Socorro Bouldering Guide - Spook Canyon - Main Area
From the parking area, the main Spook bouldering area is to the
Southwest. Hike the steep the two-track down to the wash and then up
to the single tracks trails above. From here you can take the right
fork of the singletrack which switchbacks up to the main area by the
cliffs, or the left which swings by the French Ethics area,
boulder, and then heads up to Upper Spook.
Warm Up Rock
Big red boulder with bright green lichen. The North face is overhung
while the West face is slabby. There is a large crack on the right
side of the North face.
The Northeast corner of the Spook Warm Up Rock
- Spudnip? - V2 Peck
On the East face, far right hand side, just left of the sit start
of the problems below.
Sit start on a sidepull, crank to slopers and crimps, finish on the
The North and West Faces of the Spook Warm Up Rock
- The Smell of Beer - V? tall, scary, very bad landing Peck
From the traverse start on the Northeast corner, go straight up the
North face over the very bad landing.
"May have had chemical assistance, hence the name" - Peck
Smell of Beer variation - V? tall, scary, very bad landing Peck
A variant goes right on the traverse to crimps, then dyno and top out
over hideous block landing.
"A fall off of either [Smell of Beer problem] would be like
landing in a giant blender" - Peck
- Spook Traverse Wimpout - V1 (V1-V9) tall, bad landing
Sit start down on the Northeast corner. Cruise up and right all
the way to the wide crack, then up the crack to top out.
- Spook Traverse Wimpy Version - V1 (V1-V9) tall, bad landing
Instead of going up the crack as above, keep going around the corner and go
up the juggy West face.
The whole West face is fun at V0-V1.
- Spook Warmup AKA Spook Traverse - V1 (V1-V9) tall, bad landing, scary
Keep going right, until you are at the Southwest corner. Go up
on small crimps to top out.
Heavy Metal Boulder AKA The V4s
UTM 13S 0316776 3763581
Just West of Warm Up Rock, about 30 feet East of the main wall.
The South face of Heavy Metal Boulder
- Mesquite Variation? - V4 Joel or Nathaniel?
Same start as Judas Priest below, but go left on crimps over a mesquite bush.
- Judas Priest - V4 Peck
On the left side of the South-facing face. Sit start to freaky mantle.
Peck did not bother to name this one or the next, he
just referred to them as "those V4s".
- Eric Scully - V4 (V4-V7) Peck
In the middle of the South face. Sit start on a crimpy sidepull and an
undercling pocket. Go straight up over the lip and top out.
Eric Scully seemed like a teenage prodigy in the late 90's.
The youth had supposedly redpointed 8b+ (5.14a/b) at age 13 and had a
long list of incredible acheivements by age 15. However, legend has
it that he could not do this problem, claiming that it was "at least
V7 (~7c)". He went on to compete all over the world with
dissapointing results, his sponsors abandoned him, and disappeared
from the competition scene just after the turn of the century. Were
his early accomplishments mere fabrications and exaggerations, or did
he just peak early? And where is he now? Hopefully, still enjoying
the rock somewhere...
Anyway, Peck had given this one V4 (and the consensus grade as of 2003
is hard V4 almost V5) but didn't bother to name it (I had mistakenly
attributed the name to Peck in a previous version of this). People
would refer to it as "that Peck problem that Eric Scully said was V7"
and thus it became "The Eric Scully V7", which is the name I was told
years ago. I'm not trying to bash Eric Scully here, just trying to
explain the colloquial name. I hope he's still bouldering, enjoying
life, and doesn't hit me too hard for trying to be accurate.
Update: at the 2007 Hueco Rock Rodeo I met and talked to Eric Scully.
He says that he has just started climbing again. He competed at the
Rodeo with impressive results. My personal opinion is that he is a
naturally strong climber and did climb 8b+. I told him there was a
boulder problem in Socorro named after him and not neccessarily in
a positive way, and he seemed amused.
The North face of Heavy Metal Boulder
- Heavy Metal - V3 Andy
Sit start in the hole with both hands in the hueco. Go left
through slopers and bad feet to then crank the lip.
