Type: Trad, 500 ft, 4 pitches, Grade II
FA: Ken Trout, Peter Prandoni, 1979.
Page Views: 1,309 total · 12/month
Shared By: George Perkins on Jun 9, 2010
Admins: Mike Howard, Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Marta Reece, Drew Chojnowski

You & This Route

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Access Issue: Wilderness Area Details


One of the more prominent lines at Questa Dome, Questar is a nice climb that deserves more attention. There is interesting climbing on all the pitches, but still some flakiness from lack of traffic. The 3rd and 4th pitches are striking from below, as the left of 2 long continuous diagonal crack systems left of the big roofs on Questa Dome.

The best start is the first two pitches of "Sequestered", described here. One can also use the original first two pitches of "Jonny Questa", which is easier and not as interesting climbing (see the Jonny Questa page for that described).

Begin just up and right of the lowest point of Questa Dome, under a small left facing corner with an 8" crack. There will be a big flat roof about 150' from you, and the first belay is at a tree visible on the upper left part of your view upwards.

Pitch 1: Start up the corner for 20'. Step left on a slab. Climb easy cracks passing some bushes to a stance (optional belay). Angle up and left on an easy hand crack, turn a small roof. You'll pass the giant roof about 20' to its left, where you'll clip a bolt and mantle off a flexing flake. Lieback up the finger crack above. Step left to the tree, belay. (5.10-, 190').

Pitch 2: From the right of the tree, slab straight up and slightly right to an overlap/roof. Hand traverse right along this roof, clip a bolt and turn the roof, and go left on the slab to reach another bolt. Do not take the cracks through the roof up and right, which is "Sequestered". Instead, continue left, step left around an arete (where you'll join the original "Jonny Questa" line) and belay at one of two 6' pine bushes in a left-facing corner. (5.9+, 100')

Pitch 3: Crux pitch. Just above the 2nd pine bush, hand traverse right under on a white face under the a roof to a stance on the arete. Pumpy. (There is a higher roof too- which is the wrong way.) Slab up the narrow prow, passing 1 bolt, and join the hand crack where the higher roof meets the face. Continue up easier cracks, mostly hands, and belay after a while, where convenient. This pitch is something special! (5.11, 150').

Pitch 4: Climb up the right-angling hand and finger cracks in the same system. After a ways, consider moving left to a highly featured low-angle climbing, and belay on a ledge. (5.9+, 180'). 4th class to the top.

There are nice topos in 'Taos Rock' and Horaks' topo posted on this site, but I'd recommend breaking the pitches up as described here. This climb is not described in 'RC:NM'.


Left side of Questa Dome. Questar goes up the left of the two obvious crack systems on the upper left part of the Dome.


Cams to 3", with doubles from fingers to #1 camalot.
1 set nuts, including RPs.


George Perkins
The Dungeon, NM
  5.11b PG13
George Perkins   The Dungeon, NM
  5.11b PG13
I trashed Josh's rope when I fell trying to clean gear while on the roof traverse on the crux pitch. If following this pitch, it's probably best to move all the way out to the stance on the prow, then lean back to deal with the pro. If leading this pitch- don't blow it before getting gear in, or you'll fall on your belayer. We cut 12' off the end of the rope at the next belay as a result.

Re: 1/4" bolts. The bolt on p1, Josh Smith replaced a year ago. The bolts on p2 are 1/4" but the climbing is easy so falling on them isn't likely. The bolt on p3 is 1/4", protecting hard moves close to it. (Want to do a handful of people a favor? Bring your hand drill and put in 40 extra minutes...) Jun 9, 2010
Stu Ritchie
Stu Ritchie   Denver
There is 1 bolt on pitch 3. It is an old and rusty 1/4". If it snapped, the fall would be exciting, but fortunately it is backed up by good cams a few feet lower. Sep 26, 2010
Ken Trout
Golden, CO
Ken Trout   Golden, CO
FA: "Joe from western Colorado"

Actually it was me, Ken from Durango, with Peter Prandoni from Taos, back in 1979.

Thanks to Josh and any others for the help with upgrading the hardware or posting beta! Sep 30, 2012