Elevation: 7,668 ft
GPS: 32.37, -106.578 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 7,893 total · 60/month
Shared By: Aaron Hobson on Mar 10, 2008
Admins: Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Marta Reece, Drew Chojnowski
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Access Issue: Placement of bolts/fixed anchors is prohibited in Wilderness Study Areas Details


The largest peak of the Rabbit Ears group, the North Rabbit Ear is a complicated assembly of chutes, faces and buttresses. Some of the faces are sustained and steep, while others offer moderate routes and top-out far from the summit, which can be an additional 800ft of 4th class scrambling. The convoluted nature of the peak and somewhat vague descriptions of the routes from the Ingraham guide combine to make for an excellent exercise in route-finding and general mountaineering skills.

This peak once boasted to be the most climbed peak in the Organs. There is little evidence that the peak gets the attention it once did, the approach trails undetectable, the route descriptions out-dated and the summit register bare for the past 4 years. However, the peak maintains its allure to local climbers, and offers a huge array of climbing possibilities; low-fifth class solo routes, meandering moderate routes up its many buttresses, and untapped possibilities of its steeper lines.

Getting There

Approach can be from Aguirre springs for East Face routes, but is predominately from the Topp Hut Mine via Rabbit Ear Canyon. Expect some degree of bushwhacking and 45 min -2 hours from the top of the Topp Hut rd.

Descent from the summit is typically to the south face. Descend an easy ramp on the South East corner for about 200 ft until a rappel station of 2-pitons and a bolt is found. A 100 ft rappel gains a second rappel station consisting of 2 bolts. A final 140 ft rappel gains the saddle between Middle Rabbit Ear and North Rabbit Ear. There is a sketchy rappel station of tattered slings about 40 ft from the saddle which allows one to descend in 3 single-rope rappels. Many of the routes have independent descent options.

17 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at North Rabbit Ear

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
Boyer's Chute
Trad 5 pitches
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
The Davis Route
Trad 4 pitches
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13
Hand Jive
5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b PG13
West Face Corner
Trad 4 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Boyer's Chute
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c Trad 5 pitches
The Davis Route
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a Trad 4 pitches
Hand Jive
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13 Trad
West Face Corner
5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b PG13 Trad 4 pitches
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Aaron Hobson
Clinton, TN
Aaron Hobson   Clinton, TN
On my most recent ascent, I retrieved the Summit Register and have copied it into an electronic record located at my BLOG . I placed a new blank note-book at the Summit Cairn an I intend to print out the compiled history and place a copy back on the summit. I'd like to archive the originals in Las Cruces somewhere, possibly NMSU. If anyone knows about where to archive these locally, let me know. Nov 26, 2009
Dan Carter
Las Cruces, NM
Dan Carter   Las Cruces, NM
Does anyone know about any routes on the east side? Specifically the northeast face, spine, arete looking area. Looks nice from Aquirre Springs. Sep 27, 2010
The climb to do on the east side is Hand Jive, 5.8+ III, put up by Paul and Lou Horak in the mid 1970s (8-10-75). The climb goes up the weakness just left of the prominent northeast ridge and traverses right of the large overhang on the fourth pitch. There are two additional easy pitches to the top. Rap off the south side of NRE at the standard stations. One should take a standard trad rack up to 3" and do not forget stoppers. Remember there were no cams when the climb was established. Oct 15, 2010
Mark Dalen
Albuquerque, NM
Mark Dalen   Albuquerque, NM
Karl - glad you mentioned Hand Jive: a classic if ever there was one. Why don't you copy your description & add the route? Jan 6, 2012