Type: Trad, 500 ft, 5 pitches, Grade II
FA: July 1979: Paul Horak, Mike Head, and David Baltz
Page Views: 2,535 total · 18/month
Shared By: David Baltz on Jul 14, 2008
Admins: Mike Howard, Anthony Stout, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Marta Reece, Drew Chojnowski, Jason Halladay

You & This Route

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Access Issue: Wilderness Area Details


Jonny Questa is another quality climb on Questa Dome, with 2 excellent pitches, and a couple more decent pitches, and just enough scariness to get your attention. JQ is worthwhile, however, Tostadas Comquesta or Question of Balance are probably better choices for a first route on Questa Dome, as this one has one heady pitch and does not have as much sustained quality climbing overall compared to those other climbs. This climb is in Taos Rock but not Rock Climbing New Mexico.

 Pitch 1&2: There are 2 choices for the first 2 pitches:

*The recommended alternate start to the first pitch which is described in 'Taos Rock' as the 1st two pitches of Sequestered: This alternate start was done about a year after the FA by Mike Head and David Baltz, that starts directly below the slab on the original second pitch. Begin about 200' down slope from the standard start at the base of a slab with a prominent hand crack diagonaling across it from the right. P1: Climb up the slab (some bushwhacking) to a ledge at the base of the diagonal crack and belay (100ft). P1B: Follow the crack to the base of a short steep headwall. The headwall goes at 5.10a thanks to a large semi-attached flake and is followed by an excellent layback corner. Belay at the prominent tree (100 ft.). These pitches can be combined (60m).
Pitch 2: Move up to a small roof which accepts a large cam, then step left and climb a spicy (5.9R) quartz dike. Step left around the arête and belay at the lower of the 6' trees (see P2 description of Original Start below that joins this variation at the small roof).

*The easier original start, as shown in 'Taos Rock': Start a 100 yards up the hill from the cave on the left flank of Questa Dome. Pitch 1: Traverse right across easy slab to gain the prominent left-facing corner and belay off the tree jutting from the obvious crack in the right face of the dihedral (5.5, 120'). Pitch 2: Climb the hand and fingers crack above the tree and step right around the arête onto a nice slab. Climb down the slab a ways and friction right till you can move up again below a shallow roof/arch. Protect under the roof (important), then step left around the end of the roof and proceed 20 feet up a thin vertical quartz dike (5.9R). At the top of the dike, step left around a corner and into a corner leading up to a couple of small trees. Belay at lower tree in the left-facing corner about 20' below an obvious roof (150 ft.).

Pitch 3: Cruise up to the big roof split by a crack up to the left, clipping a 1/4" bolt just below it. Turn the gear-protected 5.10 roof, followed by easier low-angle crack climbing in a corner. Belay at the highest tree in this corner system. Excellent pitch. (5.10, 120')

Pitch 4: (a) From the high tree, climb a finger crack on the right wall. Place good pro at the top of this finger crack. Walk to your right on a 4" ledge for 20' to the arete, where you will see 2 bolts (1 new, 1 old) just out of reach above you. A 5.9 highstep lets you clip the bolt (don't fall first). The crux of the climb (5.10 if you're over six foot, 5.11 otherwise) is in the next 2 or 3 moves after clipping the bolt. Reaching a jug, move right around the arete. It's not obvious at this point that you're going to find any gear placements for the next 30' or so, but persevere. Climb the beautiful arete, exposed 5.9R with some interesting moves. You will find (marginal) gear in a couple of places here, but I felt this was "serious R" not "wimpy R". Look for a small TCU placement on the second ledge up the arete, and a keyhole stopper in a tiny solution pocket a bit higher. After the difficulty is passed, belay at the biggest tree nearby, after another 20' of easy climbing. Memorable pitch. (5.10/11 with 5.9R, 130'). (b) The Taos Rock guidebook suggests you can escape without climbing this pitch by taking one of the bushy 5.8 dihedrals to the left, which would be a good option in inclement (or windy) weather.

Pitch 5: Easy 5th class leads to the top. If in doubt, angle right. (5.2, 200')


Jonny Questa is on the left side of Questa Dome.. just left of the really good rock, but just right of most of the trees. The top part of pitch 1 and start of pitch 2 follows the only obvious big left-facing dihedral around (for the original start).
To find the start, walk left from Question... past the toe of the Dome, and up the left flank just past a cave. Begin a bit to the left of this cave. If you see a piton about 15' up, it's on Questando la Via sin Arboles, begin just right of this.


Cams from micros to 3", with 2 ea. of #0.4-#1 camalot.
1 set nuts. Tricams useful.