Type: Trad, 800 ft (242 m), 7 pitches, Grade III
FA: 1962?, P. Wohlt, R. Ingraham
Page Views: 6,254 total · 36/month
Shared By: Aaron Hobson on Oct 26, 2006
Admins: Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Marta Reece, Drew Chojnowski

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Access Issue: Power drilling is prohibited in the Organ Mountains Wilderness. Details

Description

One of the classic climbs of the Organ Mts. It takes an obvious weakness up the cliff with sustained climbing on mostly good rock, and comfortable belays. Most of the belays have 2 bolts. The crux pitch tackles a headwall with beautiful exposure and clean granite.

Pitch 1 (5.7, 120ft): Climb the corner under a large roof. Once the corner going to the right side of the roof appears on your right, traverse into it instead and take it to a ledge just below the roof, where the second old 1/4" bolt is found. Belay from the nearby modern bolts.

Pitch 2 (5.7+, 180ft): Continue up the corner/crack system for about 150 ft. At this point make an escape to a large ledge to the right (grassy in the right season) with a 2-bolt anchor.

Pitch 3 (5.8, 150ft): Climb up or around a short slab to a small overlap with a weakness with a piton in it. After cranking over this, continue up along a nearly vertical crack toward a hedgehog cactus surmounting a tricky bulge. Just below the cactus, turn left to easily reach a comfortable belay ledge with 2-bolt anchor.

Pitch 4 (5.7+, 180ft): Continue up the corner system, staying to the right of the large chock stone but returning to the chimney like corner which leads to a slab amphitheater above. Once on the open slab, veer slightly right to a good ledge with a 2-bolt anchor.

Pitch 5 (5.8, 100ft): Head up the rest of the slab toward the right edge of the headwall. Turning around the corner here is an exposed traverse with narrow crack for hands, quite exhilarating. An old, unusable hanging belay is found directly around the corner (out of sight from your belayer). Build a gear anchor in the cracks above it.

Pitch 6 (5.9, 80ft): From the hanging belay a piton can be seen on the right where 3 small rooflets break the headwall. Climb towards these. This is the crux pitch, with great exposure and very clean, almost featureless rock. Two pitons protect the first two rooflets (can be backed up with tiny cams), after which ample gear placements can be found if climbing proceeds in the corner. If the third rooflet is climbed at its weakest point, on the right, protection is much poorer. A good reach and a cool head will help surmounting these. Above the rooflets, choose one of many comfortable belay stations in a large low-angle ledge.

Pitch 7 (low 5th, 30ft): Traverse left on easy slab to arrive at a 2-bolt anchor. Rap the route from here, or continue scrambling up if you want to reach the "summit" (more of a ridgeline... not really worth it).

Location

The route is identifiable from the approach as a large corner system which leans slightly to the right, and ascends to the half-way point of the face. An excellent topo and route description was written by Charlie Cundiff and is available at the NMSU climbing wall. 

Protection

Double set of cams 0.3-3 along with some nuts and/or variety of small cams and plenty of slings. Bring webbing in case the rap anchors (2 bolts, no chains) need updating. Descending the face entails 5 double-rope raps on 60m ropes. The last rap can be done with a 70m rope, and this may also be true for third rap from the top (untested). Either way, you'll want double ropes for both getting down and negating rope drag on the way up.

Photos