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West Ridge T 

West Ridge 

YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b

Type:  Trad, Alpine, 3 pitches, 450'
Original:  YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b [details]
FA: Reed Cundiff, David Hammack, 8/27/60
Page Views: 141
Submitted By: Chris Wenker on Sep 14, 2009

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BETA PHOTO: West Ridge (5.7), The Frog, Sandia Mountains, NM. ...


This obscure little gem is hidden in Kline’s (1970:27) and Hill’s (1993:144) guidebooks, without even a topo. In summation: mostly excellent rock + fun, sustained climbing + no fixed pro + a cool summit = a minor local classic. Both BrianH Pedaler and I thought that this was one of the best 5.7’s we’ve climbed in the Sandias (in our limited experience).
Hill says it’s four pitches, Kline implies five. We got up in three with a 60m rope, but you could make it four with variations.
P1. 5.7, excellent rock (except for an obvious, dinner-table-sized hollow flake on a ledge about ½ way up). Start up a nice hand crack in a dihedral; after 30 feet trend left up the face, aiming for the obvious treed ledges. Belay at the first ledge with little trees (~54m) or the second, bigger ledge with big trees (~59 m, but slightly off route). This is probably the top of Hill’s pitch 2.
P2. 5.7, excellent rock. Continue leftish, up the line of least resistance and fewest shrubberies, aiming for another big, sloping, treed ledge about 50m up (loose rock on this ledge). This is probably the top of Hill’s pitch 3. At this point, you are positioned below the Frog’s chin, about 100 feet higher.
P3. You have some options here. From this big ledge, the final pitch of the standard route probably climbs the Class 4-ish gully to the climber’s left of the summit (although we didn’t go that way). Instead, for maximum value, find a way to belay on the far right side of the ledge so that you can take on the final pitch directly up the west side of the summit block. This goes at ~5.8 on mostly great rock. Start up the northwestern arête (bypassing some loose blocks near the start) and then traverse rightward until you can fire up the face. Belay from atop the Froggy itself. Downclimb the easy (5.1) 30-foot ramp off the south side of the summit block to the grassy summit ridge.
(If you climbed the Class 4 gully of the standard finish, it appears that you would reach the summit ridge just below the eastern base of the summit block, which you could then ascend by the same 5.1 downclimb ramp.)


The line ascends a broad west-facing buttress on the northwestern corner of the Frog. Get there via the standard approach to The Happy Gnome, stopping when you get to the huge chockstone and cave at the foot of the gully between Yataghan and the Frog. Start up a crack about 25 feet to the right of the cave.
Descend the walk-off as described on the main Frog page.


Single set of small to medium nuts, and a double set of cams up to a #1 C4; no big stuff needed. Pink and red tricams also useful. There is no fixed gear anywhere on this line.

Photos of West Ridge Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: West Ridge (5.7), The Frog, Sandia Mountains, NM. ...
BETA PHOTO: West Ridge (5.7), The Frog, Sandia Mountains, NM. ...

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By Bill Lawry
From: New Mexico
Mar 31, 2014

P1: If you think your second might peel off in the lower half of the starting crack, consider belaying earlier to avoid him/her decking while using up 50+ meters of rope stretch. Top of the crack seems good for a belay but perhaps (not sure) there's something suitable a little further up.

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