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Southeast Ridge 

YDS: Easy 5th French: 1+ Ewbanks: 3 UIAA: I ZA: 5 British: M 1c PG13

Type:  Trad, Alpine, 4 pitches, 500', Grade II
Original:  YDS: Easy 5th French: 1+ Ewbanks: 3 UIAA: I ZA: 5 British: M 1c PG13 [details]
FA: ???
Page Views: 233
Submitted By: Bill Lawry on Mar 21, 2010

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BETA PHOTO: Looking up the crux pitch 3 adorned with flowers. ...


Hill's guide indicates this is 5.2. Initially, I'd say 5.6-ish by today's standards although hardly sustained. Now, after a few times through the chimney pitch, I'd say closer to 5.4 (?) for someone comfortable with chimney technique.

I've climbed this twice in early March. That time of year, a handful of warm-ish days will dry things out well enough although the descent will likely still have some snow, sometimes warranting boots and gaitors.

P1, P2, P3? ~130m, 4th class: From the ridge's toe near the La Luz Trail, ascend the ridge on mostly good rock until at a pitch-y tree (~1 foot dia trunk) just past a distinct notch in the ridge; the knotch is about 10m across and one drops about 6 feet while crossing. We often first rope up at about 100m up at a point just to climber's right of this other tree/view: Photo.

Crux Pitch, ~35m, mid-5th class: Past the ~1 foot dia tree and just right of the ridge, ascend the vertical hand-ish crack up and then right to a large pod. Pass the pod on the right and then head to the base of the obvious chimney through poor rock with scant bomber pro. Ascend the chimney; good cracks on the left are helpful for pro. To get the first few moves up the chimney, try to avoid climbing exclusively the left face or exclusively the right face. Some shoulder and foot action can comfortably see you through the first few moves to easier stemming. Belay at the top of the chimney.

Last pitch, ~45m, easy 5th class: Rope drag can become an issue - could break this in two pitches to alleviate. Continue up to the summit by directly ascending the ridge, passing rightward of a ~6 inch diameter healthy tree. Don't miss the partially driven piton - girth hitch it with a nylon sling? Higher up, pass leftward of a much larger tree and scramble up blocky terrain to summit.


a) Roughly 100m up the route, there is a 5.6 deviation via a traversing ramp out on the west face. This is not easy to protect (i.e., "Express Lane Variation" - Brian Holcomb, Mark Fuge, 10/88). We did it in two pitches. It rejoins the main route at the notch of "P2".

b) The chimney can be avoided by climbing mostly straight up from the right side of the pod, perhaps with a jog left on a flat ledge to gain the ridge. Again, this section is a little disconcerting given the quality of the rock.

c) As a variation to the last pitch, Hill's guide shows a 5.6 way out on the west face which we have not fully explored (i.e., "Express Lane Variation" - Brian Holcomb, Mark Fuge, 10/88). There is a needed old bolt that should probably be replaced (~2010).


Start where the La Luz Trail is just south of the toe of the ridge. We started in the gully and then crossed left to the ridge proper.


Light rack to 3 inches.

Photos of Southeast Ridge Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: View of Albuquerque from the lower half of the rou...
BETA PHOTO: View of Albuquerque from the lower half of the rou...
Rock Climbing Photo: Off-width on the 3rd pitch
BETA PHOTO: Off-width on the 3rd pitch
Rock Climbing Photo: View of Albuquerque from 3rd pitch
View of Albuquerque from 3rd pitch
Rock Climbing Photo: Pulpit SE Ridge
BETA PHOTO: Pulpit SE Ridge

Comments on Southeast Ridge Add Comment
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By Howard Snell
From: Belen, New Mexico
Dec 15, 2012

Found a jacket off to the east side of the ridge on 8 December, 2012. Looks like it had been there awhile but still in useful condition. Email (snell at mindspring dot com) details and I can arrange pickup in Albuquerque.


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