The Citadel Rock Climbing
BETA PHOTO: View from the top of the Citadel. Photo Terry Cowa...
The Citadel is one of the Organ's better known climbing spots. It is home to several well established routes in a wonderful secluded setting. Dennis Jackson's guide only highlights the best climbs on this formation. There is still lots of room for exploration.
Coming from the bottom of the Rabbit Ears Canyon, the bottom part of the formation starts as a nearly vertical north-facing wall. The routes on this wall are all clustered near its right end. Murray's Crack is the right one of the two obvious off-widths. Finger Zinger is on a slab to the right of it and starts near a tree growing close to the wall. Arch Rival begins in the well defined arch to the right of that. The Nose is on the nose, as it should be. The West Ridge starts past the end of that face on the west-facing wall and switches back and forth between the north and west faces as it winds its way up.
If you go to the left of this cluster or routes, the wall becomes quite forbidding until it is interrupted by a large gully coming in at an angle from the right. The next section of the north-facing wall is set well back. This wall is shorter and routes start immediately at its east end with Glad We Came on the northeast arete. Next, in a corner, is Wish You Were Here, and then Styx n Stones.
Around the corner past Glad We Came is Clem's Folly. Here the rock faces more east than north.
When the sun is high in the sky, it may tent to shine directly down the face for some of these routes, but there will usually be shady and sunny faces to be found here.
From the Topp Hut continue along the 4x4 road until it forks. Take the left fork which ends abruptly at an old mine. The trail into Rabbit Ears Canyon starts behind the tailings from this mine and is easy to find and follow up to the base of Rabbit Ear Canyon. At the base of Rabbit Ear Canyon, the Lambda Wall is set back to your left and Rabbit Ears Slabs are on the right. The Citadel is the steeper formation ahead on the right. Follow up the canyon over some more difficult terrain.
To reach any of the routes from Murray's Crack to West Ridge go past the side canyon separating Rabbit Ears Slabs and the Citadel, then up the boulders on the right side of the canyon. Continue up the boulder field to the nose of the Citadel, then go past it along the base of the wall.
For the routes from Clem's Folly to Styx n Stones, stay in the bottom of the canyon and continue around Citadel. Eventually you will scramble up onto an edge if a large boulder field on your left. Start looking for cairn-marked trail taking off to the right just as the canyon turns southward.
Failing all of this, bushwhacking is always an option. Simply located your climb on the wall and make your way to it by whatever means.
Climbing Season For the Rabbit Ears Area area.
Weather station 10.3 miles from here
18 Total Climbing Routes
['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',9],['2 Stars',7],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',1]
Classic Climbing Routes in The Citadel
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in The Citadel
Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for The Citadel:
West Ridge 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad, 4 pitches, 650'
The Nose 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad, 140'
Finger Zinger 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
PG13 Sport, 1 pitch, 90'
Featured Route For The Citadel
Finger Zinger 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
: Organ Mountains
: ... : The Citadel
Described as "classic Organ's friction" this climb definitely delivers. It has been re-bolted in recent years making it safer although still a bold lead. Don't expect edges larger than 1/8" for most of the climb. Start by climbing 12' to gain a narrow ledge. traverse right about 20' and clip the first bolt nearly 35' off the deck. While this may seem daunting, the traverse is easy 5th class. From here, enjoy razor edges and thin friction the whole way up. Moving into a shallow corner system to t...[more] Browse More Classics in NM
BETA PHOTO: Citadel as seen from approach. Photo Terry Cowan.
BETA PHOTO: A view of the East Face of the Citadel
The Rabbit Ear's[edited 5-30-06] as viewed from to...
BETA PHOTO: Citadel East Face
The Citadel (west ridge) and part of the Rabbit ea...
The west ridge of the Citadel as seen from the sta...
BETA PHOTO: Citadel North Face
BETA PHOTO: Citadel West Face