Flake 'n Bake

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 35.20500°N / 106.48730°E
Additional Information Route Type: Hiking, Trad Climbing, Toprope, Bouldering, Scrambling
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Time Required: Half a day
Additional Information Difficulty: Easy
Additional Information Rock Difficulty: 5.5 (YDS)
Additional Information Number of Pitches: 3
Sign the Climber's Log


2nd pitch Flake 'n Bake
 Flake 'n Bake 2nd pitch
Heart shaped cactus...
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. 

Guidebook: Sandia Rock by Mick Schein

Getting There

Near the La Cueva Trailhead
inside Lower La Cueva canyon
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.

Route Description

Amy leading 2nd pitch
Amy leading 2nd pitch - oops the photo is tilted
near the top of Bake 'n Flake
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.

1st pitch - 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.

Descent: rappel

Variations to 2nd pitch per hans.shenk:
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. 

Essential Gear

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.

Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

Viewing: 1-3 of 3

hans.schenk - Aug 12, 2013 4:09 pm - Voted 10/10


The second pitch described has a few named 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 It and is 5.5. To the left of Flake It or Make It are two 5.5 toprope lines. When cranking over the roof, there is a ledge not too far that is home to a nice cactus exactly in the spot where you'd like to get a nice handhold.

Liba Kopeckova

Liba Kopeckova - Aug 15, 2013 8:35 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Variations...

Thank you, I will try to update the page soon...


hans.schenk - Oct 9, 2013 7:23 pm - Voted 10/10

Re: Variations...

No worries! Thanks for posting!

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