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Hasta La Hueco 

YDS: 5.12d French: 7c Ewbanks: 28 UIAA: IX ZA: 28 British: E6 6b

Type:  Sport, 3 pitches, 220'
Original:  YDS: 5.13b French: 8a Ewbanks: 29 UIAA: IX+ ZA: 30 British: E7 6c [details]
FA: Bret Ruckman, Steve Annecone, 2012/2013 (pitches 1 and 2), Spring 2016 (pitch 3)
New Route: Yes
Season: Winter
Page Views: 6,223
Submitted By: Steve Annecone on Apr 5, 2013

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Bret on an early burn, Nov. 2012.

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  • Description 

    This route works up to and follows the striking, wildly hueco'd wall up the middle of the south face of the Maiden. Pitch 1 starts just right of a large juniper tree, directly below the "Stone Oven Belay" (top of 1st pitch of the South Face route). Look for the juggy holds over a small roof, with a bolt above, and start there. Though we initially thought this pitch was new terrain, it turns out this start, or some variation thereof, may have been done earlier by David Light and Greg Miller as part of the free Kor-Dalke. Pull the roof low, step up right onto a slab, and work up to a ramp, following it up left and then straight up to a red/chocolate roof, moving right over airy ground to the belay ledge (5.9 or 10-).

    The second pitch fires up the continuously overhung, bullet-proof, patina’d wall. The first 5 bolts travel through juggy 5.10+ or 11- terrain to a stance just past the 5th bolt. From there, power up sustained 5.12 moves to a break above the 8th bolt, then finish it up to the top via one more cruxy section. This is very sustained and pumpy, with reachy and powerful moves in a spectacular setting.

    In the spring of 2016, we added a third pitch (5.13b) that tops out on the east ridge not far from the summit. From the top of the 2nd pitch, move right over airy terrain past the first two bolts. From there, power through the crux moves up to the 3rd bolt, and continue up the gentle overhang through fairly sustained 5.11/5.12 climbing. The redpoint crux may be hanging on long enough to get through this section, and it's not over till you get to the 7th bolt. From there, 5.10 or 11- climbing past bolts 7 to 9 take you to the anchor. The crux section is tricky and crimpy, with a few gastons, a sloper or two, and major pump management required. Best to do this pitch in coolish conditions if possible.

    During the process of establishing this route, we'd frequently hear wild turkeys gobbling away or coyotes howling nearby, and recently I was treated to some fresh mountain lion tracks in the snow. The environment here is wild and beautiful, so tread lightly.

    The location and particularly the Stone Oven Belay are surprisingly warm. The spacious belay ledge is in a wind-sheltered, concave area on the wall that tends to bake when the sun is out. Consider this a winter route, though great conditions can also be found on the cooler fall or spring days.

    A 60-meter cord is sufficient for both leading and rapping off each pitch. However, if lowering or especially if rappelling off either the second or third pitch, be sure to kick out hard and keep in contact with the rock on the way down or you get left hanging in space. A longer cord will be needed if combining pitches 2/3 into a longer, uber-lead.


    Follow the same approach as for all Maiden south face routes. The start of the first pitch is directly below the big belay ledge at the top of the 1st pitch of the South Face route, which is about 20-30 yards further uphill than the start of that route. Belay next to the juniper tree under a small roof.


    Only a very light rack is needed for the first pitch, from small nuts/RPs to a #1 or #2 Camalot. Bring 3 or 4 long slings to minimize drag. Both the second and third pitches have 9 bolts leading to 2-bolt anchors.

    Photos of Hasta La Hueco Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: Starting up the second pitch.
 Photo by Craig Ho...
    Starting up the second pitch. Photo by Craig Ho...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Unknown climber on Hasta La Hueco.
    Unknown climber on Hasta La Hueco.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Climbers on Hasta La Hueco.
    Climbers on Hasta La Hueco.
    Rock Climbing Photo: A closer view of the second pitch.
    BETA PHOTO: A closer view of the second pitch.
    Rock Climbing Photo: A view from the south, with second pitch shown in ...
    BETA PHOTO: A view from the south, with second pitch shown in ...

    Comments on Hasta La Hueco Add Comment
    Show which comments
    By adam brink
    From: Boulder, CO
    Apr 5, 2013

    Way to go, Steve and Brett!
    By Peter Beal
    From: Boulder Colorado
    Apr 6, 2013

    Is there a third pitch planned?
    By Pinklebear
    Apr 15, 2013
    rating: 5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b

    Superlative rock climb. Great work, Bret and Steve. The good huecos on the lower half will make you feel like a superhero...until you encounter their evil, sloping, widely spaced cousins on the upper half. The problem is, they all look like good huecos from below; so you just won't know until you know, and'll know!
    By Margo Hayes
    Apr 28, 2013
    rating: 5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c

    Such a fun route! =] I thought that it was a stiff 12d, maybe even 13a. Thank you, Steve, for taking us up there!!
    By climbinzs
    Nov 16, 2013
    rating: 5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b

    Great route! Make sure you’re wearing a knee-pad for two locker left knee-bars. One at the seventh bolt, just before the crux. Harder for anyone under 5'’8”" due to its reachy nature.
    By Bart Paull
    From: Boulder, CO
    Feb 6, 2015
    rating: 5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b

    This route is awesome!
    By Brett S.
    From: Colorado
    Sep 7, 2015

    This route is incredible. The position is just fantastic. An adventurous sport route of the highest quality.
    By Stephen Felker
    From: Boulder, CO
    Feb 10, 2016

    Pitch 1 requires nothing larger than a #0.75 Camalot and couple of key medium/large nuts. There is a bolt low and a pin up high. A #1 Camalot backs up the tat belay. A 70m rope easily reaches from the ledge atop pitch 1, through the pitch 2 anchors, and to the ground.
    By Phil Lauffen
    From: The Bubble
    Feb 21, 2016

    I check in at about 5'8+" (5'10" if you're of the female variety), and I found some alternate beta that just involved sucking up the left hand to a worse sport on the side pull before going big. I also did it with a cross-dyno that didn't feel toooo bad. All I'm saying is I don't think it's 13a, at least at my height.
    By Steve Annecone
    From: boulder
    Jun 9, 2016

    Kudos to Phil Gruber and Lynn Hill who recently sent a linkup of pitches 2 and 3! They were able to belay at the Stone Oven belay and lower back with an 80m rope. If you have a 70m rope, you could belay from same nice ledge, lower to top of 2nd pitch, then rap or lower from there back to the belay.

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