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Card Deck

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Ace's Face 
Hole Card 

Card Deck Rock Climbing 

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Location: 32.3718, -106.59013 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: Aaron Hobson, Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Marta Reece, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Marta Reece on Jun 10, 2015
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
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BETA PHOTO: Card Deck as seen from Baylor Canyon Road. Joker's...


The best portion - the north face, including Ace's Face - is a north to northwest facing wall about 500 feet high and about as wide. Its good rock quality and consistent, high angle would make it a classic, if it only were easier to get to.

Sandwiched between the north face of the Card Deck and the Lambda Wall, are rock ridges of lesser size and usually lower quality.

Getting There 

Go to the base of the Lambda Wall and then traverse left as if going to West Face of Lambda but continue left (and drop some) past three large gullies, going up the fourth one. (There is a cairn there near the base of the gully.) The approach takes about 2 and half hours from the car, and from the Lambda Wall onward it is a pure bushwhack over rocky, steep, and unfortunately vegetated terrain. It's not quite the nightmare of a pure stand of cat claw or cactus, but it's not easy.

The original approach was from the north. Today, one could probably go cross country from the parking lot at Baylor Pass Trail, but this remains to be tested and is not recommended without large clippers to deal with the cat claw.

Climbing Season

For the Organ Mountains area.

Weather station 10.1 miles from here

2 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',2],['2 Stars',0],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]

Featured Route For Card Deck
Rock Climbing Photo: Start of the route.

Gambling with You 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b  New Mexico : Organ Mountains : ... : Hole Card
The route goes up the entire length of the clean face with protection in cracks scattered over it. The cracks as well as holds tend toward the small end, and there is just enough of both to make it both fun and doable. Your first landmark is the left end of a small roof. To get there follow a very shallow, featured, right-facing corner which starts some 30 feet up and then head for the roof. Turn the roof on the left and continue pretty much straight up. The climbing is pretty sustained, but doe...[more]   Browse More Classics in New Mexico

Photos of Card Deck Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: North face of Card Deck as seen from the Baylor Pa...
BETA PHOTO: North face of Card Deck as seen from the Baylor Pa...
Rock Climbing Photo: Topo from around 1980 compiled by Southwest Mounta...
BETA PHOTO: Topo from around 1980 compiled by Southwest Mounta...
Rock Climbing Photo: Ace's Face.
BETA PHOTO: Ace's Face.
Rock Climbing Photo: Card Deck and Lambda Wall as seen from the west.
BETA PHOTO: Card Deck and Lambda Wall as seen from the west.

Comments on Card Deck Add Comment
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By Marta Reece
From: Las Cruces, NM
Jun 27, 2015
Here is what I heard about climbing on the Card Deck from Karl Kiser: "Edmund Ward did most of the exploration in the area. If one climbs on the left side of the formation, the pro may be thin (up to R). Jokers Wild is the climb to do. Be prepared for old school 5.8. A small bolt kit might be useful but I remember one could bypass the bolt protected face at the top."

I have climbed what I thought was the first pitch of Joker's Wild (Approached from Lambda Wall). The climbing was about 5.6 and protectable. It did look distinctly harder above, but no more than a grade or two. "Old school 5.8" is well above 5.8 though, and I am sure the climb earns that grade eventually.

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