REI Community
Bush Shark Area
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Banana Split T 
Big - T T 
Blood In The Water S 
Bush Shark Spire T 
Cabron T 
Curfew T,S 
Feeding Frenzy T 
Garden Party T 
Ghost Rider T,S 
Great White T,S 
Hammerhead T,S 
Mudshark Arpeggio, The T 
Pantomime T 
Westron Wynde T 

Garden Party 

YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a

Type:  Trad, Alpine, 1 pitch, 225', Grade II
Original:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: Mark Leonard and Mark Dalen
Page Views: 1,265
Submitted By: John Kear on Dec 10, 2007

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (6)
Your todo list:
Your stars:
Your rating: -none- [change]
Your ticklist: [add new tick]
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [0 people like this page.]


The route is a logical top out for parties looking for a moderate way to climb out after summiting the Bush Shark Spire. From the high point in the notch behind the Bush Shark Spire down climb to the right a couple of body lengths into a chimney. Continue traversing R for about 20 ft to the base of a short steep corner under the main crack system. Do a couple steep tricky moves to get up into the crack system. Once in the crack/corner follow it up til it ends about 180ft. Best to belay here and do a second shorter pitch to the top. The crux comes in the form of physical Yosemite style crack climbing. This route is unusual in the Sandias because it follows a continuous crack system and ends with a pretty cool chimney section. Unfortunately the route gets overgrown due to neglect.


The route starts out of the notch between the Bush Shark Spire and the Bush Shark Wall. Top out and belay off a large tree at the rim. Scramble off to the east to the top of the formation.


There is no fixed gear and a standard rack to 3" or 4" will suffice.

Comments on Garden Party Add Comment
Show which comments
By Alam
Feb 25, 2008

Thanks John for bringing back an old classic. During the traverse right from the notch (the way I have done this route) there is a pin high in a dihedral that can be used to protect the traverse (it has been there since at least 1990). I find I had to climb up to clip it, step back down and complete the traverse. I have always traversed considerably further right - ending near your new 2 bolt anchor for Ghost Rider, then climbing the flakes and crack up the final dihedral LEFT of your newly bolted line.... perhaps we are on different routes since you suggest only a few body lengths in your description of Garden Party. I always thought Banana Split (Hill description) was the closer of the 2 routes.
By George Perkins
From: The Dungeon, NM
Feb 25, 2008
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

When I did this- From the notch, I traversed right to the fixed piton, and then followed crack systems generally straight up and a little left from the piton. Backclean after the initial traverse if you care about rope drag. I remember a slick wide crack section- probably "Yosemite style liebacking". After most of the rope (180'), I reached a belay in an alcove behind a big block (in the chimney behind the block, wide enough to fit in). A shorter pitch went from there to the top, passing the block on the left. edit 6/13: A 70m rope might just barely reach the very top in a single pitch.
It worked, and was about 5.9, pretty fun. I thought I was on Garden Party, but I was using the same old book as everyone else. Who knows.

It's much more fun than hiking out Echo Canyon after climbing Bush Shark.
By John Kear
From: Albuquerque, NM
Apr 22, 2008

It sounds like George was on Garden party from his description. Alam, it seems you were quite far to the right of Garden party. The belay for Ghost Rider must be 40ft right of where GP goes straight up. I'm glad people are doing this route. A few years ago I cleaned and pruned the route to encourage traffic but as of last spring it had become overgrown again. Next time I'm over there I'll do some more cleaning and bring a camera and post a picture here.
By Robin
From: Albuquerque, NM
Jun 29, 2008

Sweet, this sounds like a great and logical continuation oF Bush Shark Spire to the top of the wall. I hope we get a chance to try it out this season.

It sounds from the description that except for the R traverse you follow a crack system that has good pro the whole way. Is that true?

How is the rock quality (considering we are in the Sandias) ? We won't mind pruning a bit if it's a good route!!

By Orlando
Aug 18, 2009

My usual more conservative counterpoint to Jeremy's beta...
From a belay in the notch to the top of the chimney, the pitch was a full, no rope left, 60m pitch. We missed the pin at the start; bummer, because I followed and there was 25 ft of rope between me and the first piece and I was looking at an UGLY pendulum whip into the opposite wall if I blew the traverse/downclimb. And it was a distinct possibility as my partner kept yanking on the rope because he couldn't hear me, 200ft away and belaying in the wind. So protect your second well, and because the route sits out of the way from the notch, it probably wouldn't be a bad idea to break the route into two pitches.
Otherwise, over beers, Jeremy thought the route was "Sandias old-school" 5.9, which to me meant, and felt like, solid 5.10 at the cruxes. Jeremy led the pitch, but it did have good pro and the rock was bomb. And if you follow, have fun with the pack when you get into the wide, upper section...
Fun stuff, great finish out of Bush Shark.
By markthomas
Jul 17, 2010
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Very fun route! The rock was ok, and the vegetation really wasn't bad. The R traverse was pretty relaxed and easy, but leader or follower really shouldn't fall. Very fun!
By Matthias Lang
From: Albuquerque
Aug 26, 2013

Is it correct that after climbing BSS to the bolted anchor one has to move the belay into the proper notch between wall and spire (same belay as for 'Blood in the Water'?), or do people belay from the bolted rap anchor? It's not quite clear to me from the descriptions here or the guide book.

It's been a while since I climbed BSS and I didn't do Garden Party back then so I didn't pay attention to possible belays for GP.
By George Perkins
From: The Dungeon, NM
Aug 27, 2013
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Prior to beginning this climb, move the belay down to the notch (rather than starting at the Bush Shark Spire bolted anchor). It's something like a 15' 4th class downclimb to get there. This is a good strategy as it's a long pitch and there will be some rope drag due to the traverse.

Mountain Project

The Definitive Climbing Resource

MTB Project

Next Generation MTB Trail Maps

Powder Project

Backcountry Ski Maps & Secret Stashes
FREE Stickers · Gyms · RSS · School of Rock · Contact · About