Organ Mountains, New Mexico

When we need a break from the urban, sporty, regulated scene at Hueco, we head for the Organs, a mere 1.5 hours northwest of Hueco in southern New Mexico.

The Organs are a vast, wild trad-style climbing area that first saw activity in the early 40's. We make no attempt to give beta about the area, other than to state that the original guidebook was written by Dick Ingram, Del Boyer and others in the early 60's, and that there are numerous other guides and articles (such as the Rock and Ice piece in the early 90's) available.

The first rock climb I ever did (1978) was in a sister range near the Organs, the Dona Anna's. After that climb, we moved over to the Organs, the only place we climbed at prior to "discovering" Hueco in 1980. When climbing in the Organs, Be prepared to pay for the treat with the currency of strenuous approaches through dense underbrush - but the experience is worth shredded legs and gallons of sweat.

We recommend the Tooth, The Citadel, Southern Comfort Wall, the West Ridge of Middle Rabbit Ear, Sugarloaf and the Awful Buttress on North Rabbit Ear to start you off. If you enjoy those, set your sights on the East Faces below Organ Peak.

Citadel from Rabbit Ears Canyon