West Face Direct
Avg: 2.6 from 23 votes
|Type:||Trad, Alpine, 250 ft, 2 pitches|
|FA:||Mike Dennis, Charlie Ware, May 17, 1971|
|Page Views:||2,030 total, 18/month|
|Shared By:||Chris Wenker on Jun 9, 2008|
|Admins:||Aaron Hobson, Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Marta Reece, Drew Chojnowski|
DescriptionThis line is described in Hill's (1983:109-111) "Hikers and Climbers Guide to the Sandias" (I'm working with the 2nd edition; I haven't seen if this description has changed in the 3rd edition). Schein's (2003:75) "Sandia Rock" describes a slightly different second pitch. I followed Schein's line, so I can't comment on Hill's full route.
Pitch 1: From the top of the pillar that marks the base of the climb, pull through some face moves that immediately get your attention, to gain a crack. About 2/3 of the way up the pitch, climb through some fun plate-sized chickenheads on the left and gain the prominent ledge that crosses the face (which constitutes part of Pitch 1 of the West Face Traverse); move right about 10-15 feet to the base of a short chimney and belay on gear from there.
Pitch 2: Climb the short chimney and follow a nice crack to a point where the crack starts to turn into a left-facing dihedral. Hill's description of the route continues up this dihedral. Schein recommends traversing up to the right across a face to the bottom of another chimney with two obvious roofs. Pull through the fun upper roof and climb to the top of the formation.
LocationThis route generally ascends the right-center of the west face of the Tombstone. From the southwest corner of the Tombstone (at the flat-topped luncheon pillar), traverse north ca. 50 feet and then ascend through blocky 4th class terrain to the top of a semi-detached pillar (2nd pillar in from the south). Watch out for a car-door sized loose DEATH BLOCK part-way up to the pillar (maybe it should be trundled?). Two rusted 1/4" belay bolts mark the beginning of the route.
At the top, walk off to the east and then south.