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Routes in Battleship Rock

Battleship Direct T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Type: Trad, 200 ft, 2 pitches
FA: Eiichi Fukushima and Larry Campbell, 1950s
Page Views: 2,236 total, 18/month
Shared By: Mark Mathis on Jul 11, 2007
Admins: Aaron Hobson, Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Marta Reece, Drew Chojnowski

You & This Route

22 Opinions

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P1: The first pitch follows the arete forming the "prow" of the ship for almost a full rope-length. Easy climbing (5.6) past a surprising amount of fixed protection (see comments) leads to the base of a pillar where someone has tied off slings for a potential (double-rope) rappel. Belay from here or continue up and left through the first 5.8 section of the climb (layback to mantle) to a spacious belay ledge above.

P2: The shorter (and more enjoyable) second pitch continues directly up and slightly left from the belay ledge on the left side of the prow. Aim for the "tunnel" at the top of the cliff, going through two 5.8 corners along the way. You can supposedly finish through the tunnel (if you are very small), or continue up and over for an exciting finish (the most exposed move on the whole route).


Approach the route by following a distinct trail (just to the left of the restrooms at the base) around to the left side of the cliff. You can start climbing here, but better to just fourth class it up to a ledge that traverses back around to the right side of the arete. P1 description starts here.


Standard trad rack (set of nuts and cams up to 3.5") plus extra draws (preferably long ones to reduce rope drag) should do the trick.


Paul Hutton
Paul Hutton   Dirtbaggin
I led the route yesterday and got pretty shaken while climbing past some loose blocks below the last ledge before the summit. I rapped down today and pulled them loose. Enjoy the stable section and new, bomber holds! Instagram: Paul Hutton

I set up belay on the large ledge with the big, wobbly boulder sitting on it. I wrapped my big Metolius equalizer around the short wall for the belay anchor.

The trail was covered in snow. I didn't have snow boots, so we looked around for a good spot to rap down. There are good, healthy trees in two different spots on the right cliff, with drops that a 70m rope will cover. Feb 1, 2017
Scott Beguin
Santa Fe, NM
  5.8 PG13
Scott Beguin   Santa Fe, NM
  5.8 PG13
This would be considered a "classic" as far as formation and position. The rock is not clean but good pro can be found. Worth doing at least once for the experience. Aug 8, 2013
Steve DiMarino
Los Alamos, NM
Steve DiMarino   Los Alamos, NM
I just climbed this. The whole climb is choss top to bottom. There were a few large boulders (200 lbs+)that moved on me and I pushed back in place. Unfortunately the boulders could land on picnickers below. Honestly, the idea of the route is good, but the rock needs to be cleaned with someone on the ground keeping the area clear.
Also there were flowers in a vase placed up on the first pitch. Anybody know what that is about? A climber must have put them there. Sep 7, 2011
Evan Belknap
Placitas, NM
Evan Belknap   Placitas, NM
Scary. Chossy. A million mexican children to accidentally kill with falling rocks. Super rope drag. But still, kinda fun looking at all the old rusty gear. And the second pitch is pretty sweet. Go right after the OW stem thing. That's all I got. May 30, 2011
J tot
Tempe, AZ
  5.8 PG13
J tot   Tempe, AZ
  5.8 PG13
Just climbed this route. The first pitch is easy, but hard to find. If, you are having trouble like I did, scramble to the first and obvious large ledge about 15-20 feet up. Start looking for the first bolts about 15 feet from that ledge. If you don't find 'em you probably aren't on route. Clipping bolts/pitons continues until the rock becomes solid enough to place in.

  • This place has a ton of loose rock. Helmets for seconds are a must.
Sep 7, 2010
Steven VanSickle
Ouray, Co
Steven VanSickle   Ouray, Co
Super fun!! Heads up!! Dont pull to hard on a lot of the first pitch and watch your feet. Loved all the old fixed gear. Tunneling wasnt hard, and makes for a gearless belay. Oct 21, 2008
Did this today. In the opinion of all of our party, including one very experienced trad climber, the first pitch is emphatically higher than 5.6. The crux of the first pitch is getting around the flat face where the one modern bolted anchor is located--presumably that anchor was put there for a good reason. Or maybe we should have gone right instead of left?--there was one of those infamous old 1/4" bolts with sheetmetal hanger a little lower and to the right of that face.

We all squirmed through the hole at the top of the second pitch, making it overall easier than the first. (That hole is no harder to get through than some of the pinches in the guided "off-trail" tours at Carlsbad Caverns National Park that are open to the general public.)

Admission and warning: one of our followers didn't realize that the webbing was `fixed'. We draped it decoratively over a spire at the belay ledge, where it can be seen from the parking area and the start of the climb. It's seriously rotten (UV degraded), cut, and appears to have been gnawed on by rodents--in retrospect we should have carried it off to a trash bin, ditto other trash we found along the way (water bottle and sole of shoe). Oct 27, 2007
Jason Halladay
Los Alamos, NM
Jason Halladay   Los Alamos, NM  
Oh yeah, for the descent...carrying shoes up is a good idea. From the top of the climb follow the path on the top uphill and then on a good-looking trail left and down into a dry stream gully. The gully takes you back down to the picnic area. Takes about 15 minutes to hike down. Aug 1, 2007
Jason Halladay
Los Alamos, NM
Jason Halladay   Los Alamos, NM  
An interesting climb. I really want to love it because of the location, view and fact that it's a multi-pitch trad route in northern NM but...the rock is...marginal. Pretty soft but protectable and climbable.
That said, I had fun and would do it again for the adventure.

The first pitch has a surprising amount of fixed stuff on it. A quarter inch B/H, a piton, a 3/8" B/H, another piton, a SMC bong piton and then another solid piton next to the webbing with locking biner on it. Then the second pitch...nothing fixed! Because we carried the #4 camalot, I found a good placement with it near the top of the second pitch.

I don't see how anyone could squeeze through that little hole near the top. Besides, the moves on the outside of the chimney/alcove are the best of the route. Aug 1, 2007