Started at 4 AM, took the Modoc Mine Route, there were several inches of snow which made the upper parts of the climb miserable. We didn't have snowshoes, and even so I doubt they would have been much of a help due to the rocky nature of the mountain, but we did bring ice axes and trekking poles which were immensely helpful if only for the added security and balance. There was a rocky/icy section of the mountain which we barely got up and had to gingerly glissade down on the way back down to get back to safety. I would recommend steering clear of this mountain after receiving any snow. Also, we didn't make it all the way to the summit as getting up the class 3 section with it all iced over was impossible, but we did make it to the Dark Saddle which is so close I consider it a success given the circumstances. Open-cycle maps has a GPS route which was handy in route-finding on those occasions when we were unsure of the trail (which was often thanks to the snow). Got back to the vehicle around 2 PM, the snow slows travel down immensely. I cannot overstate to be careful in the winter and come prepared. Oh, and we saw a Javelina on the descent.
I hiked/climbed this one from just below the green gate with fellow summitpost members cp0915 and moapapk. I was willing to drive to the end of the road but my hiking partners preferred hiking the road rather than me driving it. The summit was exhilarating and we summited the more technical peaklet to the northeast just for kicks.
We drove up to the Modoc Mines and started climbing around 745 we got to the top around 1115 and had lunch and enjoyed the view till noon and we were back at the trucks around 1500. Trail was good, lost it a few times and had a few oh there you are moments. When we got close to the tops we made the mistake of following another hiker (not In our group who said he knew which way was the right way for the final climb. If we had literally walked 10 more feet we would have seen the correct way up. The way we went up was scary. I'm a pretty active person and consider myself an adrenaline junky and I was terrified. But once we got to the top it was worth the skid mark in my shorts. We did find the right way up/down and they way down was, in my opinion, tougher than the way up. My bug toes didn't enjoy the pounding against my shoe. Plan on going again with another group to camp around the Juniper Pass area. Fun hike, definitely glad I did it after having lived in this town for 23 years.
A fun route to the summit and a great view of Sierra Blanca across the Tularosa Basin
I was under the impression that the route would be difficult to follow, but my group had no problems following the distinct user trail up to the summit. It looks more intimidating than it actually is.
Took another friend of mine and my dog again. Took some alternate trails and found an interesting cave around the Grey Eminence area.
My 2nd successful summit. This time it I took my German Shepherd (Kadin) and a friend who'd never done any climbing. Once we got to the Class 3 section I learned he was actually scared of heights! He dug deep and over came his fears. Good man. Rigged up a harness for my dog, and just used the ropes to belay her. She had no issues ascending or decending the Class 3 section. But she's not your average pooch.
My first trip to the top of the Needle. Lead the El Paso Hiking Group up there. 13 members in total, 11 made the summit.
Just guessing on the date climbed. I went with someone who had done this peak many times so he was able to show the way. At times to trail was hard to follow, but very rewarding. One of my favorite things about the hike is the cement plaque giving the final directions to the summit. Whoever put that there was determined.
Started from Baylor canyon road. We didn't have the whole day to climb so we booked it. We ended up getting to the top in 2 hrs 45 minutes. It took us quicker than we expected so we stayed on top for over an hour enjoying the view.
Climbed Organ Needle from Modoc Mine TH. The trail was relatively easy to follow with lots of cairns. Climbed the wall (low Class 5) to the left of the standard crux pitch. After visiting the main summit, climbed the eastern sub-summit. Nice hike/climb, great weather, gorgeous views!
Started at Fillmore Canyon trail, followed that over to Modoc Mine trail, then up to Needles trail. Lots of new growth on trail. Started at 7:54 and go to log book at 12:28. We had been planning on overcast skies like the previous weekend, but it was sunny the entire day. Clouds didn't move in until we got back to the vehicles. Good hike though.
Climbed with a friend who had done it before. He said the trail was easier to follow and less brushy than last time, but I still got poked plenty. Great summit, even if it was hazy.
After sitting on my back patio and staring up at Organ Needle for the past 9 months it was finally time to climb the peak. A friend from work joined me on the climb and we had a great, yet strenuous, day on the mountain. The route is not quite straightforward, but a few well written desciptions greatly helped our cause. The views were great, as expected! We spent a couple minutes looking at the class 4 section before we figured out how we wanted to attack it. One of my favorite NM climbs!
Just trying to say thanks but not sure if it posts.
I finally climbed the mountain in my back yard. It wasn't as bad as I'd heard, but it was a very tough climb. Steep, rugged terrain. We took 3:15 up and 2:30 down. The weather was warm for March (80s), but the trail stayed in the shade a lot. I used the trip report from "Adam" at cohp.org (//cohp.org/nm/Dona_Ana_5.html) and it worked well.
Being a native New Englander I was at first put off by what appeared to be a desolate area, but since having spent time in New Mexico I begin to understand why it is labeled with the epithet, “Land of Enchantment.” This climb to the top of Dona Ana County was a great opportunity to take in the picturesque views of the Tularosa Basin and the Rio Grande Valley of south-central New Mexico.
The climb was rugged and full of prickly plants and should only be attempted by people who are in decent shape. You will get tired on this long hike but the prickly plants will keep you moving and become a good wake-up to the exhaustion.
Things to keep in mind:
1. Carrying in your own water supply is a must
2. The Trails are not well marked and many run-off ravines and animal trail can easily be mistaken as the main trail.
3. The hike is long and time consuming in-and-of-itself, normally this is not a problem, but if you’re a picture taker and love to just let journey become and adventure be forewarned that the BLM officials lock the gate-up tighter than Check Point Charlie. I believe they are a husband and wife team and from my dealings with them they were not that personable. Yet, that was my take and who knows…we are all entitled to bad days.
4. Parking runs about $3.00 but considering the spectacular views and feeling as if you were living in an Edward Abbey book, it is money well spent.
Enjoy the journey and if you get a chance follow the trail toward Organ peak just a bit and check out the bone tree. I carried a skull of a dead Mule Deer all the way from the slopes of Organ peak, up and back down in order to contribute to this unique environmental decoration.
Picture can be viewed here: http://members.fotki.com/MountainSolitude
This is a tough outing. I followed Gerry Roach's route description and it worked very well. There is a path the entire way, and a good thing, because if you lose it, the terrain is very, very rugged, and making the summit would be all but impossible. Photos here.
Went with a group of locals who knew the route, otherwise I would have had no idea where to go. Steep and brushy, then the wall presents some challenges. More psychologically challenging than physical, but bring a rope and belayer if you think you'll need it.