Type: Trad, Alpine, 160 ft
FA: Paul Davidson et al, FFA John Kear and Benny Abruzzo 2010
Page Views: 776 total · 8/month
Shared By: John Kear on Jun 23, 2010
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


A great variation on the Flower Tower Headwall. 1st variation - starts from the same ledge as The Great Escape but immediately traverses right out past a little Bonsai tree or 2nd variation - rappel 160ft to a ledge with a new bolt. Start climbing just left of the belay up a steep slab on good rock. Gain a thin seam in a wide book turning a couple small bulges. Climb up to a 4-5ft roof and turn the roof left on the prow. Clip a bolt and gain the Bonsai tree mentioned earlier. From there head up to a little roof, traverse a little right then turn the roof and step back left into a tiny seam (bolt). Follow the seam for a few body lengths until the seam becomes a good flake/crack system. Follow this crack to the top.

The pitch has a nice combination of good rock, thin face big roofs and splitter crack to make it well worth doing. The pitch is just left of an old route in Mike Hill's guide called Cattle Rustlers. I'm fairly certain that this line is not the same route.


The route starts from the ledge at the base of The Great Escape or rappel 160ft in from the top to a new belay stance at 1 bolt and some gear. The little Bonsai tree, that you can see from the belay ledge is a good landmark to get on route.


A rack of small gear from tiny to 2", make sure to have doubles in the .33 to 1.5 inch range and RPs. There is a bolt at the belay ledge one at the first crux roof and another at the second roof, three total.


- No Photos -
I started on a route in that area that was stellar.
Once w/ John Fleming and once with Randall Jett and maybe once with RB. I'll have to see if he remembers it.

Your version sounds somewhat like it. Very clean rock.
This was on tr not lead. It seemed to me that it would require a few fixed pieces or micro gear on stiff moves. There were at least two differnt start variations that we worked on up a slab to about a 5 ft roof. easiest was to turn over on the left.

seems like there was a ponderosa that had been wacked in half by rock fall down near the start.

beautiful clean rock one long pitch?
did require a bit of serious cleaning for one of the variations higher up in some cracks there were large stacked flakes that went a long way down when trundled.

I seem to recall doing it one way up into a very thin face crack and then more to the right in bigger cracks which perhaps was part of russler?

My memory is it was harder than 11- but...

been wondering when someone would discover this gem. Jun 25, 2010
John Kear
Albuquerque, NM
John Kear   Albuquerque, NM
I did lead this thing the other day, it was heady for sure. Might be harder than 11- my partner felt it was quite a bit harder than Western Justice. Since we traversed in from the Great Escape ledge we came in just above the 5ft roof you were talking about Paul. It does look like you could start it lower and climb into the same line. I will try to check out the lower section and see if any fixed gear is required there. On the upper 100ft that we climbed 1 bolt would make all the difference.

Thanks for the input Paul. Jun 26, 2010
Post up some pics sometime.
After re-reading this, I think we may have been a bit more East ?
Hard to say... I do remember harder than 11- but that might have been turning the roof straight up.
Certainly is a good sized section of really clean rock in that area. Jul 29, 2010
John Kear
Albuquerque, NM
John Kear   Albuquerque, NM
Went back to this climb today and rappelled all the way to the base of the good clean rock, about 160ft. We made a belay at a nice 2ft x 4ft ledge right below the logical line. I put in a couple bolts on lead then lowered back down to the ledge and red-pointed the thing. We also added a bolt at the belay ledge. Very nice climbing with two 5.11 crux sections. Sep 7, 2010