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Observatory Wall (Upper Tier)

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Airbus T 
Goodnight Moon T 
La Naris S 
Lichening The Serpent S 
Luna Lumina T 
Solar Eclipse T 
You're Scaring the Horses S 

Observatory Wall (Upper Tier) Rock Climbing 

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Elevation: 5,500'
Page Views: 3,858
Administrators: Shirtless Mike, Aaron Hobson, Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Marta Reece, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Aaron Miller on Jun 7, 2006  with updates from George Perkins
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BETA PHOTO: Topo for the Observatory Wall.


The Observatory Wall is the tier of rock above the Runway, on Early Wall. North-facing and shaded (good in summer). Reach these climbs by climbing the Runway (Lower Tier) routes below them, usually continuing past the anchors through a blocky section to a higher belay at the base of the Observatory Wall routes. Due to loose rocks, you can't easily/safely traverse very far along the base of the upper tier.

To descend, some climbs may require a 70m rope, 2nd rope, or shenanigans, or walk off to the left. Check the route descriptions to see the best approach pitches, and to see if you'll want a 2nd rope.

It's worth it, the rock quality and views are great.

Getting There 

Follow the approach for The Grotto (a.k.a. The Notch) but head left (east) before entering the Grotto proper. Climb a route on the Runway (Lower Tier) to reach the upper tier, the Observatory Wall.

Climbing Season

Weather station 6.8 miles from here

7 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',3],['3 Stars',4],['2 Stars',0],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Observatory Wall (Upper Tier)

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Observatory Wall (Upper Tier):
Airbus   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c PG13     Trad, 2 pitches, 200'   
Lichening The Serpent   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Observatory Wall (Upper Tier)

Featured Route For Observatory Wall (Upper Tier)
Rock Climbing Photo: The Golden Boy on the first ascent.

Lichening The Serpent 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a  New Mexico : Santa Fe Area : ... : Observatory Wall (Upper Tie...
The opening moves set the tempo for this exposed and sustained classic. The crux is through the bottom moves but does not jump out at you as a crux at any time. It is pretty sustained, balancy, and thin climbing from the get go. You have to move like a serpent would in S shapes and have good footwork. Very interesting and a must do, but not on a wet day....[more]   Browse More Classics in New Mexico

Photos of Observatory Wall (Upper Tier) Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking down at Observatory Ledge's two sets of be...
BETA PHOTO: Looking down at Observatory Ledge's two sets of be...
Rock Climbing Photo: routes on the far right side of Early Wall (photo ...
BETA PHOTO: routes on the far right side of Early Wall (photo ...

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