Type: Trad, Alpine, 80 ft
FA: Gary Lee Hicks & Florian Walchak, Winter of mid-1970s
Page Views: 128 total · 2/month
Shared By: Bill Lawry on Jan 7, 2012
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


The initial ~vertical crack has good pro which climbs like the nice easy music and suspenseful clicky sound from the winding lever ... solid steady thoughtful work. Be aware there is a semi-detached chunk of rock in this section, about the volume of a soccer ball.

The first ascent party, Gary Lee Hicks and Florian Walchak, then followed the crack up & left to finish up the wide vertical crack: steep and smooth-ish rock with increasing risk of pendulum.

Alternatively, after the vertical portion, we exited up and right where the crack turns left. That way, listen for the loud 'n scare-y "boing" while facing an alarming lack of crimpers / knobs, increasing difficuilty for a bit, and no more pro.

Descend via modern rap bolts.


Set a belay on the small table-top ledge at the SE corner of the tower - protect belayer from upward pull into roof. Perhaps better is to start at the base of the SW face of the tower directly below the route.


For the way we did it: Half inch to two inch wired stoppers and cams. Lasso the horn nearer the bottom with a long runner? Nearer the upper part of the vertical crack, a half inch cam or similar offset cam might be nice.


Hey Naldo :o) I recently came across Mtn Project and haven't yet made a full scan of all the routes but am trying to correct/update/ add to everything I can remember and also give credit to people who were with me on various ascents of routes we did not submit to Mike Hill for his guide book.
This "Left Tower" as it is called here was 1st done by Florian Walchak and myself sometime in winter in the mid 1970-s. We followed the crack left where the photo shows a red line going right. We finished up the wide vertical crack after a short traverse from the red line marking Jack in the Box going right.
It's quite probable that we placed quarter inch bolts to rap off. As I remember none of us started using 3/8 inch bolts until the 1980-s.
Florian dropped one of his BLUE Dachstein mittens into a crack along the south side of this formation and if only we had had a fishing pole and a hook we might have retrieved it ! I wonder if anyone has ever found it or has seen it inside the 4 or 5 inch crack it has been residing in for the past 40 yr-s !!! LOL
I would be curious to know what you mean by "modern rap anchors". Thanks Buddy Jul 10, 2015
Bill Lawry
New Mexico
Bill Lawry   New Mexico
Thank you, Gary. I've updated the FA-ist part and the description.

By "modern rap bolts" I mean something other than what I was afraid we'd find up there such as a corroded version of the quarter-inch kind you mentioned - no offense intended - or find nothing.

The current bolts / hangers are fat and shine-y.

I'm hesitant to ask about the name "Naldo" - hopefully it's that Brazilian, versatile, two-footed, good-looking central defender. ;-) Jul 10, 2015