Bill busts out the fourth class downclimb through the limestone band on the approach. The hike to the base of the Torreon formation takes about 40 minutes from the crest.
All descriptions for the approach hike describe this broken down log cabin pile. This is what it looks like.
Also, all the descriptions talk of this beautiful green lichen-covered arete to mark the correct descent gully. We found it!
Looking up the route from the base. Five pitches of good times await.
Looking down the first pitch from the hanging belay. First pitch goes at 5.10a and involves some great finger crack climbing.
The third pitch is the crux pitch with a 5.10a bulge thingy (seen here with Bill pulling over it) and a 5.10c roof up higher. Not to mention a stellar hand crack (also visible in this photo)
Working into the hand crack with the wild and fun crux roof seen in the foreground.
Bill has the crack jamming skillz.
Pulling through the crux roof moves on the good holds...finally.
Just above roof and almost to the nice belay ledge.
The fourth pitch starts out with a crazy exposed traverse left from the belay and then pulls up over the roof to really nice 5.9+ climbing the rest of the way.
The fifth pitch is a shortie so with a 60m rope we linked pitches 5 and 6 to the summit with a few feet of rope left to spare. There's supposedly a 5.10- variation that we tried to find but I think we ended up on the standard 5.8ish finish. Still, quite nice.
Looking up the (wrong) “descent” gully back to the log cabin pile. We ended up in what we believe is the wrong gully but it worked out.
Albuquerque is big.