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Burning Down the House

5.12, Trad, 90 ft,  Avg: 4 from 2 votes
FA: A. Miller and D. Moeser
New Mexico > Jemez Mountains… > Capulin Canyon… > Capulin Canyon > Upper Wall


A wild and aesthetic line following unlikely cracks and seams, pieces together seamlessly on bomber rock with solid gear placements. Requires a fair bit of try-hard, a must-do for the bold and Adventurous.
Start by spending your green C3s in a thin, unusable crack leading to a pod with a good hand jam ( an optional red C3 fits just below the jam getting you one last piece before standing up to clip the first bolt at the power crux.) Climb through two more bolts and lots of thin crack and unlikely pockets that lead you to an amazing but tricky final upper crux


BDTH is on the Psycho Killers Sector, just right of the stubby “Und Foxi” tower. Starts atop a block with some odd hand pods that leads quickly to a thin seam in an offset right-facing corner. Hard moves through good pockets and bad feet, several rests, and an exciting and committing finish get you to the anchor atop a big ledge. 


3 each: green and red C3s (blue and purple TCUs), one each 0.4, 0.5, and purple C3(grey TCU). 0.2 camalots work well also. 4-6 draws. Has 3 bolts.

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Adrian making short work of Burning Down the House
[Hide Photo] Adrian making short work of Burning Down the House

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Boulder, CO
[Hide Comment] Maybe on the harder end of 12 for an onsight. This was the best route I climbed in Capulin. Thoughtful, insecure and powerful; it would be a classic anywhere. The pockets feel providential on otherwise blank sections of wall. Rest where possible lest you blow your onsight like I did!

The second bolt hanger was upside-down when I got to it. I tried to pull it back down to be upright, but didn't have a wrench at the time. The stud needs to be loosened a bit to pull the hanger back down and re-tightened. Unfortunately, the bolt hole was drilled at a 5-10 degree angle laterally and so the hanger might never fully tighten down. A washer might help a little. I believe it is a 1/2" 5-piece, so a 9/16" wrench should work. Nov 26, 2018
Aaron Miller
Santa Fe, NM
[Hide Comment] Hi Michalm- Really glad you liked the route.

Hand drilling is a humbling affair, especially on steep terrain. Yeah, at the end of our effort to equip the line, I noticed Dave had drilled a fine bolt hole, one of maybe few he has done, but at a slight angle. Instead of re-drilling a new hole (not that easy, and not pretty) I decided on using an older but burly Euro hanger I had which doesn't have the pronounced offset opening that Fixe and other companies use. The hanger has more ambiguous of an opening and less of a single-dimension lobe. It tightened down real good, and will never fail, but it also cant be spun without creating a gap between the hanger and the wall. In any case, the bolt occurs on the only easy section of this route, and the bolt is there just because there is no other pro for a while except for the mantle-block, which is slightly hollow. I don't want people sticking gear into the block.

In the end, its a solid stainless bolt in a location that is not likely to see any real falls. The bolts protecting harder parts of the climb are 1/2" stainless, 5-piece, drilled correctly, and with correct orientation. So, I'm sorry about the upside-down hanger, but its a fully functional bolt in a non-critical part of the route and the other option, redrilling a new hole, is a bad option. At this point you should be able to just climb it and not worry too much. The fact that you cannot spin the bolt, kicking and screaming and thrashing on it, is a good sign of a strong bolt. The washer technique might work, behind the hanger, but that just puts more leverage on the bolt -- I'd leave it as is. Nov 26, 2018