Author: Larry Earley
Earley and Don Taylor
Don and I went to the Sandias to try
some moderate trad climbing. Saturday was perfect weather but
things were damp from a rain the day before. We got an early
start which caused some minor problems. Our plan was to take
the Spur Trail to the La Luz Trail and head down to Estrellita.
This is a nice area with several moderates. The rock was damp and a
little slippery. Our first climb was Estellita 5.8 which is
called "the best 5.8 in the Sandias" in the Sandia Select climbing
guide. I lead this 100 foot climb and highly recommend it.
There was excellent protection and I sewed it up since I slipped a
couple of times. Don had on a jacket and said he was cold
belaying. Nice jams and the climb is sustained all the way but
never desperate. After Don reached the top we moved over to
the anchors for Clean Sweep 10a. This made a great top rope
for us. Clean Sweep has 4 bolts and two pitons for pro.
It is a very nice 10a face. Lots of slopers and not a jug in sight.
I did it twice since I really liked it.
The sun was drying out the place when
one of New Mexico's top climbers arrived. Lance Hadfield is a well
known 5.13 climber who owns
Climbing Gym in Albuquerque. Lance and his partner Sarah
were very friendly and gave us lots of climbing information.
They did Estrellita and Lance says its a great climb. They
told us about some new climbs in the Sandias. We walked uphill
to the Hole in the Wall area. There are two new bolted faces
and three more top rope anchors right off the La Luz Trail.
Mouth of a Sailor is 8+ and
Sailor Slang is 5.8. Both are very clean granite. We
took turns on them and they are great. They were put up this
summer by several people from Stone Age Gym. They are sporty
with 5 and 4 bolts respectively. Its about 12 feet between
bolts with all slopers and sidepulls (sloper sidepulls that is).
Lance put it well in that these are great 5.8 sport climbs for
experienced 5.9-10a leaders. Lance took his time through these
slopers. I felt good he said that since I took my time too.
Don lead both climbs and also agreed to the ratings and comments.
Lance gave us a heads up about a new
area he is developing near Truth or Consequences. Its a cave
area. He said it will have climbs in all grades.
Location not given. Maybe next summer it will be ready.
Don and I went up to finish the day on
Aces and Eights 8+. It is near the
Yucca Flower Tower. It has a nice bolted anchor. The
climb is 150 feet long and is a nice corner. Very fun
climbing, great exposure and views.