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The Grotto (a.k.a. The Notch)

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Gilligan's Island (a.k.a. The Alcove) 
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Upper Tier of The Grotto 
Wall of Voodoo, The 

The Grotto (a.k.a. The Notch) Rock Climbing 


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Elevation: 6,010'
Location: 35.8054, -106.14319 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 28,024
Administrators: Shirtless Mike, Aaron Hobson, Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Marta Reece, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Anthony Stout on Mar 6, 2006
Forecast:
Today

69° | 45°
Friday

70° | 43°
Saturday

64° | 32°
Sunday

64° | 37°
Monday

70° | 39°
Tuesday

67° | 37°
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Scene from within the Grotto.

Description 

The Grotto is the premium area to climb in Diablo Canyon. It is a slot canyon trimmed out of the upper portion of the south wall. It is filled with large boulders interlaced with fairly lush (for NM) vegetation. While it runs NE to SW the north facing wall is much higher, keeping The Grotto shady for most of the day. The sun peeks through both ends of the canyon during the early morning and late afternoon respectively. However, during January, February, and March an unseasonably warm day is necessary for comfortable climbing.

Climbs in The Grotto range from 5.8 to 5.14a. The rock ranges from good to great with everything from long and steep to short and slabby. Lots of flat boulders provide spots to lounge, lunch, or both while keeping an eye on fellow climbers.

(Text written by Rick Bradshaw)

Getting There 

Follow the new trail (fall 2012) to Runway (Lower Tier). From Runway (Lower Tier), hike easy terrain west to the Grotto. The new trail starts in the arroyo straight across from the trail to the Winter Wall.

Alternatively, you can take the old, long-used but steeper, nastier, approach to the Grotto. For this, stay in the main arroyo past Winter Wall and past the Solar Cave and look for a decent trail in the dirt embankment on the left. Take this trail and wind your way up through talus and screen to the top.

Climbing Season



Weather station 6.7 miles from here

64 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',7],['3 Stars',31],['2 Stars',17],['1 Star',9],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',1],['5.7',0],['5.8',2],['5.9',2],['5.10',22],['5.11',22],['5.12',12],['5.13',2],['>=5.14',1],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in The Grotto (a.k.a. The Notch)

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for The Grotto (a.k.a. The Notch):
Class Act   5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b     Sport   Grotto Right (West Side)
Good   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 65'   Grotto Left (East Side)
Waiting to Procrastinate   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport   Grotto Left (East Side)
Bong Crack (a.k.a. Surficial Scratch)   5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 90'   Grotto Right (West Side)
Sunday Bloody Sunday (aka Tight Little Package)   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad   Grotto Left (East Side)
Evil Paradise   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 80'   Grotto Left (East Side)
El Areto Bolto Del Diablo   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Sport, 90'   Grotto Left (East Side)
Guillotine Crack   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Trad, 2 pitches, 200'   Upper Tier of The Grotto
Evil   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 65'   Grotto Left (East Side)
Affirmative Action   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport   Grotto Left (East Side)
Prescribed Burn   5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 65'   Grotto Left (East Side)
Bedeviled   5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   Grotto Left (East Side)
Woogie's Wild Ride   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport, 90'   Grotto Right (West Side)
Where the Wild Things Aren't   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport   Grotto Right (West Side)
Better Late than Never   5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 85'   Grotto Left (East Side)
Bush in a Blender   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Grotto Left (East Side)
Crystal Clear Arête (a.k.a. UNA)   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Grotto Right (West Side)
Trailer Park Girls   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Sport   Grotto Right (West Side)
Muscle Crow   5.12b/c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Grotto Left (East Side)
Sin after Sin   5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   Grotto Right (West Side)
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in The Grotto (a.k.a. The Notch)

Featured Route For The Grotto (a.k.a. The Notch)
Rock Climbing Photo: High on the route on a gorgeous spring day. March ...

El Areto Bolto Del Diablo 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b  New Mexico : Santa Fe Area : ... : Grotto Left (East Side)
This awesome route is likely one of the best 5.10s at Diablo, on par with the Winter Wall classic Grape Ape and the best of the Early Wall, Grotto, etc. Anchor your belayer to the two bolts on the right side of the gully. Clip the first two bolts on easy terrain before traversing left towards the arete. The route really gets going around bolt five, with tricky moves and a bizarre mantle to get established on the arete. From here, get psyched for 50 feet of continuous, technical face climbing on ...[more]   Browse More Classics in New Mexico

Photos of The Grotto (a.k.a. The Notch) Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Beguin in the Grotto.
Beguin in the Grotto.
Rock Climbing Photo: Evening light on the upper end of the Grotto, righ...
Evening light on the upper end of the Grotto, righ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Overview of The Grotto (adapted from Rick Bradshaw...
BETA PHOTO: Overview of The Grotto (adapted from Rick Bradshaw...

Comments on The Grotto (a.k.a. The Notch) Add Comment
Show which comments
By Mannie Lopez
From: Santa fe, NM
Aug 21, 2012
found a small set of cams at the grotto left end! Right at the belay ledge, a few camalots, c3's, and an alien or two. Exciting to find but I know i'd be pissed if I forgot this stuff. Lemme know, mlopez364@gmail.com
good luck!
By Shirtless Mike
Administrator
From: Denver, CO
Oct 13, 2014
What do people think about simplifying this area and re-organizing it into only 2 sub areas, Grotto Left (East) Side and Grotto Right (West) Side? This would make finding individual climbs much easier and simplify things.
By Jason Halladay
Administrator
From: Los Alamos, NM
Oct 13, 2014
I like the idea of a reorganization of the areas to make it more clear. The organization of the Grotto here has always confused me and even after many years of climbing there, I'm still confused by it. :-)
Grotto Left (East) and Grotto Right (West) would be clean. Any thoughts on sub-areas in within these two areas or is that too much and not really needed?
By Shirtless Mike
Administrator
From: Denver, CO
Oct 14, 2014
I think as George mentions keeping the upper tier climbs separate is a good idea. Otherwise I don't like having too many sub areas as it leads to clicking back and forth a lot to see all the climbs.
By Jason Halladay
Administrator
From: Los Alamos, NM
Oct 20, 2014
Thanks for the input fellas. A re-org of the area is on my list. Any others out there have an opinion on the re-org of The Grotto area?
By Shirtless Mike
Administrator
From: Denver, CO
Jun 1, 2015
I re-organized this area a few weeks ago. Let me know if anyone sees any changes that need made.

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