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Routes in Block Ridge

Ace of Spades T 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Last Goodbye T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
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Type: Trad, Alpine, 700 ft, 5 pitches
FA: Mark Leonard, Kathy Kocon-Hicks, Gary Hicks, 1980
Page Views: 593 total · 10/month
Shared By: Chris Wenker on Jun 11, 2013 with updates from Bill Lawry
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

Description

Located on Block Ridge, which forms the left side (south edge) of Trundle Wall, Last Goodbye presents some good 5.8 climbing down low, with a mellow finish, in a great setting. Described by Hill (1993:191-192).

P1, ~160’: Aim for the beautiful dihedral that is visible 100’ ft up. From the first belay tree, head up and slightly right to the overhanging groove (yes, the one with all the rock lettuce/cabbage.) (To the left, there is a clean overhang that leads directly to the dihedral as well. I spent a long time trying to turn that roof, but I didn’t see a way to keep it in the 5.7-5.8 range. But it was chalked up, so someone’s been on it recently.) Above the overhanging 5.7 groove on the right, follow steep, slightly loose blocks to a fixed pin (an angle in a horizontal; the head of the pin is stamped “IIIX” or “XIII”, if that means anything to anyone). Then climb a fun thin face on a leftwardly ascending traverse into the excellent 40 ft’ 5.8 dihedral. (The direct corner from below meets up again here). At the top of the dihedral, the massive prow of the ridge looms above. Belay somewhere around here, planning for the next pitch to head up to the right.

 P2, 5.8, 130 ft: Climb to the top of the left-facing dihedral - pitch crux.  Then up easy slab and then a ~25 foot hand-sized crack to a belay ledge comfortable for two.  This ledge is at a keyhole view into the other side of Block Ridge.  Keyhole is human sized capped with a ~1' X ~3' rock.
 
 P3, easy 5th, 120 ft: Head up and right to then skirt the now horizontal ridge on its right, finally surmounting the ridge around 90 feet and then gaining a nice side-walk ledge with large belay boulder.  Great views.
 
 P4, exposed 4th class, ~120 ft: Continue to the namesake block at first skirting the ridge on its' S side.

P5, Ascend easy 5th class up the steep face behind the block, which will spit you out right at the rap anchors for the Trundle Wall routes.

Location

On our approach, we aimed to leave the packs at the top of the route. To descend, maybe you could rap the Trundle Wall (but it sounds like it overhangs so much that you need to leave gear on the raps?). Instead we then opted to backtrack and walk down TWA Canyon. If one approaches by hiking down TWA Canyon, stay on skier's left side of the canyon where one can find a mostly good boot trail down to the point of traversing into the base of the climb. Down in the canyon, when nearing the base of Block Ridge, note the ledge about 200’ above the actual ridge toe. Traverse onto that ledge, and aim for a small fir tree just above the ledge. Getting to that tree involves some very exposed 4th class, so one may choose to belay slightly lower, or rope up to approach the tree.

Protection

We took 1-1/2 set of cams from C3's to a single #3 C4. Many small nuts were useful. One old fixed pin on P1.
George Perkins
The Dungeon, NM
George Perkins   The Dungeon, NM
re: rapping Trundle Wall to approach.

We recently rapped in Top Flite with a single 60m rope (3 rappels). Shouldn't need to leave gear, except at the top anchor, which you could retrieve on the way out. We replaced the cord on the anchors. The last rap isn't ideal (wiggly pin + fixed nut); we backed that up with a non-weighted cam, then cleaned it when we climbed out.

If rapping S&S, would need to leave gear for the 2nd rappel (one bolt only at the top of p2), and 70m rope needed.

Hope this helps. At least you found the trail in TWA canyon. That ridge looks a nice line. Jun 11, 2013
Bill Lawry
New Mexico
  5.8 PG13
Bill Lawry   New Mexico
  5.8 PG13
We did this route a couple days ago - good climb. P1 has some loose stuff - use care to not send down on belayer. May 8, 2018
Chris Wenker
Santa Fe
 
Chris Wenker   Santa Fe
 
Copied in from my comment on the main TWA Canyon page:
With the help of a knowledgeable hiker, we found the trail intersection of the La Luz with the top of the path down in to TWA Canyon. From the apparent head of TWA Canyon, keep hiking south on the La Luz toward the tram, for 150-200 yards (?? – that’s a guess; anyway, it feels like you’re going too far). There is a blazed tree adjacent to the right side of the trail, and at this point an informal foot path cuts back hard to the right. Follow this through some switchbacks down the left side of the canyon, where the very steep main path in the canyon bottom then becomes obvious. This descent does a great job of avoiding any cross-country bushwackery. May 10, 2018

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