Type: Trad, 400 ft, 4 pitches, Grade II
FA: James Olsen and Fritz Devendorf May 17, 2006
Page Views: 346 total · 11/month
Shared By: James Olsen on May 3, 2016
Admins: Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Marta Reece, Drew Chojnowski

You & This Route

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Pitch 1, Climb on the small fluted rock, following the grain of the fluting, either just left of where it makes an open book with the rock wall on the right (preferred) or on the small fluted rock about 20' to the left of that spot.The ledge before the belay ledge is full of cactus. Belay at the ledge above it. You will fully run out a 60 meter rope getting to the belay spot.

Pitch 2, Go upward to a cliff face, then the left over blocky boulders and ledges to one of a few spots where you can more easily ascend between the gaps in the cliff face (crux 5.6 to 5.7), then left to a ledge on the skyline buttress. There is room here for three or four people.  To avoid severe rope drag, break this lead into two separate leads.

Pitch 3, This is the fun pitch. In front of you is a textured rock zone that turns into a very wide (8'or so) very shallow chimney. Climb the textured back of the chimney exiting right about halfway up and continue upward among the giant mushroom shaped rock extrusions (chicken heads on steroids). Set belay in an alcove ledge. Only tricams work here in odd shaped pockets.  The alternative is to stay on the textured rock to the top.  I'ts easier and better protected and avoids the last pitch, but it's much less fun.

Pitch 4, Continue up leftward on an easy partial pitch to the top.

Descend on third class route on opposite side of the volcanic neck, being careful not to get off route. At one spot part way down it is difficult to tell whether to go left or right. Go right.


Start on the south side of Cabezon about 20' to 40' west of the end of the barbed wire fence. Avoid the cactus.


Standard rack to #3 Camelot and #1 to #3 tricams.


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George Perkins
The Dungeon, NM
George Perkins   The Dungeon, NM
A few 5th class routes are on the S-Side of Cabezon, some info in the MP forum and rockclimbing.com (links below)

rockclimbing.com/routes/Nor… May 4, 2016
James Olsen
Santa Fe, NM
James Olsen   Santa Fe, NM
There's room enough at the belay ledges for a party of three or four to ascend this route. Aug 13, 2018
Does this route go through the sketchy ash layer? If you, "stay on the textured rock to the top," do you avoid the ash layer? Oct 11, 2018
James Olsen
Santa Fe, NM
James Olsen   Santa Fe, NM
The route avoids the ash band. Oct 12, 2018
I tried like heck to identify the features on this route from the ground, and it seems pretty iffy. There certainly didn't appear to be a 5.6 path up the headwall. This would definitely be an adventure... Oct 25, 2018