Type: Trad, 100 ft
FA: 17 May, 1934 - S. Christensen
Page Views: 1,257 total · 12/month
Shared By: Robert Cort on Nov 13, 2010
Admins: Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Marta Reece, Drew Chojnowski

You & This Route

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Access Issue: Placement of bolts/fixed anchors is prohibited in Wilderness Study Areas Details


Ingraham rates this as 3rd, but holy cow, either the mountain has changed a lot since his day (doubtful), I'm a wimp (possible), or ratings in his day were very different than now (likely).

From the end of the approach (just east of the Organ Ridge, see below), ascend a broad gully. (See photos for and an ID on the gully. Do not start too far down/east.) You may want to rope up for Ingraham's "jam crack" (see photo), but after it climbing again moderates.

Just before the saddle between The Wedge and its false summit to the east, you have two choices: (1) take a broad, left-leading ledge, around an exposed corner then trend back right to the ridge and follow the ridge to the summit. You will find a short low 4th class pitch (low 5th?) and a short exposed knife edge to cross then easy terrain to the summit. I have not climbed up from the saddle, so someone help me there.

(2) The 0riginal (Ingraham's) version (written by Marta Reece): Continue up the gully until you find a short 4th (low 5th?) class pitch to the summit. Start the pitch from the left side of the boulder pile in the saddle. Traverse right on top of the boulders to an intermittent but prominent, right-slanting corner. The first, smoothest part of this corner is the crux. The tops of the boulders provide some protection for a roped-up leader. Before the second part of the corner (the one left of an off-width and a boulder) you may protect with #0.4 cam or use the piton. Belay a short distance above that. Go left soon after and continue along a head wall. The point at which you turn left is not particularly critical. Near the top, crawl under the large, left-leaning boulder and then up.


The Normal Route can be approached from the west (from Modoc Mine Road) or east (Aguirre Springs). We approached from the east, and I found it easier and shorter than the west approaches.

From the west, either (1) climb to the Lost Peak/Wedge saddle (going left from The Tooth) and traverse slightly east and south to the saddle between the Wedge and its false summit to the east. From here you will get to climb only the summit pitch of the route, or (2) climb to the Organ Ridge just south of The Wedge (from the end of Modoc Mine Road go again up the trail to The Tooth, but continue up the trail to the right of it). From the ridge, descend the gully to the east. This way you will get to the start the route as described in Ingraham's Guide to the Organ Mountains.

From the east, take the Pine Tree Trail to it's halfway point. You can cut to this location by going up the gullies - the Secret Trail (turn right early on from the south fork of Pine Tree Trail over some slabby rock marked with cairns, eventually head to the left to follow a gully), followed by the Ghost Fire Trail (branch off to the right up a well defined and clean gully). Fromm the halfway point in the Pine Tree Trail, ascend a ridge/welt immediately above the primitive campsite. When practical, traverse into the gully to the right (north) of this ridge. This is the gully leading to the saddle between the Wedge and Lost/Third Peak. Ascend the gully up to and through a fairly thick (but passable) maple/oak forest (nice color in the fall). Leave the maples just short of the Wedge by scrambling left up an easy, vegetated slope to reach the gully south of the Wedge. (This gully can be taken instead, if you like a fairly exposed 4th class scramble.) If you miss the exit, you'll wind up at the saddle between Third Peak and Lost Peak (you'll know you're in the wrong place if you have to ascend a chimney to get under a large chockstone).


None required, but you'll likely want to rap from the summit back down into the gully for descent. (A single 60m rope is adequate for the purpose.) Most climbers do rope up for the start of the summit pitch. A mid-size cam (about #1, but we scrambled it so not sure of size there) could be useful before the more interesting part. There is one piton just above that, protecting the next move. An anchor can be had on some bushes etc.