Brazos Cliffs, Cat Burglar Direct

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Brazos Cliffs, Cat Burglar Direct

Postby skykilo » Mon Aug 29, 2011 3:22 pm

Barry B. from Seattle was wandering northern New Mexico this weekend. We connected on Saturday and swam in the Rio Grande, then did some cragging at Dead Cholla Wall.

Barry on toprope.
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I had fun toproping the balancy, bolted 5.11 arete too.

Then we took a scenic drive and I showed him the wonders of the Brazos Cliffs.
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These quartzite cliffs boast as much as 2,400 vertical feet of steep rock.

Don't believe me? Ask the Google Maps!
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Barry was headed home to Seattle on Sunday. Nick and I met in Espanola at 8 am to hit the Brazos Cliffs. Nick is another Cascadian expatriate. Nick had two flats so he was late. I had already been concerned about the possibility of getting caught on the cliffs in a thunderstorm. But we persevered. Then I missed a turn and we took a detour for an extra hour through some backwoods hills, with some interesting communities hidden on the dirt roads peppered with vicious dogs wandering the streets and lots of bullet holes through windshields.

Nevertheless, we were on the rock shortly after lunchtime. Nick leads up the first pitch.
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The route is rated 5.7 so we decided to simulclimb. Nick still leading.
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The climbing looked very fun and exciting when my turn to lead came.
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So sustained, engaging, exposed and still very moderate.

Nick was loving it.
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I overstoked and followed the splitter crack too high through a roof. More difficult climbing ensued. But there were perfect little footholds and nut placements that allowed safe passage across a steep face to gain the crack system of the next pitch.

Nonstop fun.
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This is the namesake Cat Burglar pitch. A 3-4", offwidth with enough face holds and sharp edges to keep it easy.
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Eventually we swapped leads again. Nick on one of the last more sustained technical bits.
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What a fun romp! 2,000 vertical feet in 3 hours and 3 long simulclimb leads.
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We had beers with a friendly family at my car after the climb.
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New Mexico, the Land of Enchantment: there's a surprise waiting around every corner. These cliffs are about 90 minutes north of here.
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skykilo
olikyks
 
from Santa Fe

Re: Brazos Cliffs, Cat Burglar Direct

Postby naomig » Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:34 am

OMG, I would love this climb: chimney, face, crack, roof... everything climbing!
naomig
naomig
 

Re: Brazos Cliffs, Cat Burglar Direct

Postby ryanl » Wed Aug 31, 2011 10:12 am

Looks like a lot of fun hombre. You do have a way of finding the goods.......

Wish you were around this weekend.
ryanl
 


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