Type: Sport, 1750 ft, 15 pitches, Grade V
FA: Jeff Jackson, Kevin Gallagher, Kurt Smith, et al.
Page Views: 42,842 total · 312/month
Shared By: camhead on Jan 6, 2008 with improvements by Adam Linamen
Admins: MAKB, Nate Ball, Ricardo Orozco, Rudy Peckham

You & This Route

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15 wild pitches. Sustained quality 5.12 climbing. Expect a full day of fun with the most amazing views you can imagine. If you like the slabby, runneled climbs of Virgin Canyon, you will love this route. Take lots of water and headlamps.

Pitches run roughly,
1-5.12b, 2-5.12, 3-5.12, 4-5.11d, 5-5.12, 6-5.12, 7-5.12, 8-5.11a, 9-5.10, 10-5.10, 11-5.12d, 12-5.11c, 13-5.11, 14-5.10, 15-5.7

Most pitches feel around 12a/b. Pitch two and eleven felt like the cruxes.


At the base of El Toro. You will have to climb some easy 4th class limestone slabs to get to the base of the route


15 bolts and 2 60m ropes.. Not nearly as runout as you may have heard, and the cruxes are all super well protected.
Levi Ender
Denver, CO
Levi Ender   Denver, CO
How cold does it get in the winter? I am from Minnesota so I don't think I will have a problem but just wondering.

Is this route mostly technical slab climbing. If so, edges? Pockets? Slopers?

Thanks! Sep 19, 2011
Peter Lewis
Bridgton, ME
Peter Lewis   Bridgton, ME
And Alex Honnold 3rd-classed it in three hours. I'm not even sure I can change the oil in my car that fast... Feb 13, 2014
Los Angeles
Alexander   Los Angeles
Here is Alex soloing it:


My mittens got sweaty watching it. Aug 17, 2014
Denver, CO
monkeyvanya   Denver, CO
It's a good climb for a sunny winter day, when it's typically >70F in potrero (route gets no sun).
It has very interesting, surprisingly sustained and even pumpy long sequences on crimps, edges, shallow pockets, smears and fingercracks throughout all 10 first pitches we managed to climb. It's not your typical cruxy fingernail crimping slab and imo is way better quality than anything in virgin canyon. Line is amazingly clean for front side and holds, even the most suspiciously looking little flakes, are solid.
A few considerations:
1. shoes. Toe pain from technical shoes was the main reason we had to bail early. At the same time you do want a good performing shoe to both smear and edge.
2. ropes. Pitches are long and rock is sharp, so bring the lightest you can get your hands on.
3. almost every belay is a hanging one, bring a seat.
4. water - we brought 2L on the wall on a 75F day, that lasted 10 pitches. I guess 3L for a full route.
5. stash - there is a cave/mine at the base equipped with bolts to hang your packs Dec 24, 2014
Drew Marshall
Drew Marshall  
Probably the best rock in Potrero - definitely 'the Line'
A good way to do this is to bring a 70 and a tag line, haul the backpack, and leave the bag and tag line (and belay seat if you have one) on top of P5. (You can rap the top 10 pitches with a single 70) Aug 12, 2015
Denver, CO
MAKB   Denver, CO  
Good video of the climb.

youtube.com/watch?v=gwnQh9W… Oct 30, 2015
Wei-Ming Lam
Phoenix, AZ
Wei-Ming Lam   Phoenix, AZ
  • **Note: Both the MP and 2007 edition of Whole Enchilada have the pitch breakdown slightly off. Pitches 11 and 12 are both 5.12. Reference the topo on this page (from Magic Ed's Potrero Select) for the best pitch info.

Also, I second Mr. Marshall's hauling beta. Unless you cruise following 5.12 with a backpack on, the leader hauling on as light a tag line as possible for the first 5 pitches takes a bit of the strain off! From there a bulk of the route (especially a bulk of the hard climbing) is done. We did not summit this trip, but looking forward to another crack at it. Jan 10, 2016
Remy Franklin
Santa Cruz, CA
Remy Franklin   Santa Cruz, CA
Did this route last week and was blown away by how aesthetic the line is. Really nice climbing pitch after pitch. We also didn't agree with grades listed on mtn project but did basically agree with the topo you can find as a photo on this page. Our feeling about grades and some additional comments are below. We climbed as a party of three with one person jugging the harder pitches to carry water/food. We also did the route in 2 days, climbing the first 4 pitches one afternoon and jugging back to start on pitch 5 the next morning. Someone in our party on-sighted each pitch and we were super psyched (and somewhat surprised) to claim a team send first try.

El sendero luminoso
1. 12b
2. 12d (crux #1)
3. 12a
4. 11d
5. 12a/b
(Bivy ledge with trees and short traverse right)
6. 12b
7. 12c - hard, reachy traverse sequence off the belay (before first bolt)
8. 11d/12a
9. 10d
10. 8 - short, probably worth linking with pitch 9
11. 12b
12. 12d (crux #2) - I pulled off a torso-sized block left of the anchors before the last few traverse moves. Rock on most of the pitch is great, just avoid the obvious chossy corner if you can
13. 11c
14. 10b
15. 7 - pretty short, 1 bolt then runout 5.2 on big loose blocks. Just keep going up, there is an anchor!

The first five pitches are amazing and long, consistent 5.12ish climbing with great rock and interesting moves. There is a bivy ledge and short traverse after pitch 5. After the ledge you can climb and rappel all pitches with a single 70m rope so we stashed our second rope there. You can rappel from all anchors you belay at EXCEPT for the top of pitch 11 (when rappelling pitch 12 go straight down and look for additional rap anchors instead of swinging back right).

The climbing is varied but expect a lot of time on your feet (if there were any feet), small crimps, and some burly vertical crack moves. Engaging, clean rock, cool cruxes, sustained climbing... your calves usually get pumped before your forearms.

Approach via the trail off the road behind Edgardo's margarita truck. Cross the wash, go through the cattle gate and follow the obvious trail traversing slightly uphill toward the climb. Take the SECOND spur on your left heading straight uphill to the base. Climb a short section of 4th class slabs heading up and right past an old mine entrance to the start of the climb. Took us about 25min from La Posada with gear. Jan 18, 2016
Monica Jones
Bishop, CA
Monica Jones   Bishop, CA
Wow. Amazing rock. Absolutely unreal how perfect the rock and climbing is. Only did part of it, but wanted to add that if you're short, there are a lot of intermediates and I didn't have trouble with the climbing. I did have a hard time reaching the bolts from the good stances though and was happy to have my stiffy draw with me. Can't wait to come back and finish this thing! Feb 11, 2017
Your moms house
A C   Your moms house
Watch out for the loose rock at the top of the climb, its pretty much a mine field Dec 17, 2017