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Rib Cage

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Broken Rib 
Knife Rib 
Long Rib 
Rogowski's Rib 

Rib Cage Rock Climbing 


Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 7,000'
Location: 32.3641, -106.58466 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 864
Administrators: Aaron Hobson, Jason Halladay, Anthony Stout, LeeAB Brinckerhoff, Marta Reece, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Drew Chojnowski on Jan 16, 2016
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BETA PHOTO: The south wall of the Knife Rib, as viewed from th...

Description 

The Rib Cage is located on the southwest side of Rabbit Ears Massif. Local climbing legend R.L. Ingraham described numerous multi-pitch climbs in the area in his guide to climbing the Organ Mountains (web.nmsu.edu/~amato/ingrahamgu..., see Rabbit Ears Massif section), but lack of a proper approach trail through the intervening sea of catclaw, prickly pear, etc. has largely prevented the area from being climbed over the past several decades. Anyone who has actually climbed here in the past is encouraged to post the route(s) or at least speak up via comment section of this page.

Following numerous trailblazing efforts by me and a more serious effort in early January 2016 with help from friends Kathryn Steakley and Gordon Freischlad, the Rib Cage area has officially been freed up (see "Getting There" section and beta photos, which include a map). Many thousands of feet of good climbing granite await exploration, such that it is safe to expect a small flood of FAs in the area in addition to a dusting off of the old routes traversing the ribs. Until then, it is important for climbers to be wary of loose rock and lack of established rap anchors.

True to the name, the Rib Cage consists of a series of rib-like spines which rise out of the desert toward the east and terminate on or at the base of the large plateau-like summit of Rabbit Ears Massif. Along the south sides of each rib are numerous and varied walls, all similar if not larger than the well-known Southern Comfort Wall. As with Southern Comfort Wall, the south-facing orientations of the walls make them attractive winter climbing destinations. The possibility of walking off onto Rabbit Ears Massif (and thus descending down R.E. Canyon) after long, multi-pitch routes is another attractive feature of the area.

Starting from the south terminating wall of Rabbit Ears Massif, just north of Big Windy Canyon and Gertch, Ingraham's guide refers the ribs as Knife Rib, Long Rib, Broken Rib, and Rogowski's Rib. Upon approach, the south face of Rogowski's Rib is highly impressive, much higher than everything to the south. Upon traversing into the gully between the Long and Knife Rib, one realizes that portions of Long Rib south wall are equally enticing. Viewing the area from Baylor Canyon Road, it is clear that the south face of the Knife Rib may be the biggest prize of all. The Rib Cage area is sufficiently large that it will need to be divided into sub-areas.

Getting There 

It takes about 1.5-2 hours to reach the base of the Rib Cage from the old abandoned mine house known as Topp Hut. Starting from Baylor Canyon Road, turn east onto the rough road (starting at lon 32.365709, lat -106.614493) leading up to Topp Hut. Drive up the road as far you can, if not to the hut itself. The approach trail starts from a metal pole sticking out of the ground about 200 feet west of the mine hut, and initially heads toward the S/SE direction (toward the NE base of a low hill). The entirety of the approach trail is shown in one of the beta photos. This trail utilizes the lower half of the Gertch trail before departing onto its own separate upper leg. A few rules of thumb: (1) It is critical to follow the rock cairns along the trail: if you lose sight of rock cairns, go back to the last one you saw and get back on trail. Otherwise, prepare yourself for a nightmarish bushwack through a wide variety of vegetation most of which fights back; (2) if you find yourself getting tangled in catclaw thorn bushes still attached to the ground, you are off trail. If you see rock cairns and/or evidence of catclaw, grass, or prickly-pear having been cut, you are on trail; (3) the tunnel through this mess is complete and the full length is marked with rock cairns, but keep in mind that it meanders a bit to take advantage of piles of boulders, isolated boulders, and other relatively easy terrain. Given increased traffic, the trail will become unmistakable.

Climbing Season

For the Rabbit Ears Area area.

Weather station 10.2 miles from here

4 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',2],['2 Stars',1],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',1]
['<=5.6',0],['5.7',3],['5.8',0],['5.9',1],['5.10',0],['5.11',0],['5.12',0],['5.13',0],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]


Featured Route For Rib Cage
Rock Climbing Photo: Very rough topo of the route (better photos coming...

Xiphoid Process 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b  New Mexico : Organ Mountains : ... : Long Rib
This route may be the easiest way to get onto Long Rib proper from the north, after bypassing some false summits and razor thin ridgleline on the lower several hundred feet of Long Rib. There is at least one viable alternative to P1, and probably several more. Evidence exists of past climbing here, in the form of a section of large diameter, very old rope around the base of a large Ponderosa Pine tree at the end of the route. This particular tree provides a convenient landmark for locating the c...[more]   Browse More Classics in New Mexico

Photos of Rib Cage Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: A section of "ancient" rope around a lar...
A section of "ancient" rope around a lar...
Rock Climbing Photo: Another enticing section of the south wall of the ...
BETA PHOTO: Another enticing section of the south wall of the ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking east into the gully between the Long and K...
BETA PHOTO: Looking east into the gully between the Long and K...
Rock Climbing Photo: This is a nice crack system on the south wall of t...
BETA PHOTO: This is a nice crack system on the south wall of t...
Rock Climbing Photo: Another section of the south wall of the Long Rib,...
BETA PHOTO: Another section of the south wall of the Long Rib,...
Rock Climbing Photo: The start of the Long Rib.
BETA PHOTO: The start of the Long Rib.
Rock Climbing Photo: This is the south wall of Rogowski's Rib. Lots...
BETA PHOTO: This is the south wall of Rogowski's Rib. Lots...
Rock Climbing Photo: This rock cairn marks the point at which the Rib C...
BETA PHOTO: This rock cairn marks the point at which the Rib C...
Rock Climbing Photo: The blue line marks the normal Gertch trail, and t...
BETA PHOTO: The blue line marks the normal Gertch trail, and t...
Rock Climbing Photo: The Rib Cage area, as viewed from the approach tra...
BETA PHOTO: The Rib Cage area, as viewed from the approach tra...

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