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Routes in Bush Shark Area

Banana Split T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Big - T T 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
Blood In The Water S 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
Bush Shark Spire T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Cabron T 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b PG13
Curfew T,S 5.12+ 7c 28 IX 27 E6 6b
Feeding Frenzy T 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b PG13
Garden Party T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Ghost Rider T,S 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13
Great White T,S 5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c
Hammerhead T,S 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Mudshark Arpeggio, The T 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a R
Pantomime T 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b R
Westron Wynde T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Type: Trad, Alpine, 225 ft, Grade II
FA: Mark Leonard and Mark Dalen
Page Views: 1,270 total, 10/month
Shared By: John Kear on Dec 10, 2007
Admins: Aaron Hobson, Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Marta Reece, Drew Chojnowski

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The route is a logical top out for parties looking for a moderate way to climb out after summiting the Bush Shark Spire. From the high point in the notch behind the Bush Shark Spire down climb to the right a couple of body lengths into a chimney. Continue traversing R for about 20 ft to the base of a short steep corner under the main crack system. Do a couple steep tricky moves to get up into the crack system. Once in the crack/corner follow it up til it ends about 180ft. Best to belay here and do a second shorter pitch to the top. The crux comes in the form of physical Yosemite style crack climbing. This route is unusual in the Sandias because it follows a continuous crack system and ends with a pretty cool chimney section. Unfortunately the route gets overgrown due to neglect.


The route starts out of the notch between the Bush Shark Spire and the Bush Shark Wall. Top out and belay off a large tree at the rim. Scramble off to the east to the top of the formation.


There is no fixed gear and a standard rack to 3" or 4" will suffice.


- No Photos -
George Perkins
The Dungeon, NM
George Perkins   The Dungeon, NM
Prior to beginning this climb, move the belay down to the notch (rather than starting at the Bush Shark Spire bolted anchor). It's something like a 15' 4th class downclimb to get there. This is a good strategy as it's a long pitch and there will be some rope drag due to the traverse. Aug 27, 2013
Matthias Lang
Matthias Lang   Albuquerque
Is it correct that after climbing BSS to the bolted anchor one has to move the belay into the proper notch between wall and spire (same belay as for 'Blood in the Water'?), or do people belay from the bolted rap anchor? It's not quite clear to me from the descriptions here or the guide book.

It's been a while since I climbed BSS and I didn't do Garden Party back then so I didn't pay attention to possible belays for GP. Aug 26, 2013
Very fun route! The rock was ok, and the vegetation really wasn't bad. The R traverse was pretty relaxed and easy, but leader or follower really shouldn't fall. Very fun! Jul 17, 2010
My usual more conservative counterpoint to Jeremy's beta...
From a belay in the notch to the top of the chimney, the pitch was a full, no rope left, 60m pitch. We missed the pin at the start; bummer, because I followed and there was 25 ft of rope between me and the first piece and I was looking at an UGLY pendulum whip into the opposite wall if I blew the traverse/downclimb. And it was a distinct possibility as my partner kept yanking on the rope because he couldn't hear me, 200ft away and belaying in the wind. So protect your second well, and because the route sits out of the way from the notch, it probably wouldn't be a bad idea to break the route into two pitches.
Otherwise, over beers, Jeremy thought the route was "Sandias old-school" 5.9, which to me meant, and felt like, solid 5.10 at the cruxes. Jeremy led the pitch, but it did have good pro and the rock was bomb. And if you follow, have fun with the pack when you get into the wide, upper section...
Fun stuff, great finish out of Bush Shark. Aug 18, 2009
Albuquerque, NM
Robin   Albuquerque, NM
Sweet, this sounds like a great and logical continuation oF Bush Shark Spire to the top of the wall. I hope we get a chance to try it out this season.

It sounds from the description that except for the R traverse you follow a crack system that has good pro the whole way. Is that true?

How is the rock quality (considering we are in the Sandias) ? We won't mind pruning a bit if it's a good route!!

Thanks. Jun 29, 2008
John Kear
Albuquerque, NM
John Kear   Albuquerque, NM
It sounds like George was on Garden party from his description. Alam, it seems you were quite far to the right of Garden party. The belay for Ghost Rider must be 40ft right of where GP goes straight up. I'm glad people are doing this route. A few years ago I cleaned and pruned the route to encourage traffic but as of last spring it had become overgrown again. Next time I'm over there I'll do some more cleaning and bring a camera and post a picture here. Apr 22, 2008
George Perkins
The Dungeon, NM
George Perkins   The Dungeon, NM
When I did this- From the notch, I traversed right to the fixed piton, and then followed crack systems generally straight up and a little left from the piton. Backclean after the initial traverse if you care about rope drag. I remember a slick wide crack section- probably "Yosemite style liebacking". After most of the rope (180'), I reached a belay in an alcove behind a big block (in the chimney behind the block, wide enough to fit in). A shorter pitch went from there to the top, passing the block on the left. edit 6/13: A 70m rope might just barely reach the very top in a single pitch.
It worked, and was about 5.9, pretty fun. I thought I was on Garden Party, but I was using the same old book as everyone else. Who knows.

It's much more fun than hiking out Echo Canyon after climbing Bush Shark. Feb 25, 2008
Thanks John for bringing back an old classic. During the traverse right from the notch (the way I have done this route) there is a pin high in a dihedral that can be used to protect the traverse (it has been there since at least 1990). I find I had to climb up to clip it, step back down and complete the traverse. I have always traversed considerably further right - ending near your new 2 bolt anchor for Ghost Rider, then climbing the flakes and crack up the final dihedral LEFT of your newly bolted line.... perhaps we are on different routes since you suggest only a few body lengths in your description of Garden Party. I always thought Banana Split (Hill description) was the closer of the 2 routes. Feb 25, 2008