The Secret Slit
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The wonderland of rocks above Bear Gully.
Hike up Bear Gully to about 9,000 ft. At this point you will encounter a rib of rock in the middle of the gully. Look to the right. You will see some sloping ledges leading up to a 10 ft tree. These ledges are the start of the route.
Pitch 1: Climb up the sloping ledges to the tree and sling it for pro. A few feet higher you will be standing on a small concave ledge with a crack leading up from it to a 6 ft tree. Place some pro and then launch up the face to the left (5.7) then climb back right, behind the tree and onto a ledge at the base of a juggy tower. An anchor can be made here.
Pitch 2: Climb up the juggy tower to a jumble of blocks. Make fun, airy moves through the blocks to a grassy ledge (5.7). Pitch 1 and 2 can be combined if you mind your rope drag.
Pitch 3: From the grassy ledge look to climber's left. You will see a bushy chimney. Bushwack and climb up this chimney (5.1) until it turns left. Here you will see the secret slit that leads to upper Bear Gully. Get your spelunking on and squeeze through the immaculate rock that forms the slit. Belay upon exiting the slit.
From the end of pitch 3 scramble and bushwack up the rest of Bear Gully to the rocky wonderland above. Hike north, then northeast across the broad forested summit of Mother Mountain until you connect with Hermit Peak Trail #223 which will take you back down to the trailhead. All told this route involves over 2,500 of elevation gain and over 8 miles of travel.
This routes is the path of least resistance up the South aspect of Mother Mountain. Follow the approach directions for Mother Mountain and then climb up Bear Gully until technical climbing is required.
No bolts. Welcome to the Pecos Wilderness. Rack to 2". Tricams are recommended.
BETA PHOTO: The route leading up to the secret slit.
A waterfall in upper Bear Gully.
BETA PHOTO: The Secret Slit climbs the wall to the right of th...
BETA PHOTO: Mother Mountain. Bear Gully is left of the centra...