Hey all! This is the first test blog post. If this is a popular addition we will definitely continue it! I apologize for the less than great writing, but I hope this is a good way to show off all of the great adventures the UNM MTN Club goes on! We would love member submissions as well since there are always multiple crazy trips that aren't just coordinated by officers. Please let us know what you think!
This past Sunday (9.10.17) the UNM Mountaineering Club went to White Rock, New Mexico for our third official club trip! We brought out some new members and some old, some climbers completely new to the sport and some more experienced, but in the end all amazing individuals to make an amazing day :)
Despite a bit of a (quite literally) rocky morning, we got to check out the Main Wall and the Pit at Gallows Edge. The thing about climbers is that we don't have the greatest "how to" advice or the best common sense, especially when it comes to anything outdoors.
So when making our way to the walls, we took a bit of a sketchy way down. To quote the mountain project page:
"A concrete public access trail heads down between 719 and 721 Meadow Lane. You'll know you're on the correct trail if two large, seemingly nasty, Golden Retriever dogs are barking at you. At the end of the concrete veer slightly left and continue straight towards the cliffs. Follow the good climber's trail down to the third shelf. This is Gallows Edge."
No maps, vague directions, funny location markers - welcome to the climbing world! I personally must've walked that cliff edge ten or fifteen times, going both left and right, looking over the edge for some semblance of a way down. I suppose you just need a regular to show you the beta because every path is steep, chossy, and a general pain to get down - "climber's trails."
The first wall we hit up was the main wall. There are a variety of climbs from 5.6 to 5.12 and even a 5.4. Good for beginners!
Unfortunately we were missing about half our crew this part of the morning - one of the groups left later.
Remember how I said the trail down is hard to find? Well if you've never been and are new to climbing it's likely you'll get lost. Around noon, both groups got lost:
At the main wall, we decided to move to the Pit - an open cave climbing area with lots of shade - perfect for the heat. Even with experience, we ended up a tad lost. The entrance isn't exactly the easiest to find. It's behind a rather large pile of rocks and when you first peek in it looks like a dead end cave. Once you're inside though, you squeeze through a small crack to the climbing area.
The afternoon crew got lost in a different way - they walked all the way down from the parking area (red location tag) to close to the river (red dot). We played marco-polo for about an hour where I ran right of the crag to left of the crag to back the way we came down towards the river. The whole time we screamed across the canyon, looking like a bunch of loonies, I'm sure, to the random families that were scrambling around the rocks.
We were finally able to connect using Facebook's call function and met up about halfway between the river and the Pit.
The hike up wasn't particularly fun, but the next couple hours were solid. With the other half of our crew, our numbers doubled from five to ten. We got to set up three different routes - Unnamed (5.7), The Odor Takeda (5.8), and Gralisa Leen (5.10c).
Overall it was an amazing day despite the hiccups :)