The Second Coming 5.8

Page Type Page Type: Route
Additional Information Route Type: Hiking, Trad Climbing, Scrambling
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
Additional Information Time Required: Most of a day
Additional Information Rock Difficulty: 5.8 (YDS)
Additional Information Number of Pitches: 4
Sign the Climber's Log


higher up on 3rd pitch3rd pitch of Second Coming

The Second Coming is a beautiful climb located in the Chimney Canyon of the Sandia Mountains, New Mexico. It is a four pitch climb with several variations, especially on the last pitch.
The overall climb is rated as 5.8+, with the first pitch being easy 5.7, and the following two pitches in 5.8 range, perhaps a few 5.9 moves. The last pitch has several finishes. The obvious finish at the end of the wall is an easy 5.8, to the left is a small crack 5.9, and further left even smaller crack 5.10a. I think that 5.10a finish is the best, I did them all.

The climb is located on the wall Muralla Grande. Muralla Grande is the huge face beneath the communications towers in upper Chimney Canyon, and is host to a number of quality, long routes. Muralla Grande means in Spanish Great Wall, and it is one of the biggest ones in Sandias. Muralla Grande is the most obvious feature of Chimney Canyon.

Getting There

The ChimneyThe Chimney formation
Early November snowApproach Hike

Start from the top of Sandia Creast Parking Lot. Locate the North Crest Trail at the north end of the Crest parking lot. Hike north for 0.5 mile to a "trail junction" and Forest Service trail sign; this is just north of the communication towers. The Chimney Canyon Trail is back to the south (unmarked), the North Crest trail continues in a northerly direction. Follow the Chimney Canyon Trail along the base of the limestone band to the junction with the original trail (there used to be approach by walking through the communications towers, this area is now fenced in), then down several switchbacks. After hiking 10 minutes from the junction, the trail emerges from the forest into an aspen stand in a saddle which is just above the Muralla Grande formation. Leave any extra gear here, all climbs end just west of this point. Continue south, then down (west) into a steep couloir, past the Chimney formation (a conspicuous spire), and finally north to the base of Muralla Grande itself.
The Second Coming is on the south face.

Route Description

Marc on 3rd pitch3rd pitch
5.10a finish4th pitch - 5.10a finish
The route has 4 pitches and the last pitch has 4 different variations of finish: 5.8, 5.9,5.10a, and 5.10d - I have done only the first three).

Begin in an alcove below a prominent headwall (which is high on the route).

Pitch 1: Start up the right side of the alcove and climb past a small tree to a ledge with another tree. ~ 30 meters
Pitch 2: Traverse left into awkward chimney, escape the chimney (5.8), and climb up over loose rock with meager protection to a large ledge. OR you can climb a more direct line by going straight up and ending up on the same large ledge. ~ 55 meters
Pitch 3: Start under the pins and after clipping the 2nd pin traverse left to a left-facing corner, or traverse right to a crack system that leads to the same corner and up to a ledge at the base of the headwall. There is a bolt here to supplement the gear anchor.~ 50 meters
Pitch 4: Several quality choices. The original finish is the crack on the far right - 5.8. Perhaps the best choice is the clean, steep fracture left of center - 5.10a. It was my favorite. The 5.9 finish is between these 2. Most people climb one crack (as we did the 5.8), and then set up a top rope and try the other variations.

Walk Off: You are on the top of Muralla Grande formation. Hike east from the top of the wall for 0.25 mile back to aspen stand and the Chimney Canyon Trail.


Rock climbing gear - harness, shoes, helmet. Standart rack, up to #4 camalot. 60 meter rope.
Anchors: gear for 1st and 2nd pitch, 3rd pitch has bolted anchors, and the top of the 4th pitch has tree as an anchor.

External Links

The Second Coming on Mountan Project



Parents refers to a larger category under which an object falls. For example, theAconcagua mountain page has the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits' asparents and is a parent itself to many routes, photos, and Trip Reports.