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Tostadas Comquesta 

YDS: 5.10c French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII ZA: 20 British: E2 5b PG13

Type:  Trad, 5 pitches, 500', Grade II
Original:  YDS: 5.10c French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII ZA: 20 British: E2 5b PG13 [details]
FA: Paul Horak, Mike Head and David Baltz, 7/5/1979
Page Views: 1,874
Submitted By: George Perkins on Jun 29, 2008

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Wyatt with the 2nd bolt clipped on the very PG13 3...


Tostadas Comquesta is likely the easiest of the climbs on the main portion of Questa Dome. Still not to be taken lightly, the crux is somewhat runout over 1/4" bolts; and there are some other tricky sections, like every climb at Questa. Some people don't like this climb too much considering that other alternative climbs at Questa are especially good. Tostadas is also more sheltered from the wind than other climbs at Questa Dome.

Pitch 1: Follow easy cracks right of the big right-leaning right facing corner on the east end of the main face. (5.6) Belay in the corner below the first stepped roof. Most will want to combine this and the 2nd pitch.

Pitch 2: This pitch follows clean slabs to the right of the main dihedral. Climb up to the roof, undercling and traverse right, step up to a bolt. Climb up to the bigger 2nd roof, undercling and traverse right and head up to a 2 bolt chain anchor below a steep slab. Excellent climbing with unique moves on this pitch, and the traversing might be a little scary for those who aren't used to slabs (5.9+). You can rap from here to the ground with 1 rope.

Pitch 3: Climb clean slab straight up (potential to fall onto belay), passing 2 1/4" bolts to a diagonaling seam (crux, 5.10 PG13; the bolts appear ok, but if you're scared of 30-year old bolts you won't like this part). It's a little spacey between the bolts but not bad by TP/Questa standards. When you reach the seam, small wired stoppers provide pro. Follow this seam up and right and over a bulge until it opens to a hand crack, which has a tricky short 5.10- section with another 1/4" bolt (which you can supplement with gear). Reach a stance belay with some webbing and rap rings. A variation of these last two pitches stays in the right-leaning crack and bypasses the previous belay station- this variation looks bushy.

Pitch 4: Continue up the right angling crack to a big alcove below the obvious roof. Short pitch (5.8). You can continue a little higher and find a more awkward belay if you want to, but if you keep going, you won't reach a good belay ledge without simulclimbing.

Pitch 5: Follow cracks out to the right, bypassing the big roof, until the cracks appear to end in an overhanging slot. Step left on a ledge about 15' below this slot, pull through on steep chickenheads and plates (5.8, PG13). Belay soon up ahead. Easy 5th class on big knobs to the top.

Walk off the east side. If you're thinking of downclimbing, keep walking uphill and north to get to the faint trail.


Tostadas begins just right of the obvious right facing corner near the right side of Questa Dome. It follows slabs and cracks that angle to the right from this feature.


Cams up to #4 camalot, with doubles from fingers to thin hands sizes, plus nuts.
Long runners and/or double ropes highly recommended to minimize rope drag.
Most bolts on this climb are 1/4" originals; if those scare you- bring a hand drill and upgrade them.

Photos of Tostadas Comquesta Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Up onto the 2nd pitch slab at the 5.9+++ friction ...
Up onto the 2nd pitch slab at the 5.9+++ friction ...

Comments on Tostadas Comquesta Add Comment
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By David Baltz
From: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Dec 6, 2009

If anyone wants to retro the original 1/4" bolts, feel free.
By J. Albers
From: Colorado
Apr 13, 2010
rating: 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b

When I did this years ago (using the old Horak topo) we climbed up and right on the second pitch, looked at the quarter inch bolts and climbed back down and followed the main dihedral above the belay. This involved climbing over a roof/bulge in the corner above the belay (probably 5.9). We then set a belay in an alcove just up and left of the beginning of the long right leaning crack (protection was good on this variation). From the alcove belay, we then stepped down and followed the crack up and right. I thought this crack was full on 5.10+ ; the crack was nice, but the feet were a little insecure because of all the lichen, though nothing a little traffic wouldn't fix. Overall, I thought it was a pretty nice route.
By Paul Davidson
Apr 13, 2010

I seem to recall the seam being a bit gritty toward the top and having to dig a placement or two out of grass. This was probably around 83 though so it's probably been cleaned up since then. Seemed like a bit of a tricky lead, classic rounded seam, bit run out ? Not for a 5.9 leader ? Of course, only reason for doing this is if Q of B is already taken (no offense Dave, it's just that QofB is sooo good.)

BTW - Paul's topo calls this out as Tostadas Comquesta
By J. Albers
From: Colorado
Apr 13, 2010
rating: 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b

Paul, I believe your recollection is correct. That right leaning crack was definitely of the rounded/flaring type. Protection was adequate, but as with most flaring cracks, tricky to get the gear just right. As you say, I probably wouldn't put a 5.9 leader on this pitch.
By tim naylor
Nov 14, 2010

i think pitch three (of this description) is dangerous. falling onto belay...this section seemed more like 10+ to me, not much of a slab climber. I think it is a good call to go around or retro bolt to make safer. after the first bolt it looked like a bolt ladder to thin crack. We bailed.
By David Baltz
From: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Jun 14, 2016

FA was 7/5/1979 by Paul Horak, Mike Head and Baltz. P3 direct was called 5.10c.
By nick schwab
Jun 11, 2017

Camped at the trailhead and just before we went to sleep in the middle of the road Pike Howard told us 3 there a true story about how a climbing team just a month prior how a climbing team awoke in the middle of the night to a bear malling a guy in his sleeping bag. I was silent and muttered "shut up hippy" but he turned out to be not a stupid hippy

I remember this maybe in early 2000's I linked the first 2 pitches and I am grateful my partner Touchette lead that 3rd pitch. It would have been an exciting lead 10+ for sure but those bolts took me back to climbing in the needles in South Dakota. Never did care for those old bolts. Hope somebody can replace. Thanks for the picture of the third pitch from the belay, I can remember that. and the friction 2nd pitch was definitely spooky, but fun.

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