Fun first Sandia 5th class. Came down the ramp of the shield
Great day with great people!
Here is a video via headcam from our climb yesterday: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQqjAPpyOpg
Second time solo up the Knife Edge of the Shield. Started from Juan Tabo parking area and returned via Sandia Crest and La Luz Trail. Done most of the route in thick clouds/fog. High quality route: fun scrambling, exposure, great views.
Click here to see the Knife Edge picture album.
Fun hike/scramble with Liba. Came down La Luz variation. Still lots of snow up there.
fun saturday hike/scramble with dave - wend town via La Luz since the adjacent canyons were closed for peregrine falcon season.
I've done it a few times since then and it's always a blast.
I'm one of the "nuts" to whom you refer on the main page. I'm actually the one who does the jump in the first clip that is 11 seconds long. I can tell you that I've done the route countless times since 1996. I've seen people downclimb the W and also skirt around to the north. I think that either of those options are crazy, but that is because I don't like downclimbing nor do I like big airy exposure. In my opinion, jumping is the only way (and far and away the safest way) to go. You should watch someone with experience go first, however. Also, the best way down is through Chimney Canyon. I average 4.5 hours car-to-car, which is far less than your estimate of "most of the day". Thanks for putting up the page.
The first dip of the "W" was a bit sketchy: By grabbing onto the far end of the edge and completely lowering myself (feet dangling freely), I was able to point my toes and touch the slab. I'm not sure what shorter people do there if they don't want to jump. Also, there was a lot of knee- to crotch-deep postholing before and afterwards, but that was my fault for not bringing snowshoes.
had a great trip up the shield. My wife dropped me off at the bottom and shuttled to the top which was great. The W notch was cool, and the prayer flags made it more dramatic.
Fun 4th class with lots of exposure. There is a lot of loose rock so be sure to test every hold.
This is by far the most exposed, airy and spicy 4th class route that I've done solo. A windy day on the ridge added to the alpine feeling. At one point just by the prominent notch, I thought about turning around completely. Test every hold as the rock is not 100% solid. Took the Sandia Peak tram down where a friend picked me up back to Albuquerque.