Our destination for the day...Sugarloaf. It looms big over southern New Mexico!
Saturday night we camped at Aguirre Springs and were treated to a great sunrise on the Organ Mountains Sunday morning. Camping is $3 for up to a week. Quite a deal.
Sunrise on the Rabbit Ears.
Despite the ominous warning sign, we departed the trailhead by the group camping sites at 7:15am.
Looking up our intended route, Science Friction, 5.11. It ascends blank face climbing for four pitches to the large tree. Then five more pitches of super fun featured granite climbing above to the summit.
George following my ugly lead on the first pitch, 5.10+
George starts off on the second pitch--more 5.10 slab friction moves between decent ledges.
George carried the rack on this pitch but that was only for show--no cracks offer protection--just a fixed piton and a couple bolts for the whole pitch.
Eyeing the rest of the pitch.
Following the third pitch. It's rated 5.11 due to the thin friction move or two right from the belay to a 1/4“ bolt to some positive fingertip flake action. It was exciting!
The day was picture perfect!
Looking up the fourth pitch. We're getting into the fun stuff now!
A crazy huge steel ring held on just barely to the tree by some serious wasted rope!
George leads off into the fun that is the seventh pitch--tons of sweet features.
White Sands Missle Range and Sierra Blanca, the most prominent peak in southern NM off to the north.
Old, not to be fully trusted, 1/4“ bolts were common (but still scarce) on this route.
Coiling the ropes just below the summit just before 1pm.
The summit of Sugarloaf is quite a place to be. The easiest route to the summit is a supposed 4th class route with multiple 5th class routes available.
Thumbs up is right, yo!
The initial part of the descent involves this slabby, super exposed ridge scramble down to the rappel anchor.
One double-rope rap gets you down to the saddle. Then, a short bit of downclimbing to one more single-rope rap gets you going.
Back at the car by 3pm. Just over 8 hours for the car to car effort. Time for nacho cheese doritos and the five hour drive home!
Yes, I'm very artsy. Sometimes.