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Routes in Clifty

Interpretation of Creation S 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Ken Ewing Memorial Railroad S 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c
Sandbagger Boulder T,S 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Scottish Wanna Be Gully T WI3
Thanksgiving Rock Left T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Thanksgiving Rock Right (Ian D. Memorial Route) T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13
Way Before After You Get Home S 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Yunctured By A Pucca S 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
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Type: Trad, 200 ft, 4 pitches
FA: unknown
Page Views: 1,344 total · 10/month
Shared By: Minesh Bacrania on Aug 12, 2007
Admins: Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Marta Reece, Drew Chojnowski

You & This Route

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Start at the very toe of the buttress.

P1. Ascend mossy slabs to a large ledge with a (dead) tree, 4th class, 50'.

P2. Step up and left from this tree, and climb a small overhang and continue upwards and left on the large slab. You'll need to keep a close eye out for pro on this slab, or else be cool with running it out. Belay at the large ledge at the top of the slab, 5.6 unobvious pro, 60'. The first 2 pitches can be linked with a 50m rope, if you keep the rope to the LEFT of the tree so it doesn't drag.

P3. Move up and right off the belay with a large hueco for a hold. Continue up the steeper wall above (clipping the fixed ring piton, and adding your own gear if you like), negotiate an airy mantle move (crux), and move up and slightly left then head up to the next good ledge to belay, 5.7, 60'. If you look carefully, you might see the tiny rusty memorial to Ian D(?) on this ledge.

P4. A really short pitch is needed to get to easiest descent; step right around the next cliffband above you to reach the ridge top and easy terrain, 5.1.

Walk-Off Descent: Navigate the ridge until you find a place on the N side that looks safe enough to downclimb. If you keep going, the gullies get easier, but the time required is longer. A longer but even easier descent would be the broad S side of the hill.

Rappel Descent: There are bolted belays at the top of p2, p3, and p4, and it is possible to rap the route with 1 60m rope (with the final rappel coming up 8' short of the ground).


Hike the Mitchell Trail to the giant green water tank. You will cross a dirt road and the Perimeter Trail, but will reach the water tank after <10 minutes, if you stay on the Mitchell Trail. Thanksgiving Rock is the largest buttress just ahead and right of the closest point on the trail to the water tank. Begin bushwacking to the base just after crossing the first dry streambed after the water tank.


Medium to large nuts/cams. 2-3 fixed pins. Good placements are hard to come by.


Daniel Trugman
Los Alamos, NM
  5.7 PG13
Daniel Trugman   Los Alamos, NM
  5.7 PG13
The climb will go a lot faster if you do the first pitch unroped, but there are a few oppurtunities for protection. Protection is few and far between on this climb, and is mostly natural as opposed to pro in cracks. I linked pitch 3 and 4 and wouldn't recommend that because the rope drag was horrible. Aug 23, 2008
Be sure to check out the natural beehive at the top of P1. It's the trumpet-shaped hole in the underside of the overhang below the big face of P2. This is the home of all the bees that are buzzing around the foliage at the bottom of climb. Being downward-pointing underneath the overhang it's marvelously protected from intrusion by any precipitation.

Three belay/rappel stations instead of two to keep rope drag reasonable. This combines P1 and P2 in the description. Beware that rappelling on a 60m rope from the first anchor (A1) will leave you about 6-8' off the ground on a manageable slope. A 60m rope will most definitely not get you from A3 to A1, but per JP's comment below a 70m rope will. As such, I put the direct-descent distance from A3 to the ground to be right at 220'.

- Bolts: Powers Power-Stud 316 stainless, 3/8" x 5" (brittle rock, long bolts).
- Hangers: Fixe Chain Anchors (plus some of their SS quicklinks).

- Zack Baker: freakin' fearless leader, bolting.
- Kei Davis: hardware, mule, bolting.
- Jason Halladay: hardware advisor and provider of killer power tool (aka `enabler').

- Fallen dead tree impeding upward egress on belay ledge 2 is now gone.
- Aged blue utility-cord sling on column on pitch 1 (face) now gone. It was an eyesore from the ground. Fling your own sling for your second to retrieve. It's no different than all the pro on P1, you have to take time to search it out. May 17, 2009
Scott Beguin
Santa Fe, NM
  5.7 PG13
Scott Beguin   Santa Fe, NM
  5.7 PG13
I like the exposed traverse that includes a yucca. Worth the trouble. Aug 12, 2009
Joshua Payne
Los Alamos, NM
  5.7 PG13
Joshua Payne   Los Alamos, NM
  5.7 PG13
We the descent can be done in 2 raps with a 70m rope. We rapped from the top anchors to the first set of anchors with the end of the 70m rope just barely above the anchor. The 2nd rap was much better.

We did the first pitch unroped. I would say it is mostly 4th class with 1-2 5th class moves just before the ledge. The yucca traverse was awesome, and the 5.9 version of the last pitch was a lot of fun too.

I don't think that the bees are there anymore. At least we didn't see them when we climbed it. May 26, 2013
George Perkins
The Dungeon, NM
  5.7 PG13
George Perkins   The Dungeon, NM
  5.7 PG13
In addition to the anchors, this climb was retro bolted in the last 5 years or so. New lead protection bolts are on p2 (where the threaded sling used to be), and on the top pitch. Jan 3, 2014
The bees are still there! Aug 15, 2015
There are bees and many cactuses, which are probably more terrifying. Jul 31, 2017
P1 is at most barely 4th class if one starts well to the left and then traverses right under the big face that is the standard P2, ending at the lower right of that big face. That said, every pitch admits an easy way if one wanted to avoid climbing. The big dead tree at the top of P1 is gone. Aug 1, 2017

More About Thanksgiving Rock Right (Ian D. Memorial Route)