It is definitely run out (4 bolts in 60 meters not feet!--Thanks Marc) but the bolts are where you need them. Jun 28, 2009
Great route, highly recommended. The traverses on pitch 3 are super cool, thoughtful, but not too scary. Definitely the best multipitch I have done in New Mexico. Jun 14, 2010
Slade   Gunnison
I loved this route and couldn't believe how good the weather was on November 6 2010. 65 degrees and barely any wind. There was tremendous rope drag on P1. Nov 8, 2010
Bob Graham
Portland, OR
Bob Graham   Portland, OR
Great route, a lot of friction and a good mix of other climbing styles make it a full on adventure. Sep 24, 2012
George Perkins
The Dungeon, NM
  5.11b PG13
George Perkins   The Dungeon, NM
  5.11b PG13
The 1st bolt on p3 was replaced and is new. Thanks. The 2nd is still old, but unlikely to be fallen on hard.

There is not a bolt on the "normal way" for p1 (as described above). The fixed gear on this pitch, if done the normal way, is: 3 pins just before and turning the crux bulge/roof, then another fixed pin just before the belay.

It is apparently possible to roll over left to a bolt then face climb up (rather than turning the crux bulge). This is the "original 1st pitch", shown on the and mentioned in "Rock Climbing: New Mexico & Texas". Look to go left after clipping the 2nd or 3rd pin or possibly lower. I haven't tried it, but there's a bolt then a fixed pin over there. This may be the reason the description seems slightly off. Jun 15, 2014
Chase Webb
Little Rock, AR
Chase Webb   Little Rock, AR
One of the finest climbs anywhere. The rock and setting are what makes this climb so special. Jan 9, 2017
David Baltz
Albuquerque, New Mexico
  5.11- PG13
David Baltz   Albuquerque, New Mexico
  5.11- PG13
On pitch 4, the fixed lost arrow on the roof is now gone. It pulled on me in a fall. Fortunately, I had a cam at the lip but the rope tension in the fall was apparently sufficient to pull the pin. Scary! It will now be much more spicy to place the cam at the lip as a fall onto the slab below could be nasty.

On the 10a variation on P4, there are 4 bolts--not 3. It's still runout though. With a 50m rope, I couldn't make the tree described by Jason, but went left after the 4th bolt to a water groove which ended in a nice ledge in an alcove. A short 40 foot pitch got us to a large sandy ledge where we unroped and scrambled to the top. Apr 24, 2017
George Perkins
The Dungeon, NM
  5.11b PG13
George Perkins   The Dungeon, NM
  5.11b PG13
Yikes! 6 weeks ago, I fell from the lip (in a completely unexpected surprise fall), popping the cam I'd placed at the lip (which I was confident was bomber when I placed it), and the pin caught me just as I hit the slab. I think other good gear can be placed in this section, even without the pin-- back your gear up-- the weird angles the rope pulls on gear on the roof can cause it to misbehave. Apr 26, 2017

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