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BETA PHOTO: the start of Las Hormigas, for reference. if you z...
Las Hormigas is a sick line in a nest of basalt splitters. It has a little bit of everything, and it's all good. Hands, fingers, great stemming, real OW, flakes, and even some delicate face climbing. All with good protection and bolted anchors.
P1. Start with a few yards of twin hand cracks, then choose left or right at a fin maybe 30' off the ground. Left looks hard, I stepped right to follow hand cracks (initially behind a thin flake) up and over a block to a great ledge. The first pitch ends here, technically, but links easily to the second with a 60m rope, particularly if you manage your rope well at this transition. There are bolts and rings inconveniently above the ledge, presumably to allow you to reliably reach them while rapping the next pitch which is a full 100'.
P2. Climb up the obvious cracks, generally with two cracks (fingers to your left, wider stuff to your right). There are two wide sections that would need large cams, but there is splitter finger-size pro to the left, so large cams may be unnecessary. See pro notes. Top out the pitch with thin fingers on the left or full-bore offwidth to the right in a widening crack to the pillar top ledge and bolted anchors.
P3. This is fun enough to do, but not as clean and classic. Face climb up above the anchor (pinch the fin and place a wide cam left in the roof for pro, or step left under the roof and climb straight up) to a short and steep cups or fist crack (currently with a couple chockstones) to another bolted anchor.
P4. This pitch is rarely climbed since you need to bushwhack across the wide garden terrace in the middle of the wall till you reach a hand crack. Also, it has a very dangerous loose block at the top of it, which is another reason why it doesn't get done.
See description for the sub-area.
Standard rack up to #4 Camalot (doubles on all sizes), nuts and a few long runners. An optional #5 Camalot could be used for the OW section but it isn't mandatory as there is plenty of other options for pro around.
By manuel rangel
From: Tempe, Arizona
Dec 7, 2011
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
I climbed this last weekend. I did the first two pitches in one with a single 70m rope. I found the crux up high at the upper finger crack where you climb the OW and protect in the finger crack. Great and varied basalt route!