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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
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Type: Trad, 500 ft, 5 pitches
FA: Forrest Wilcox
Page Views: 1,937 total · 28/month
Shared By: Forrest Wilcox on Dec 23, 2012
Admins: Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Marta Reece, Drew Chojnowski

You & This Route

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P1: Slab climb up (5.6) past one bolt and pull up onto a big ledge. Make an anchor here (depending on how you want to start your second pitch make an anchor at the base of the chimney or to the left).

P2: There are two options either go right and climb the bolted chimney (5.8+, refer to the chimney pictures) or for an easy variation go left and pull up onto the slab column from its left side (5.6), but I highly recommend doing the chimney. At the top of the chimney it helps to do a 180 and use the crack to pull onto the ledge. Once on the slab column follow 3 bolts and place some trad gear in between. Make a trad anchor in a horizontal crack once you pass the last bolt.

P3: trad climb straight up. Once you pull up onto a big ledge go left and find a big crack. Stem up the crack and then hand jam your way to another big ledge (5.7) and make an anchor somewhere on this ledge.

P4: climb the dihedral with a sotol at the bottom and you end up at the top next to a big old tree(5.8)

(The crack at the top of the climb has two old pitons in it and the last dihedral has one very old piton. This top-out was probably climbed in the 70s or 80s. This last pitch was once called the Ring Route and was rated 5.9)


This route is located directly left of Punch In The Nose and right of the off-widths. To get down either rappel Cross-trainer of walk off the top.


There are 7 bolts. One set of cams, one set of nuts. ALL THE SPINNER BOLTS HAVE BEEN REPLACED!!!!!
Forrest Wilcox
Las Cruces, NM
Forrest Wilcox   Las Cruces, NM
One of the bolts is a spinner, but it is solid don't worry. The holds and footholds on the climb are very solid, hardly any lichen. The stemming crack has a lot of grass in it so it still needs to be cleaned out. Dec 23, 2012
This is a good protected addition to the central portion of Checkerboard. Pieces of the climb are portions of other climbs but the new route joins them together in a relatively straight route. The last pitch is the start of the old Standard Finish. This finish usually went up the steep lieback corner and then right to avoid the last portion of the dihedral.
There was a leader fall and rescue (2nd pitch, fortunate outcome) Spring 1976 on the face left of King Me. We really do not want the event to happen again. Jan 1, 2013
Forrest Wilcox
Las Cruces, NM
Forrest Wilcox   Las Cruces, NM
Yeah, the last undercling part of that dihedral is hard, but it is the best ending to do. The main thing to make sure to do is find a certain jug to pull your whole body up out of the undercling at the end. Jan 1, 2013
Albuquerque, NM
franciscov   Albuquerque, NM
Albuquerque, NM
franciscov   Albuquerque, NM
The first pitch has no needed bolts. The lead had natural protection within a few feet of all the bolts, and when led no bolts were used. The photograph above demonstrates this. You can see a cam placement just across from the unused bolt. Mar 17, 2013
Forrest Wilcox
Las Cruces, NM
Forrest Wilcox   Las Cruces, NM
The goal is to slab climb on the column of bolts it has lots of interesting holds and friction climbing, following the entire chimney is a different route. Oct 16, 2013
Marta Reece
Las Cruces, NM
Marta Reece   Las Cruces, NM  
The full-slab version of the route is great - not just pitch 1, but the full 200-foot pitch 2, which goes from ledge to ledge on slab alone. We slabbed it above that for a stretch as well.

For the top out, we started in the crack with the sotol, the usual way, stepped to the right (a bit earlier, which is harder, but still close to the usual way), but then instead of finishing up the easy dihedral, we went up to the right and laybacked it up the next corner. It's a fun finish, if you hadn't had enough yet.

Thank you, Forrest, for putting up the route. It's one of the best on Checkerboard for sure. Oct 17, 2013
Bill Lawry
New Mexico
Bill Lawry   New Mexico
True that the photo shows a lead going past where King Me exits to climber's left. Humbly, I think there is an argument here for not having any bolts in the chimney at all - even for the part that King Me uses. Oct 18, 2013
Marta Reece
Las Cruces, NM
Marta Reece   Las Cruces, NM  
Guide to the slab version:

Approach as for Cross-trainer, going left on the slabby ground below it. Leave packs here. Scramble up the corner just left of a bulge with a large ocotillo on it. There will be some soft bushes in your way and then an opening to the left to a nice belay ledge.

P1 (70 feet): go up the slab to a lonely bolt. Climb up to the right of bolt on decent holds to a ledge with a sotol. Continuing up from the sotol is easier on its left. Stop at a large ledge with a solitary bolt provided for an anchor. The bolt can be backed up, but not easily.

P2 (200 ft): start up few feet left on a featured and easy terrain, then move right onto the column directly above Pitch 1 belay. Stay on this column going straight up for the rest of the pitch. The steepest part is about one third of the way up. The bolts are reasonably in line and your pro can be as well (after the first 20 feet or so, which some may not protect), so the drag should not be bad. The bottom two bolts and one higher up are spinners. The bolts and protection opportunities are both sparse, and because the route is relatively new, the rock is still flaking more than the Checkerboard usual. To be comfortable on this, you should be pretty solid on 5.7 to 5.8 slabs. You may opt for an intermediate anchor in a horizontal crack, but if you go the full distance, you'll build on the first large ledge you come to (it will take two 70-m ropes to reach it). There is a chock that looks solid and can be used with cams both above and below, as well as other placements.

P3 (140 ft): for a protectable way up, step to the right to a narrow, intermittent, vertical crack with a bit of featured, different-color terrain around it. Warning: reaching the horizontal crack above this is significantly height dependent. A shorter second can, however, clean the gear from the vertical crack and traverse left to an easier ground. Once past the steep part, continue up and left through easier and then walkable terrain heading for the left-leaning crack with a sotol in it. There is a piton left of the sotol. Layback up the crack almost to the undercling before using an intermittent finger crack in the block on the right to cross to the right and into the next dihedral. Take the dihedral to the dead tree above.

Deproach: Scramble up a bit and traverse right. Scramble down to the chains of Cross-trainer marked by a vigorous bush near the edge. Oct 28, 2013
climber pat
Las Cruces, NM
climber pat   Las Cruces, NM
Two of the 3 bolts I looked at are crap spinners. I was able to wiggle one of the bolts further out of its' hold by hand. I am dubious of the quality of the other bolts given what I saw.

I don't know how you can say a bolt is a spinner and then say it is solid and don't worry about it.

This route needs maintenance.
Aug 3, 2014
Forrest Wilcox
Las Cruces, NM
Forrest Wilcox   Las Cruces, NM
I replaced the spinner bolts on king me, The second bolt on the column pitch is now lower and to the left making it easier to reach and a lot less dicey. I do believe this route is worthy of climbing more than most climbs on checkerboard so please give it another chance, sorry for the spinners on my first go they were a result of getting tired of hand drilling at night. All the bolts are solid now and the first bolt is much higher to prevent a ground fall Sep 27, 2014

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