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SE Ridge

SE Ridge


Page Type: Route

Location: Texas, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 29.28179°N / 103.30867°W

Object Title: SE Ridge

GPX File: Download GPX » View Route on Map

Route Type: Scrambling

Season: Fall

Time Required: A long day

Rock Difficulty: Class 3

Route Quality: 
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Page By: drc

Created/Edited: Nov 19, 2011 / Dec 3, 2011

Object ID: 760787

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This is a more direct route up to the summit that doesn't require climbing the South Gully all the way up to Peak 6490.

Southeast Ridge Route
Approximate route

Getting There

Start from The Window Trailhead in the Chisos Basin Group Campground

Route Description

Go down the Window Trail from the Group campground, and start crossing over to the mountain at the point at which the Window Trail intersects with the trail coming from the individual campground. You can take advantage of the clear(er) area that was formerly the site of the sewage lagoons.

Approaching the gully after...
Approaching the South Gully

Start up the South Gully near 29.2817, -103.3089, heading in the most direct route possible toward the mini-saddle at 29.2839, -103.30795.

Vernon Bailey from South Gully
Vernon Bailey from the Mini-Saddle

Veer NNW off of the back side of the mini-saddle and down into the heavily-vegetated, tree-lined gully. You'll have to cross the gully pretty far to the right, as it cliffs out to the left. Once on the other side of the gully, start climbing the long scree slope to attain the large saddle behind the promontory at 29.2949, -103.3098.

South Gully from the Saddle
Looking Back at South Gully from the Saddle

From the saddle, descend down a steep-- but more vegetated and less loose-- talus/scree slope into another gully (foreground of the shot below.)

Vernon Bailey from the Saddle
Vernon Bailey from the Saddle

From there, ascend up the grassy Southeast Ridge of Vernon Bailey (to the left of the talus field.) Referring to the shot above, the ridge cuts diagonally left to right above the talus field. It isn't obvious in the picture, but there is an impassable ravine between the SE Ridge and the main summit, so it is necessary to attain the North Summit (upper right of above pic) first, then traverse over to the main summit (upper left of above pic.)

The SE Ridge is steep but is mostly hikeable and doesn't require scrambling except to get on top of a few short, rocky ledges. There is nothing exceeding Class 2+ in difficulty and no significant exposure.

Descend the way you came up.

Essential Gear

Hiking boots, gloves (!), plenty of water & food, topo maps, cell phone, GPS with mapping functions, trekking poles

External Links

Photojournal of our full traverse of Vernon Bailey (including an ascent up the SE Ridge Route)


Approaching the gully after...Another Magnificent ViewPeaks 6490 and 6755 from North SummitCarter Peak, Western Desert, Cattail Creek, & Oak Spring from Vernon Bailey SummitWard Mountain, Cattail Canyon, & Carter Peak from Vernon Bailey SummitSoutheast Ridge RouteWestern Desert and Flank of Vernon Bailey from Upper Promontory
Vernon Bailey from South GullyVernon Bailey from the SaddleSouth Gully from the SaddleBest View in the ParkPeaks 6490 and 6755 from Near North SummitMain Summit & Western Desert from North Summit