Avg: 3 from 3 votes
|Type:||Trad, Alpine, 230 ft, 2 pitches, Grade III|
|FA:||Josh Smith, Will Vining, George Perkins|
|Page Views:||333 total, 63/month|
|Shared By:||Josh Smith on Jul 9, 2017|
|Admins:||Aaron Hobson, Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Marta Reece, Drew Chojnowski|
DescriptionIf you're into roof cracks, this one is amazing and well worth the little jaunt down the La Luz. We did it in two trips; the first time up the roof, we aided it and the last person (George) cleaned a lot of loose rock out of the roof crack, setting it up for free climbing. From above the roof, Will pioneered a new pitch that went up and left to almost the left end of Space Ledge. We continued up the last two pitches of Metamorphosis (see Mike Hill book, easily linked with a 70) to the top of the formation and rapped once off the back with two ropes.
The pitch above the roof was fun, but checked in at probably 5.9 R (with the R on the hard part) and with some looseness. It would also be possible to go right above the roof and join Space Ledge on the right side at a much easier grade. However, it is also easy to rap off from above the roof and skip the rest of the mediocre climbing, which presumably is what most folks would do and why I'm not including the top part of the formation in the length and pitch count.
The first pitch follows an obvious dihedral directly below the roof and leads straight to it. The first part of the pitch is 5.7ish stemming on good rock and ends in a 8ft steep 5.10 layback up the right side of a red V feature. Stop at the good stance below the roof where you can get comfortable and watch the exciting sports action. Length is about 180 feet. We were unclear if this was the first pitch of Duck Soup or not, as we did not see the mentioned bolt and the dihedral is not "discontinuous cracks" as described. It's a very fun pitch.
The roof is about 18 feet horizontal, takes great gear, and is probably about 5.12b. The gear is excellent, and the jams are excellent and varied. The crux is pulling the lip and getting established above (long arms or ham-fists might make this easier). We taped up, which proved useful because there are lots of sharp crystals in the crack. Anti-tapers should anticipate exsanguination.
High quality roof cracks of this size are unusual, and I haven't climbed one comparable to it in New Mexico before. If roofs are your thing, definitely put this on your list.
For extra credit, just below Chaos Crag and up hill about 200 feet (right next to the trail) is a small tower with a seriously overhanging 30ft 11+ finger crack.
LocationHike down the La Luz to the bottom of the Thumb. Spot the roof on Chaos Crag from the La Luz just before it enters the trees. There is an independent tower in front of the crag, and you can approach from either side of it. If you approach from the bottom of the tower, leave the trail at metal sign and go straight up hill.
ProtectionA rack of singles from #0 to #3 with a set of nuts and an extra #0.75 and #1. A #4 would be useful for either the first pitch or the belay below the roof, but we did just fine without it. The roof is fingers to #2 at the lip.
There is an anchor above the roof. One bolt and one Lost Arrow. 140ft rap to the side.