El Dueno 5.7+, Sandia

Page Type Page Type: Route
Additional Information Route Type: Trad Climbing
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
Additional Information Time Required: Most of a day
Additional Information Rock Difficulty: 5.7 (YDS)
Additional Information Number of Pitches: 4
Sign the Climber's Log


The young guide...Marc Ripperger

El Dueno is a new climb in the Sandia mountains, New Mexico.

The route was set up by John Kear and Marc Ripperger of Albuquerque, both are certified mountain guides in the summer of 2009. I had the privilege to climb it with Brian Muggs, who is a friend to both guys mentioned above. I was the 5th person to climb this route.
The route is not described in Sandia Mountains climbing books since it is new, however you can obtain topo and description in Albuquerque's climbing gym Stone Age.

How To Get There

Start from the top of Sandia Crest Parking Lot. Walk to the northwest corner of the parking lot (towards the radio towers). Follow the same approach gully as if going to The Sentinel. From the north end of the chain link fence that runs in front of the crest observation point hike directly down. There will be a small trail. Down climb the limestone band and make your way down the ridge that lies between Chimney Canyon and upper La Cueva Canyon. From the notch at the Sentinel descent hike up and over the notch to the south. Skirt the base of the rock formation and continue down the gully for approximately 400 meters. The climb begins at the base of a clean low angle slab.

Route Description

Climbing El Dueno, Sandias, NM1st pitch of the climb
Overview of El Dueno from the topOverview of the climb from the top
Route description from the copy of the original ascent by John Kear and Marc Ripperger

Pitch 1: Follow a slabby groove up and trend to your right, clip a bolt (about 40 feet up, use pro below and in between the bolts) and pull onto a ledge below a rock scar where the wall steepens. Traverse right and clip another bolt and pull over a small bulge and move left to belay. Rated at 5.6 and about 90 feet long.
Pitch 2 : Continue up low angle slab (the start is very easy) and cross the water streak move through the left facing overlaps and clip a bolt. Pull onto the slabby face right of the bolt (crux). Traverse right into corner system and belay from the obvious tree. 5.7+, about 90 feet long.
Pitch 3: From the belay trend up and left into a crack system, follow the crack and face features, and continue into a shallow corner belay at the ledge. 5.6, about 100 feet long
Pitch 4: Traverse right 15 feet and pull through a small exposed roof. Traverse right and pull into a right facing corner. Step up the corner and move out right to a short finger crack that brings you to the top. Belay from a tree. 5.6, about 80 feet long.

Descent: walk off from the top following the Sentinel approach back to the crest.


2nd belay stationTree anchor
Chocolate rewardChocolate on the top

Standard rack, doubles on 0.5 and 0.75. 60 meter rope sufficient. Gear to create anchors.

Pitch 1 has 2 bolts (+ you need some gear to protect it), bolts were placed on slabby sections with hard to find gear placements). Natural anchor.
Pitch 2 has one bolt, tree anchor
Pitch 3 has no fixed gear, all trad, natural anchor
Pitch 4 has no fixed gear, tree anchor.

External Links

Mountain Project Description