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Minerva's Temple

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Minerva's Temple Rock Climbing 

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Location: 32.3459, -106.5571 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 1,952
Administrators: Aaron Hobson, Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Marta Reece, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Aaron Hobson on Oct 25, 2009
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Dave Head following the 6th pitch of the SE Face o...


Minerva's Temple is a lower summit east of the Organ Needle. When viewed from the Organ Needle summit, it appears as a sharp east-west ridge, separated from the "retaining wall" (the fin of rock on the south side of dark canyon) by a prominent gap. As viewed from the east either from Aguirre Springs or the White Sands Missile Range, Minerva's temple appears to be it's own distinct peak, with a massive and steep Southern and Eastern faces.

The regular route is reportedly the first ascent of the peak, being accomplished by the Yale Mountaineers club in some un-specified time in the past. More recent route development has occurred in the 2000's, with a few technical and ambitious lines which tackle the huge Southern and Eastern faces of the mountain.

Getting There 

Routes on the impressive South and East faces are best approached from Aguirre Springs. There are no established trails for these approaches, but one recommended option is to use the Indian Hollow trail (the same approach trail as for Sugarloaf). Keep following the trail past Sugarloaf and all the way to it's end at a nice camp-ground. From here bush-whack your way up the ridge directly towards Minerva's Temple.

The West Ridge route and other shorter summiting routes can be approached from the West via Filmore Canyon or using the same approach as for Organ Needle regular routes. The maple-filled canyon between Minerva's Temple and Organ Needle is absolutely sublime when in fall foliage.

Climbing Season

Weather station 10.1 miles from here

2 Total Climbing Routes

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

Featured Route For Minerva's Temple
Rock Climbing Photo: Minerva, Organ Needle and Squaretop viewed from th...

North Face / East Ridge 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b  New Mexico : Organ Mountains : ... : Minerva's Temple
This was the first route to ascend the quixotic north face of Minerva’s Temple, Queen of the Organ Mountains, and stands alone as THE visionary hard-man’s route in the Organs. If you are looking for a big serving of adventure with a side of hard work, you will find it here.Approach: 3 miles, 2500’. Allow 3 hours to hike in and 2.5 to hike out. The gate into Aguirre (Uh-geer-ee) Springs doesn’t open until ~7am, so if you want an alpine start, you’ll need to camp out the night pri...[more]   Browse More Classics in New Mexico

Photos of Minerva's Temple Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Zoomed view from the summit of the Organ Needle of...
Zoomed view from the summit of the Organ Needle of...
Rock Climbing Photo: Minerva's Temple (right of center) as seen from Hu...
BETA PHOTO: Minerva's Temple (right of center) as seen from Hu...
Rock Climbing Photo: Minerva's Temple and Sugarloaf from the summit of ...
Minerva's Temple and Sugarloaf from the summit of ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Aaron enjoys the view of Sugarloaf and the White S...
Aaron enjoys the view of Sugarloaf and the White S...

Comments on Minerva's Temple Add Comment
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By Crimper E6
From: cheltenham, UK, SW is the BEST
Jun 21, 2017
BE WARNED! savage approach, after the sugarloaf trail split 1.5hrs or so, it deteriorates to steep dirt with a few cairns. After reaching Minervas Temple, there basically is no path and just thickets of thorny bushes as you cross multiple boulder choked drainage channels. It took us 5 1/2 hrs to reach the base of Caribiner crack!
(Maybe it would be better in spring or winter if the flora ever die down?)
Good luck!
By Drew Chojnowski
From: Las Cruces, NM
Jun 24, 2017
For east side of Little Squaretop Massif routes, approach via Pine Tree trail then up through a gap in foreground cliffs would be preferable - should cut a few hours off that approach time.

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