Avg: 2.3 from 12 votes
|Type:||Trad, 150 ft|
|Page Views:||402 total · 3/month|
|Shared By:||Chris Wenker on Jun 30, 2008|
|Admins:||Mike Howard, Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Marta Reece, Drew Chojnowski|
According to Jan Studebaker: "The property linemountainproject.com/v/new_m… runs from approximately the current east corner by the access gate in a straight line over the top of South Rock to the top middle of the Chicken Heads/Mosaic Wall mount, and from there west down the mount slope to the meadow just south of the Alley climbs. Some of the most popular routes are completely on private property. There are survey markers on the top of South rock (the mysterious aluminum stake stuck in the rock) and on top of the Mosaic rock (most of the time buried in water in a pot hole.)"
An online Tres Piedras Route Guidelamountaineers.org/Tres_Pie… from LA Mountaineers has been updated with the latest access information, and should be read by all Tres Piedras climbers. Group climb leaders, and Climbing Directors (future or past) should take particular note.
Access Notes: Tres Piedras climbers should sign the waiverlamountaineers.org/Tres_Pie… found on this page because the popular South Rock is mostly on private land, as is some of the access to the area. The landowner requests NO fires, no trash, no chalk and "please close any gates". Basically, be a good steward of the land.
In order to nurture greater landowner acceptance of climbers, participants of group climbs are requested to organize quick clean up activities before leaving the area; this should include the climbing area as well as the access roads (trip leaders could supply plastic grocery bags). Small parties should practice "leave no trace" principles.
Ascend the easy slab, aiming straight up for the incipient crack. This leads to some horizontal seams at the base of the upper sector of the climb; good stances and placements are available here, before you really start to engage the meaty part of the hand/fist crack. The bulgy crux is passed as you are moving into the base of the crack; past this lies more sustained 5.8 crack climbing in a sort-of-awkward but fun dihedral that wants to keep pushing you off-balance.
Described and illustrated by Foley (2005:85) and Jackson (2006:70). Jackson indicates the option to set up an intermediate belay at the base of the crack, but that is completely unnecessary. Foley points out a harder exit up the face to the left, once you're past the crux.
The 1981 guide lists this route as a 5.7. That description of the climb also splits it into two pitches. It also mentions a "bolt, sans hanger" on the slab below the crack. We saw no bolt, but the older description also sort of suggests that the climb originally angled up and right, so we may have started farther right and may not have been near the bolt's vicinity. Despite the old-school guide's softer rating, this is a fairly burly 5.8 (vs. the 'easier' 5.8's at TP like Serpentine Crack), so leaders at your limit, take note. Falls off the crux bulge would be pretty clean, though.
Alternately, I was advised by one elder TP climber that the route illustrated here is actually the one called "Crowbait" in the 1981 guide. That would match well with the description and rating. But then it's not clear where the "Crowbait Detour" would go (how far down and left?). Or where the original Bats in the Belfry route is located (maybe the next headwall crack to the right, the one up and left of the Albuquerque Route anchors?).
Of course, the 1991 "Taos Rock III" guide doesn't clear things up. It instructs us to "Follow wandering low angle slab to obvious crack at top", but the map places 'Bats' pretty far east, in the area of the Albuquerque route.
Jackson suggests two descents: "Walk east to the end of Middle Rock (several dicey moves) or work down into the next grotto north, then back west to the west end of Middle Rock."
We followed some version of the second option. This descent is 3rd class, fast, and pretty easy to find. From the top of this climb, head east over the first dome of rock, then over another rise for ~100 feet to where the ridgeline drops and narrows, and you are at a little saddle. Drop north off a low overhang, head down skier's left, aiming for two car-engine-sized boulders next to a spruce tree growing out of a notch in the edge of the slab, zig right and pass by the spruce, and, viola, you are on the ground. Head west in the gully, traverse some slabs around the west end of Middle Rock, and you're back to your packs at the base of the climb.
Apparently the ridgetop traverse all the way to the eastern end of Middle Rock involves some sketchy moves, but I haven't done it and can't comment.