Type: Trad, 800 ft (242 m), 9 pitches, Grade III
FA: Edmund Ward, Glen Banks, Paul Seibert and Mark Motes, 1976/1977.
Page Views: 7,082 total · 44/month
Shared By: George Perkins on Feb 11, 2008
Admins: Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Marta Reece, Drew Chojnowski

You & This Route


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

Description

Described as a highly recommended Organ classic, this climb is a great way to reach the Sugarloaf summit, for a party that's up for climbing 5.10 slabs. Don't be discouraged by the 5.11 rating, the crux section is short, right at a bolt which you could easily aid off of to get through, or avoided altogether by poorly protected 5.9 friction traverse.

4/2018: Most of the original 1/4" bolts have been replaced with modern 3/8" bolts, and all of the hanging belays have at least one new bolt.

Pitch 1. Go up right leaning cracks to the second of 2 fixed pins. Traverse left on the face to a new bolt, then continue left on less-featured slab to a second bolt. Up from here to a 3-bolt belay on a small ledge. (5.10)

Pitch 2. Move right on the ledge, then up to a fixed pin in a dish. Up and a little right past two bolts with the climbing consisting of thin face/slab moves between ledges big enough to rest on. Stop at an anchor with 3 bolts. (5.10-). You could rappel to the ground from here with 2 ropes, but expect to leave webbing at the belay if doing so.

Pitch 3. 10' up and left is a bolt. You can climb directly past this with a 5.11 boulder problem to a small undercling flake (recommended) or avoid the 5.11 section by traversing left from the belay and going up from there (5.9? big fall possible?). "A0" using the bolt is a reasonable option to avoid the short 5.11 section. After the crux, angle left to a fixed piton, and then, an amazing flake that you'll hand traverse back to the right. Continue up to a belay on a good ledge with some fixed pins and lots of tat. (5.11 or 5.10A0 or 5.9R?). You could retreat from here to the top of p2 with 2 ropes, if necessary.

Pitch 4. Your goal is to reach the big tree shared with Left Eyebrow. The topos show to head left on a fun, but unprotected, chickenhead face to a wiggly 'fixed' piton (which can be backed up with small cam). From this point, cruise up low angle knobby slab with minimal pro to a hollow flake and the tree. Written word in RC:NM says you can get to this tree by "face climbing right, then up the the tree" from the previous belay as well. Check out the giant steel ring on the webbing on the tree! (5.8). You could retreat from here to the top of p3 with 2 ropes.

 From this tree, the climb follows the upper pitches of Left Eyebrow.  It has some runout sections, but that probably won't bother you as its significantly easier than Science Friction.

Pitch 5. Angle right on easy ledges to below a bunch of left facing flakes that form a left facing corner. Some choss. (5.2)

Pitch 6. Follow the corner/crack system, to a dead tree stump (belay here, or continue farther right to a stance in the corner below the obvious roof) (5.4). These last two pitches can be combined with a modest amount of simulclimbing.

Pitch 7. Climb up to the roof, escape its to its right- to an amazing face of knobs and chickenheads. Continuing up, bear a little to the right, passing a bolt, to reach a 3-bolt belay (rated "5.6", probably more like 5.7 R).

Pitch 8-9. Follow a right-leaning crack to a bolt, then traverse left to bust through a roof on big jugs. Soon above this, you'll reach a right-facing corner. Belay somewhere in here.  With a 70m rope we were able to continue to a grassy ledge in a single long pitch, but you'll need to split this into 2 pitches with a shorter rope. Quality. ("5.6", maybe 5.7?).

Pitch 10. Various options for another 200' to the summit.  Straight up from the right end of the grassy ledge, then traverse right on a dike to 4th class cracks worked for us, but other possibilities exist.

Location

This climb is located on the blank-looking slab left of the Eye on the northwest face of Sugarloaf. It is to the right of some right arching roofs. The face appears to have no holds whatsoever from below. You will likely be able to see some of the bolts and the first bolted belay from below.

Protection

1 set nuts, 1 set cams to 3".

Photos