Normal Route (Little Squaretop)

Page Type
Route
Location:
New Mexico, United States, North America
Route Type:
Hiking, Mountaineering, Trad Climbing, Scrambling
Season:
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Time Required:
Half a day
Rock Difficulty:
Class 4
Grade:
II

Route Quality: 1 Votes

1342 Hits
74.01% Score
Log in
to vote
Page By:
Normal Route (Little Squaretop)
Created On: Feb 3, 2011
Last Edited On: Feb 9, 2011

Route Description

Normal route can be approached from the west using the standard Organ Needle Trail starting from Modoc Mine Road (a detailed route description by Gerry Roach can be found here). The route starts from the saddle between Organ Needle and Little Squaretop, and then ascends the north-to-south gully between Little Squaretop and Little Squaretop Massif.

The Normal Route on Little SquaretopThe upper part of the Normal Route
The lower Normal Route on Little SquaretopThe lower part of the Normal Route


To get to the base of the route, turn left before entering the Dark Canyon and ascend the gully towards a couple of large Ponderosa pines ...
At the mouth of the Dark CanyonAt the mouth of the Dark Canyon
Gully leading towards two large pinesGully leading towards two large pines
Two Ponderosa pines on the approach to normal routeTwo Ponderosa pines and Little Squaretop


Once you reached the pines, head north to the base of the rock rib (there are a couple of cairns marking the way). Traverse left along the base of the rock and scramble up the south side of the rib (Class 3-4). Cross the rib, drop into a narrow gully and do an ascending traverse on the next rock rib ...
Approaching the rock ribApproaching the first rock rib
Traverse on the second rock ribAscending traverse on the second rock rib


After reaching the flat area, scramble up the easy slabs directly to the saddle between Organ Needle and Little Squaretop, or drop into a wide shallow gully on the left ...
Looking towards the Organ Needle-Little Squaretop saddleThe slabs leading to the saddle
Inside the gully left of the second ribInside the gully left of the second rib


From the saddle: downclimb to the right (east) side and ascend a short gully to the base of the main north-to-south gully between Little Squaretop and the Massif.
From the shallow wide gully: go up the gully and turn left at the large dead tree.
Once at the base of the main north-to-south gully, go north until you reach a water-stained wall with a few junipers growing above it. Scramble up the wall on the left side. After reaching the flat area, scramble up the wall behind one of the junipers ...
At the base of the north-to-south gullyAt the base of the north-to-south gully
At the base of the water-stained wallAt the base of the water-stained wall
Scramble up a corner behind this juniperScramble up a corner behind this juniper
The rest of the route up the north-to-south gullyThe rest of the route up the north-to-south gully


Scramble up to the top of the main north-to-south gully to the deep notch between the summits of Little Squaretop and the Massif. The left side of the gully provides scrambling on a nice clean rock. After reaching the notch, turn left and scramble up the slabs towards the summit of Little Squaretop. After ascending a short wide crack, you will reach the flat area at the base of the summit block. Look for summit register in the glass jar hidden inside the summit cairn. Climb to the top of the summit block. Enjoy the view!
The upper part of the north-to-south gullyThe upper part of the north-to-south gully
Final scramble to the base of the summit blockThe rest of the route up the north-to-south gully
Summit Block of Little SquaretopSummit Block on Little Squaretop

Essential Gear

Sturdy shoes and clothing appropriate for bushwhacking through high desert vegetation. This route requires more Class 3-4 scrambling than the standard route on the neighboring Organ Needle. In dry conditions, people with climbing background (Class 4 and higher) will find it comfortable without ropes and climbing gear, but many people may want to have protection of the rope in a couple of spots.







Normal Route (Little Squaretop)

Route
15 Images 0 Climber's Log Entries 0 Comments 0 Additions & Corrections

Geography

Routes in New Mexico

Parents

Little SquaretopRoutes