Avg: 1 from 2 votes
|Type:||Trad, Alpine, 600 ft, 6 pitches|
|Page Views:||671 total · 10/month|
|Shared By:||Chris Wenker on Aug 28, 2012|
|Admins:||Aaron Hobson, Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Marta Reece, Drew Chojnowski|
Juan Tabo Canyon is subject to annual access closures from March 1 to August 15. Details
The USFS-imposed closure applies to UNM Spire, the Prow, the Ramp, and the Shield (but not the Knife Edge). The Needle, and its south and east approaches, are unaffected.
Seasonal Falcon Closure Details
The Shield is closed from February through mid-August for peregrine falcon nesting. The Knife Edge is open year-round.
DescriptionDescribed in Mike Hill's guidebook (pg. 83). His narrative describes this face as having a couple of options that can keep the climbing anywhere from 5.6-5.8 or harder (hence, the route name). His topo shows even a few more options not mentioned in the text.
We opted to try his described 5.8 line that generally follows the left-most lines on his topo (the solid lines, not the dashes), and here is what we found:
Start up a gully that leads to a left-leaning fin/ramp-like feature. At about 60m, a newish two-bolt anchor occupies a platform on the left. Aside from being harder than it looks, this pitch is loose and brushy and doesn't come with much to recommend it.
To reach the 'large grassy ledge' at the route's midpoint, you now have to pursue a hard-right ascending traverse, which is fairly blocky, and easy (and brushy).
From the left side of the large ledge, a strikingly clean open book ascends. Two fixed pins lead up this superb, but all-too-short 5.8 corner, and then you're back in the jungle. To get to the top, follow the broad corner straight up through some enjoyable hand and fist jams, although the rock quality deteriorates right at the top.
With a 70m cord, and some simul/soloing, we got out in four pitches. YMMV.
LocationPresently, Smorgasbord is the rightmost reported route on the Shield. After the catwalk approach, walk around a buttress and come to the big left-facing corner in the face of the Shield. Find some place to start from here.
The clean-looking 150-foot corner just to the right of where we went up looks stellar! It might take some bigger gear, though. It has a slung tree at the top which you can see from below.