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Ingraham's Gully

Easy 5th, Trad, 160 ft (48 m), Grade II,  Avg: 3 from 5 votes
FA: unknown
New Mexico > Las Cruces Area… > Organ Mountains > Needle & Square… > Organ Needle
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Description

This is a variation of the Normal Route as described in Ingraham's guide to the Organ Moutains web.nmsu.edu/~amato/ingraha…. It goes up a gully on the S face of Organ Needle, and is the quickest way to reach the summit. The rock in this gully is solid, the climbing is fun, and the views/exposure are spectacular.

Instead of following Ingraham's description by climbing onto the crumbly rock immediately north of Hummingbird Saddle, walk NE from the saddle, hugging the rock to your left. Bushwack up the first gully encountered, ignoring the concrete marker on the ground suggesting you continue hiking NE to the easier 3rd class route. Climb directly up the "easy 3rd class gully" (as Ingraham called it), which is near but does not necessarily involve some incredible exposure. To get a taste of the exposure, take a look to your left, but otherwise just stay in the gully. The gully cliffs out in dramatic fashion after about ~120 ft. At this point, climb up the rock to your right, toward the summit. Many options exist for the next section, but it is usually done by going up ~10 ft, then downclimbing to the right 5 ft to a less exposed shelf where a 10-15 ft vertical wall with excellent holds can be climbed to the summit.

Location

We have never attempted descending the route, nor is doing so recommended. Instead, downclimb the Normal Route.

Protection

Although we've always free-soloed this route, occasionally in sneakers or hiking boots, climbing shoes are highly recommended since a fall could be very bad. The 2 or 3 technical moves on the route appear minimally protectable, but it'd certainly be feasible to build an anchor just above them to bring up a follower. A 60m rope and some small cams would suffice.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Rough topo of the route, as viewed from the Retaining Wall. Note the hikers on Organ Needle summit.
[Hide Photo] Rough topo of the route, as viewed from the Retaining Wall. Note the hikers on Organ Needle summit.
Looking down at where the route starts. It is "right around the corner" East from Hummingbird Saddle. Go through some bushes to a flatter ledge to get climbing shoes on.
[Hide Photo] Looking down at where the route starts. It is "right around the corner" East from Hummingbird Saddle. Go through some bushes to a flatter ledge to get climbing shoes on.

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

Ian Harris
Las Cruces NM
  Easy 5th
[Hide Comment] Good rock and a fun way up the Needle. It is definitely technical and exposed; recommended for climbers. Mar 19, 2017