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Routes in Checkerboard Wall

Checkmate T,S 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Circus Finish T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Cross-trainer T,S 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Green Thumb T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
King Me T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13
Knight's Move T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Lone Piton T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Opening Moves T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Pawn's Promotion T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Punch In The Nose T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Queen's Gambit T 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c
Red Squares T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Ring Leader T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Ring Route T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Sotol Roof T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Worth the Effort T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Type: Trad, 500 ft, 4 pitches
FA: unknown
Page Views: 978 total · 16/month
Shared By: Marta Reece on Dec 8, 2012
Admins: Aaron Hobson, Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Marta Reece, Drew Chojnowski

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Description

Pitch 1: Start from the cozy corner left of the sotol by stepping left onto the slabby ground. Continue up a short, nearly vertical corner and another slabby section to a vegetated ledge. This ledge is shared with Cross-trainer, but go up the crack to the right of the bolts. Belay from the ledge above. (Below the ledge with Cross-trainer bolts.)

Pitch 2: Skirt to the right on a sloping slab and continue up a section of slab delineated on both sides by deep vertical cracks. The terrain will gradually steepen. This is the crux of the route. Avoid the roof above by heading left to a sotol and the hollow behind it. If you want to keep a close eye on your second through the crux, you may belay from there. If not, continue straight up passing the Pitch-3 belay of Cross-trainer and staying with the same vertical crack or just to the left of it all the way to the Lunch Ledge.

Pitch 3: Go up the obvious opening in the wall above the Lunch Ledge (to the right of Cross-trainer bolts)and follow this crack/chimney for a pitch going on either side or stemming it as convenient. Belay from about the vicinity of a very large block to your right.

Pitch 4: Go up and slightly to the right over a wavy ground. Protect under the overhang and climb up the step on your right onto a ledge. Go up the block or if not comfortable with that walk on the ledge to the right past a couple of sotol plants and continue up an easy slab to the boulders above.

Location

Approach as for Cross-trainer but continue on the slab to the right just past the large bushes. Above the place where a trail becomes visible is a large sotol just under the rock wall. The route starts to the left of this plant.

The route is sandwiched between Cross-trainer and Checkmate, but it does not follow either of those routes. Only the exit at the top is shared with another route - the not often climbed Punch in the Nose. There are frequent opportunities throughout to bail to a fully bolted route (Cross-trainer) by heading left. To back off from the crux, however, look to your right into the crack. There is a piece of old webbing around a chock there.

To rappel down, walk up the boulders to reach the Cross-trainer anchors located on the ridge line just past the most obvious bush.

Protection

Standard rack with cams up to #4 Camalot. If you take #5, you'll place that too, repeatedly. Occasionally some Cross-trainer bolts may be used.

There are frequent opportunities throughout to bail to a fully bolted route (Cross-trainer) by heading left. To back off from the crux, however, look to your right into the crack. There is a piece of old webbing around a chock there.

Photos

Bill Lawry
New Mexico
  5.7
Bill Lawry   New Mexico
  5.7
This route is a very nice addition to Checkerboard Wall ... to me it seems much more enjoyable / rewarding than Cross-trainer. May 18, 2015
Marta Reece
Las Cruces, NM
 
Marta Reece   Las Cruces, NM  
 
I have updated the route description, generally going farther left than before and over somewhat more challenging ground. The original easier route, can be found by heading right in the top part of pitch 1 (instead of the vertical crack take the boulders), top part of Pitch 2 (going to a yucca plant and then the Checkmate anchors), and all of Pitch 3 (going up from Lunch Ledge where the rock above it becomes slabby and continuing up the easy slab to the right side of the big boulder).

The reason for the change: a route that was supposed to be a 5.6 turned out to have a 5.7 crux. It was logical to up the other sections to the same rating where easily doable. The resulting route appears to be great deal more satisfying to 5.7 climbers. Jul 20, 2013