The first order of business this weekend is to get our home moved to Santa Fe, but we figure we can mix in a little climbing too. I meet Ann on the night of my last day of work at Cedar Rail RV Park & Campground, where the owners have fed Ann dinner while she waited for me. The next day we make a short drive to Sugarite Canyon State Park to check out the climbing. There’s a really nice campground right there, but we didn’t want to lug our cargo trailer in there. (The cargo had already sustainted some damage, more on that later.)
The basalt cliff is south facing, and would have been too hot if not for some fortunate high cloud cover. Most of routes are single-pitch trad climbs, but there is one sport climb and a few bolted anchors. To reach one of them I lead a nice hand to fist-stack 5.6 crack, (Pete’s Downclimb I think) and we move our top rope from there to a few other routes:
- Salt Mother, 5.8
- I think this is my favorite because I haven’t climbed many finger cracks, especially not as steep as this one. I practice different ways of using my fingers, concluding mostly that I need more practice. I do make it up without falling, but the last moves start to feel desperate.
- Sangre Verde, 5.10a
- This is the one sport climb here, a nice arete. The moves suit my frame and make me stretch a little, which feels good.
- Crack Head, 5.8
- Good hand jams make us happy!
- Great Roof Left, 5.9
- Ann lets out a whoop when she finds the sequence for the big roof move. An extra steep finish gives this route a good variety of challenges.