Flake 'n Bake 2nd pitch
Heart shaped cactus...
Flake n' Bake
is a nice, mellow route. It faces south, so you can climb in even in mid winter. One of the best places in Sandias for a beginner leader in trad climbing. As usual route finding towards the start can be a problem. The approach is relatively short and obvious especially since most routes require long approaches and some route finding skills.
Flake 'n Bake is located in the Lower La Cueva Canyon,
which features superb low-angle crack and slab climbing. There is a stream that runs through the canyon, and some trees to provide shade on the hike.
: Sandia Rock by Mick Schein
Near the La Cueva Trailhead
inside Lower La Cueva canyon
Take Tramway Road (off I-25) and exit onto FR 333 (towards La Luz Trailhead). After the second cattle guard pay your day use fee (3$)and take the first right onto La Cueva Picnic Area (you can also pay for fee here). Continue inside the La Cueva Picnic Area and park in a small parking lot near the restrooms. The start of the trail is pretty obvious = La Cueva Trail # 83. Hike about 0.25 miles east to a point where the trail forks. The Tramway trail connecting La Luz and the Lower Sandia tram station crosses here. You continue straight = east further up into the obvious La Cueva Canyon. There are some places that the trail nearly disappears, and you have to scramble on the rock, just to rediscover the trail again. Just keep staying at the bottom of the canyon. Flake 'n Bake climb is located on the north side of the canyon. You cannot see any bolts, just have to know the area and recognize the rock. We missed it first time, but found it on our return hike. I think that the easiest would be to remember as soon as you cross the stream for the 1st time, you are near the climb, and keep looking up the north side of the canyon for a faint climber's trail.
Amy leading 2nd pitch - oops the photo is tilted
near the top of Bake 'n Flake
It was just an easy outing on weekend afternoon for 3 ladies. We had fun.
Both Sandia Rock book by Mick Schein and Mountain Project describe this as a 2 pitch climb, but we found 3 pitches to climb using 60 meter double ropes (single rope would be just fine). There are 3 fixed anchors.
- easy, mildly sloped 5.5 solid rock. Feet felt really secure. Nice bolted anchors at its top.
2nd pitch - 5.5, nice crack to follow. There are more cracks a little bit higher up, so plenty of good gear placement. You can also climb on the face. Absolutely great pitch for a beginner leader. 3 bolts at the anchor.
3rd pitch - we thought that we were done, but then we saw another fixed anchors about 35 meters above us, so we climbed there. This pitch was less sloped, perhaps 5.4. A little run-off towards the end, but rock felt very secure.
The 2nd pitch has several variations. The Dihedral to the right is 5.3. The slab between the Dihedral and the Flake n' Bake crack is 5.4 and named Measles. The layback crack in the right facing corner to the left of Flake n' Bake is called Flake it or Make 5.5.
To the left of Flake it or Make It are two 5.5 toprope lines.
Standard rack - we brought a full set of Black Diamond cams and some small camelots, and plenty of nuts. We were practicing gear placement, so used tons of gear initially.
I lead the climb later, and used only nuts, sizes 5 through 10 (no cams). It was fun.
1 60 meter rope is sufficient.
It does get hot during the summer. Bring water, hat and sunscreen.