Type: Trad, 500 ft, 5 pitches, Grade II
FA: Paul Horak, Mike Head and David Baltz, 7/5/1979
Page Views: 2,047 total · 16/month
Shared By: George Perkins on Jun 29, 2008
Admins: Mike Howard, Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Marta Reece, Drew Chojnowski

You & This Route

7 Opinions

Your To-Do List:

Add To-Do · View List

Your Star Rating:

     Clear Rating

Your Difficulty Rating:

-none- Change

Your Ticks:

Add New Tick
Access Issue: Wilderness Area Details


Tostadas Comquesta is often regarded as an easier choice than Question of Balance for a team intent on climbing the main face of Questa Dome. Still, it shouldn't be taken too lightly-- the crux is somewhat runout over 1/4" bolts; and there are some other tricky sections-- like every climb at Questa. It's fun, on good rock, but isn't as direct, aesthetic, or unique as the climbs to its left. However, Tostadas sees sun earlier in the day, and is also more sheltered from the wind than most other climbs at Questa Dome, so even slab crushers should keep it in mind for chilly days.

Pitch 1: Follow easy cracks right of the big right-leaning right facing corner on the east end of the main face. (5.6) Topos show to belay in the corner below the first stepped roof. With todays' ropes and racks, most will want to combine this and the 2nd pitch. (I've listed the pitch separately to be consistent with the guidebooks).

Pitch 2: This pitch follows clean slabs to the right of the main dihedral. Climb up to the roof, undercling and traverse right, step up to a bolt. Climb up to the bigger 2nd roof, undercling and traverse right and head up to a 2-bolt chain anchor below a steeper slab. The traversing might be a little scary for those who aren't used to slabs (5.9+). If this scared you, it may be useful to know that you can rap from this belay to the ground with 1 rope, because P3 is harder and more heady.

Pitch 3: Climb clean slab straight up (potential to fall onto belay), passing 2 1/4" bolts to a diagonaling seam (crux, 5.10 PG13; the bolts appear ok, but if you're scared of 40-year old bolts you won't like this part). It's a little spacey between the bolts but not bad by TP/Questa standards. Follow this seam up and right and over a bulge until it opens to a hand crack, which has a tricky short 5.10- section with another 1/4" bolt (can supplement with gear). Belay at a stance with some webbing and rap rings. Perhaps can be combined with the next pitch (as shown in topo), but I haven't tried that. A variation of these last two pitches stays in the right-leaning crack and bypasses the previous belay station: this variation looks bushy.

Pitch 4: Continue up the right angling crack and face climb left to a ledge in an alcove below the obvious roof. Gear may be tricky to arrange for the belay, but slinging the horn should be solid. Short pitch (5.8).

Pitch 5: Traverse right, then climb up, bypassing the big roof. When the cracks appear to end in an overhanging slot, step left on a ledge about 15' below this slot, pull through on steep chickenheads and plates (5.8, PG13). Belay soon up ahead at a stance when you find a crack.

Pitch 6: Fun, easy 5th class on big knobs to ledges with trees near the top. Unrope and scramble (3rd Cl.) to the top.

Walk off the east side. If you're thinking of downclimbing, keep walking uphill and north to get to the faint trail.


Tostadas begins just right of the obvious right facing corner near the right side of Questa Dome. It follows slabs and cracks that angle to the right from this feature.


Cams up to #4 camalot, with 2 ea. from fingers to thin hands sizes, & nuts.
Many long runners useful.


David Baltz
Albuquerque, New Mexico
David Baltz   Albuquerque, New Mexico
If anyone wants to retro the original 1/4" bolts, feel free. Dec 6, 2009
J. Albers
J. Albers   Colorado
When I did this years ago (using the old Horak topo) we climbed up and right on the second pitch, looked at the quarter inch bolts and climbed back down and followed the main dihedral above the belay. This involved climbing over a roof/bulge in the corner above the belay (probably 5.9). We then set a belay in an alcove just up and left of the beginning of the long right leaning crack (protection was good on this variation). From the alcove belay, we then stepped down and followed the crack up and right. I thought this crack was full on 5.10+ ; the crack was nice, but the feet were a little insecure because of all the lichen, though nothing a little traffic wouldn't fix. Overall, I thought it was a pretty nice route. Apr 13, 2010
I seem to recall the seam being a bit gritty toward the top and having to dig a placement or two out of grass. This was probably around 83 though so it's probably been cleaned up since then. Seemed like a bit of a tricky lead, classic rounded seam, bit run out ? Not for a 5.9 leader ? Of course, only reason for doing this is if Q of B is already taken (no offense Dave, it's just that QofB is sooo good.)

BTW - Paul's topo calls this out as Tostadas Comquesta Apr 13, 2010
J. Albers
J. Albers   Colorado
Paul, I believe your recollection is correct. That right leaning crack was definitely of the rounded/flaring type. Protection was adequate, but as with most flaring cracks, tricky to get the gear just right. As you say, I probably wouldn't put a 5.9 leader on this pitch. Apr 13, 2010
tim naylor  
i think pitch three (of this description) is dangerous. falling onto belay...this section seemed more like 10+ to me, not much of a slab climber. I think it is a good call to go around or retro bolt to make safer. after the first bolt it looked like a bolt ladder to thin crack. We bailed. Nov 14, 2010
David Baltz
Albuquerque, New Mexico
David Baltz   Albuquerque, New Mexico
FA was 7/5/1979 by Paul Horak, Mike Head and Baltz. P3 direct was called 5.10c. Jun 14, 2016
Camped at the trailhead and just before we went to sleep in the middle of the road Pike Howard told us 3 there a true story about how a climbing team just a month prior how a climbing team awoke in the middle of the night to a bear malling a guy in his sleeping bag. I was silent and muttered "shut up hippy" but he turned out to be not a stupid hippy

I remember this maybe in early 2000's I linked the first 2 pitches and I am grateful my partner Touchette lead that 3rd pitch. It would have been an exciting lead 10+ for sure but those bolts took me back to climbing in the needles in South Dakota. Never did care for those old bolts. Hope somebody can replace. Thanks for the picture of the third pitch from the belay, I can remember that. and the friction 2nd pitch was definitely spooky, but fun. Jun 11, 2017