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Needle and Squaretops

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Little Squaretop 
Little Squaretop Massif 
Minerva's Temple 
Organ Needle 
Retaining Wall, The 

Needle and Squaretops Rock Climbing 

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Administrators: Aaron Hobson, Anthony Stout, LeeAB, Marta Reece, Jason Halladay, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Marta Reece on Jul 23, 2013

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Ben enjoying the morning view of the Needles from ...


The Organ Needle is the highest and probably the most visited peak in the Organs. The trail to it can be reached from either La Cueva or Modoc Mine Road and winds up the west side of it. (It has been overused and is in horrible condition.) When you reach Hummingbird Saddle (at the top of Dark Canyon) the Retaining Wall is to your right, Minerva's Temple lower down ahead of you, about the direction of Sugarloaf.

The Squaretops are to the north of Organ Needle. As viewed from Organ Needle, there are two peaks divided by a gully running North-South between them. The peak to the left is refered to as Little Sqauretop and is the peak that is seen when gazing at the Organs from the West. The peak on the right is referred to as Little Squaretop Massif and is similarly the only peak visible when gazing at the Organs from the East. To make these names even more confusing, Squaretop peak (or Big Squaretop) is the square-like cog further north along the mountain ridge, but it only resembles a square-cog when viewed from the west.

There are a number of old mountaineering routes up to these summits, as well as steep technical climbs which can be found on the myriad of faces, ridges, and pinnacles which surround these peaks. These include the Tiger Fang formation, found low on the northeast side of Little Squaretop Massif, which is a stunning shark-fin-like pinnacle first climbed in 1956.

Getting There 

From La Cueva or Modoc Mine Road, or on the east side from about the middle of Pine Tree Trail, look at individual peaks and/or routes for details.

Climbing Season

For the Organ Mountains area.

Weather station 10.4 miles from here

13 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',3],['2 Stars',3],['1 Star',6],['Bomb',1]

Classic Climbing Routes in Needle and Squaretops

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Needle and Squaretops:
Normal Route   3rd 1- 1 I 1 M 1a     Trad   Organ Needle
Normal Route   3rd 1- 1 I 1 M 1a     Trad   Little Squaretop
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Needle and Squaretops

Featured Route For Needle and Squaretops
Rock Climbing Photo: Minerva, Organ Needle and Squaretop viewed from th...

North Face / East Ridge 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b  NM : Organ Mountains : ... : Minerva's Temple
This was the first route to ascend the quixotic north face of Minerva’s Temple, Queen of the Organ Mountains, and stands alone as THE visionary hard-man’s route in the Organs. If you are looking for a big serving of adventure with a side of hard work, you will find it here.Approach: 3 miles, 2500’. Allow 3 hours to hike in and 2.5 to hike out. The gate into Aguirre (Uh-geer-ee) Springs doesn’t open until ~7am, so if you want an alpine start, you’ll need to camp out the night pri...[more]   Browse More Classics in NM

Photos of Needle and Squaretops Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Squaretop Gully in flood. Yes, it does rain in the...
Squaretop Gully in flood. Yes, it does rain in the...

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