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Routes in Rabbit Ears Slabs

Barb's Roof Problem T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Bucky Blue T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Bucky's Shoulder T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Bucky's Twin T 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
Cheap Trick T 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Drew's Groove T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Grandmother's Day T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Keyhole Ridge T 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c C0
Mother's Day T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
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Type: Trad, 300 ft, 3 pitches
FA: unknown
Page Views: 1,351 total · 10/month
Shared By: Aaron Hobson on Jan 30, 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

Description

This route is great: beginner climbing, solid protection all over, fun moves over clean rock, and relatively straight-forward route-finding. To top it all, it is in the shade in the summer until after noon.

Pitch 1 (100 ft): Climb directly up to a small lichen-covered block next to a small (8 ft) juniper tree. Make a traverse move to the right (5.7) to above the tree. Continue along the crack in the slab above or in the corner to the left of it to a belay on a narrow ledge with a prominent prickly pear on the right.

Pitch 2 (120 ft): Go straight up to to a horizontal crack, traverse left using the crack for feet and continue up at a flake to an easy ground. Alternative way of going right is less straightforward but works also. Neither way is particularly protectable and both lead to an easy scramble above. Either climb the large, right-facing corner (5.7) and belay from above the point where it turns left, or take an easier crack system to the right of it, to gain a large ledge next to a huge dead juniper.

Pitch 3 (100 ft): Continue in the corner up through a nice layback section (5.6) to a ridge line. Belay from a gear anchor on the ridge.

Location

This route follows varied features starting on the right-hand slab of Rabbit Ears Slabs. To find the route, look for a small trapezoid roof covered in bright green lichen, just left of a small juniper tree. The tree and roof are about 60 ft high above the bottom of the slab. The route than continues up a large right-facing corner left of a large juniper.

Rappel: you have the option of three raps on one 70m rope, or two raps on 60m ropes tied together. There is a two-bolt rap station at the top of the route. From there, a 70m rope rap almost reaches the big dead Juniper below, with just a few easy steps downward to reach it. From the big Dead Juniper, a double-60m rap reaches the ground at route start. A 70m rope rap gets you to another good bolted anchor, and a third rap from there places you at route start.

Walk-off: It is possible to scramble down on the other side of the ridge into a gully leading to the right. The gully is dirty at first, but soon becomes merely boulders and okay. When it turns into a slab, exit to the right and traverse the slab to the start of Bucky Blue.

Protection

The first juniper (60 ft high) is small and in poor shape and should not be used for protection or as an anchor. The route protects well with small to mid-sized pieces.
Aaron Hobson
Clinton, TN
 
Aaron Hobson   Clinton, TN
 
There is an old 1/4" bolt on a slab to the left of the route after the first "crux". This looks like it leads to a weakness in the headwall to the left of the large right-facing corner, but probably is a grade or two harder.

This wall lends itself well to meandering. One can take off in different directions and still be on 5.6 climbing with good pro.

The name of this route is one I've heard from other climbers, when referring to this area, and I hope I've properly identified it.

Karl Kiser informs me that this route is also called Barb's Buttress, which I mistakenly thought was the name of the entire wall. Jan 30, 2008
jcardon
Las Cruces, NM
  5.7
jcardon   Las Cruces, NM
  5.7
This certainly is a great beginner trad lead for those who are comfortable with the grade. There is a descent out using the canyon on your right as seen from the top ridge. This canyon faces west toward town. This descent is quite smooth and straight forward. Apr 26, 2010
Marta Reece
Las Cruces, NM
  5.6
Marta Reece   Las Cruces, NM  
  5.6
If you are into restriction games, Pitch 3, which is fun in any case, makes for an interesting and hard "slab" climb. The idea is to avoid the use of any cracks and associated features but stay close to the corner.

If you wish to continue climbing after topping out, you can string in Bucky's Twin or the Keyhole Ridge. Jul 29, 2012
Bill Lawry
New Mexico
  5.7
Bill Lawry   New Mexico
  5.7
Just a note that the huge and totally dead tree in this is currently the intermediate rap station. We found a long blue sling tied around the large horizontal section of the trunk with one quick link.

I know there are already many old bolts in the Organ Mountains that need an upgrade. Even so, a pair of rap bolts here would excuse the old tree from service ... and, hopefully, the veteran can come down harmlessly on its' own in a wind storm some time.

As an intermediate solution, the above sling could be replaced by something closer to the base of the tree so as to not act so much like a lever arm during rappels. I'd guess the tree is about 20 feet around at the ground (roughly). Retired climb rope inside tubular webbing - all recently washed clean to not appeal to critters - seems quite durable in this kind of application. May 15, 2016
Marta Reece
Las Cruces, NM
  5.6
Marta Reece   Las Cruces, NM  
  5.6
The large tree functioning as an intermediate rap station was a juniper and it died in the big freeze in 2011. Juniper wood is quite durable. That and the size of the tree make the rap station probably acceptable at this time, even though the tree is dead. Jul 8, 2016

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