Peck rediscovered this problem a few years after Andy did it
(although Andy neglected to name it), but there was no chalk on it by
then, so he named it something really cool that no one can remember.
Anyway, it's such a interesting line that it was probably done first long
- ? - V1
Same start as Heavy Metal but go straight up.
- ? - V3
Start as above but do the goofy butt-dragger gut-wrencher traverse
and then go up just left of the arete.
The West face of Heavy Metal Boulder
- Gummy Ratt - V3 loose Bob?
On the left side of the West overhanging face just behind Spook wall.
Powerful sit start on underclings. Work onto the loose stuff and huck
for the lip.
The loose rock is gonna knock someone's teeth out.
- Locnar - V1
Sit start and pull jugs and sidepulls left to the jugs at the lip.
8 var. Locnar variation - V0
Sit start and pull jugs straight up.
Beer Bucket Boulder
Tall boulder about 30 feet South of Warm Up Rock, with two bolts on top.
The East face of Beer Bucket Boulder
- No Excuses - V4 Peck
Sit start on icky holds, and go straight up.
Alex did this one in a leg cast; so even a broken leg
is no excuse!
- Elephant Seal - V2 Barrett 6/25/2003
Sit start on the huge undercling under the big bulge sticking East
out of the bouder, just right of No Excuses. Climb straight up and
over the giant seal's head.
- Clouds Mean Death - V2 Bob 5/29/2003
Just right and around the corner from No Excuses, sit start on two
pockets under a short overhang. Up and left and over the lip.
"We were always told that clouds meant death in the
mountains, so everytime we'd see a little cloud, we'd ask our guide,
'does that cloud mean death?', and he'd say, 'no, probably not that
one'" - Todd Skinner at slide show in Socorro, around
- Beer Bucket - V0 tall, scary
Go straight up the middle of the North face.
Originally bouldered, this is also top-ropable at 5.8 with a good,
two-bolt anchor on top.
"lovely fun much better without a rope" -
- Beer Bucket Arete - V0- tall
The arete on the right side of the North face.
- ? - V0 tall
Just right of the arete on the left side of the West face.
Fun jug haul.
- I Spy - V2 Rob 7/22/2003
Right side of West face, directly under the point that sticks out.
Sit start on crimps, slap the sidepull and fire over the point.
- The Sausage Grinder - V3 Bob 7/22/2003
In a little alcove in the South face. Sit start and reach left to
a sharp hold, then go for the slopers on the lip and pull over.
Grinds your little sausages.
- Beer Bucket Butthole - V2 bad landing Rob 7/22/2003
To the right on the South face. Sit start in a small hueco and
go straight up. Top out.
An overhang on the main wall West of Beer Bucket Boulder and South of
the bolted routes.
- Devlin's Demise - V?
The Jones and Maestas black book lists a left-to-right
traverse problem here. Supposedly it started on the left end of the
cave and finished at Wake and Bake. They listed it at V3. No one
seems to be able to find this problem, and Devlin himself may not have
sent it before graduating. A large block did come off the wall here and
took many good holds with it, you can still see the scar.
The middle of Cowshit Cave
- Rubberband Fingers - V8 (V7-V8) Jake
Slick dihedral going left and up using the crack and crimps.
- Meine Gummi Frau - V10 Jake
Sit start for Rubberband Fingers. Starts four feet right on holds
at waist level, goes up a few feet, and then traverses left
into the starting holds of Rubberband Fingers.
Originally envisioned by Peck, Jake's sucessful first ascent
put the spurs to Peck, and anger fueled Peck's immediate second
ascent a few minutes later.
The right side of Cowshit Cave
- Wake and Bake AKA Cowshit Cave Problem - V3 (V3-V5) tall Devlin
Sit start far to the right on jugs. Traverse left on good handholds
to the large block six feet off the ground and in a black streak. Go
up and left to the high jugs above the blank-looking face, and go up
to the ledge. Traverse right back down to the big scoop above the
block and downclimb.
Devlin's original line ended halfway through by dropping
from the block, and was given V2 in the black book.
updated February 27th, 2007