We opted for the more cushy camping at the Caballo Lake State Park, about 12 miles from the climbing area, so we'd have a table, restrooms and even showers!
The rough road approach to the Bat Cave area. The Bat Cave is mostly visible in the limestone band in the left portion of this photo
Hagen got his Subaru within a half mile of the parking area and we piled gear into my Xterra for the final bit to the parking area. A short but steep 20 minute hike gets us up there. Caballo Lake in the background.
Looking over at the Gotham City area from the hike up to the Bat Cave
The Bat Cave is in sight. It's impressive 100+' cave formation
An old piece of equipment down below the trail. This area is chock full of mining claims and sees a lot of recreational prospectors looking for gold
Looking down at Caballo Lake from the hike up towards the cave
Painted markers on the rock that are related to mining, I presume
A lot of dirt roads in the area below the cliffs make for fun four wheeling and dune buggys (we saw both)
A sport three-pitch 5.9 ascends the left edge of this wall. We climbed the first two pitches.
The Bat Cave! Albuquerque area cliimbers have been super busy installing loads of fixed-chain-draw routes, ground-up, in this cave. While we were there they were working hard on small retaining walls and platforms inside the cave. Getting comfy.
It was sunny and warm but what you can't see in this photos is how crazy windy it was. This route, Two Face (5.8), is in a protected corner, though, and was nice.
The only route beta for the area is on Mountain Project and it's pretty screwed up so we weren't sure what we were climbing (which is quite fun) so we just climbed. Everything on this wall, the Super Hero Wall, was 5.10 to 5.11-. This is Hagen on something in the 5.10 to 5.11- range.
This route we could identify. It is Mystique, 5.11a. Although we all felt it was 5.10b at most, the rock quality was great and the moves fun.
Schraad getting jiggy with Harley Quinn on Harley Quinn Devotion, 5.8. This route, and the one to the right, had the best rock on the wall. Bullet hard, dark limestone.
The incessant wind eventually had all of us feeling a little fuzzy...
Hunter on Harley Quinn Devotion (5.8)
That evening we were treated to quite the sunset as we packed up for the day
Saturday night was damn windy until around midnight and then the wind finally died and we all slept well. In the morning I found a way across the river on the rocks in this photo. The campground, Riverside, is huge and quite nice. I imagine it's even more scenic in the spring when things are greener
Mark makes his way across on the stones
We went back up to the Bat Cave area and the ABQ climbing crew was there hard at work in the cave. But they still took time out to climb too. Carolyn belays John on a project just outside the cave
Hunter coming up I'll Be Your Poison Ivy (5.9). I climbed the only established gear route, Dirt Day (5.7), to get into position for these photos
Cacti protrude from many areas of the wall
Me climbing on "Dirt Day", the 5.7 gear route. Mark Schraad photo.
Claudia on Two Face (5.8)
Hunter on what was our favorite route on the wall, a long 5.11- with a tricky crux near the top after loads of super fun climbing down lower
Hunter at the crux bulge on the super fun 5.11-
Me on something 5.11-minus-ish as our last route of the trip. Mark Schraad photo.