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Ace of Spades T 
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Ace of Spades 

YDS: 5.11c French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 24 British: E4 6a

Type:  Trad, Alpine, 3 pitches, 375', Grade II
Original:  YDS: 5.11c French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 24 British: E4 6a [details]
FA: John Kear Mick Schein
New Route: Yes
Season: Fall and Spring are probably best
Page Views: 589
Submitted By: John Kear on Nov 10, 2013

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Mick coming up the amazing 1st pitch!


This route ascends a clean pillar that forms a south facing wall on the western aspect of Block Ridge. The crux is the first pitch which more than anything else is very sustained 11- climbing. It might be the longest and most sustained crack pitch in the Sandias. No joke, there is a 100+ft section of crack climbing without a single no hands stance. There are a couple of crux sections that are a bit more technical in the middle, clearing the bulge and a few body lengths above it as well as another about 140 ft up. The climbing on this first pitch is spectacular and a rare find in the Sandias in terms of sustained nature and splitter crack climbing.
Pitch 1 ramble up an easy L facing corner for 25 ft or so to the base of the steeper corner above, climb this for 25 feet then step left into the continuing crack and follow this mostly finger crack for another 115ft to the bolted anchor you rappelled in on. 165ft. 5.11b/c
Pitch 2 Although not as distinctly unique as the first pitch the second is sustained steep technical climbing that demands savvy lead skills and cool head to find reliable protection. There is sustained 10+ climbing to a ledge about 70 ft up, from here there is a short but committing boulder problem that requires some gear nesting skill. 90ft total to another bolted anchor. 5.11a/b
Pitch 3 starts with scrambling up and over the top of this pillar and working your way L with a few moves of down climbing from the notch in the ridge. By stepping L and continuing on a diagonal path up and trending L you will encounter another short section of splitter crack climbing straight up to the top of the formation. 100ft 5.9+


Approach from the top of the formation, with one rappel to the same ledge system where you would go to rappel trundle wall. From a ledge 20 ft or so above and west of the Seagrams 7 boulder step around the south side of a pillar to find the next set of rappel anchors. Two rappels will get you to the ground the first is 90 ft the second is 165 ft. Bring a rappel line to get down to the ground.


Rack at least doubles from .2 camalot (blue alien) to #2 camalot, it might be good to have triples in these sizes especially in the .75 camalot size, having a couple of micro cams and a good selection of nuts including several RPs for the 2nd pitch. There are anchors on the top of the formation, a 2nd set of rappel chains at the top of the pillar formation (facing south) and the 3rd set about 90 ft down. There is no other fixed gear.

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By Jfoley
Nov 17, 2013

Nice one guys sounds rad!

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