Type: Trad, Alpine, 180 ft
FA: Peter Prandoni, Jenny McKernan, 1976
Page Views: 708 total · 6/month
Shared By: George Perkins on Aug 22, 2009
Admins: Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Marta Reece, Drew Chojnowski

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Access Issue: Seasonal raptor closure for some areas in the Sandias Details


Tarantula is a nice line. Start with a clean finger crack splitting the slab under the roof. Move left to a wide crack in the right-facing corner. Escape the corner to its left about 15' below the upper left corner of the roof. Pass through a bulge (crux); traverse right to a chimney, and follow easier grooved cracks to the top. A short 3rd class pitch might be needed to reach a downclimb off the back of the rock.

  • This climb goes in a single pitch. The rope drag would be better if you split it up, but there isn't an obvious place for an intermediate belay. Use long runners to minimize rope drag.
  • Mick's book says you can also turn the roof at its upper left end at hard-to-protect 11-.
  • There was more looseness on this climb than I was expecting. I don't think it sees much traffic.


Tarantula follows the thin crack in the center of the Mexican Breakfast formation, then escapes the prominent roof on its left side.


Cams and nuts up to 3", with extra finger-size cams.


John Kear
Albuquerque, NM
John Kear   Albuquerque, NM
I've done Tarantula a couple of times and always gone the way Mick's guide describes the route, exciting 11-, but a quality line for sure, definitely recommended. Aug 26, 2009
George Perkins
The Dungeon, NM
George Perkins   The Dungeon, NM
Thanks, John. It felt insecure compared to other 5.10b's in the Sandias, following what I was pretty sure Sandia Rock said was the easier way to go. Nice climb certainly. Aug 26, 2009
When I did this, years ago, it was a long walk for one pitch. Probably still is... It was certainly 5.11 then. I was climbing well when we did this (John Fleming led it) and it felt plenty hard. Certainly 5.11 and as I recall, the pro was pumpy to get at the roof.

BTW - as I recall, we came at it from the Torreon approach, is that the best way or is there a way to get at it off the trail ? Aug 28, 2009
Sky Sjue
Santa Fe
Sky Sjue   Santa Fe
It takes about 10 minutes of stomping through the trees and hopping rocks to reach the formation from the trail. Both Breakfast Crack and Tarantula were worth the visit, especially if linking them with one of the routes on Torreon. Why not add another excellent pitch? Jun 24, 2012
We came down via the Torreon approach.
I suspect we were thinking of something on Torreon and just kept going.

We also did a very different line that what George shows.
We didn't do the traverse out left but straight up the thin cracks over the roofs. Pretty sure that way is not 10b.

What does Mick's guide say? Have to look up that and what Hill says.
John Fleming recalls there being fixed pins up over the roofs at the belay on the direct version. We thought that was the way Prandoni went.
Jan 13, 2014