New Mexico Tech Wilderness Encounter, Sugarloaf Peak/Organ Mtns, NM


One beautiful climbing destination for the NMT Wilderness Program was Sugarloaf Peak (elev. 8150′), found to the east of Organ Needle, in the Organ Mountains. The Organs are located adjacent to Las Cruces, NM, and form a dramatic skyline to the east. From Aguirre Springs CG, the route leads through Indian Hollow, a charming vest-pocket wilderness with a seasonal creek and timber at the upper end, which includes a grove of aspens. Sugarloaf is a conical peak. The name is derived from the time before sugar cubes, when sugar was formed into a tall cone (or “loaf”, see illustration)

A sugarloaf (Wikipedia)

A sugarloaf (Wikipedia)

Sugarloaf mountains seem to be a form characteristic of granite, such as the famous Sugarloaf of Rio de Janeiro. The photos seen here are of climbing trips with both NMT students and, later, with my wife, Kathy.

Indian Hollow and Sugarloaf Peak

Indian Hollow and Sugarloaf Peak

NMT students

NMT students

Alligator juniper

Alligator juniper

Kathy cllmbs along the creek

Kathy climbs along the creek

The Rabbit Ears at sunrise

The Rabbit Ears, in the Organ Mountains, at sunrise

Fall colors along the creek

Fall colors along the creek

Granite slabs

Granite slabs

NMT students

NMT students

Waterfall

Waterfall

A water apron

A water apron

Cactus and timber

Cactus and timber

Sugarloaf Peak

Sugarloaf Peak

Sugarloaf Peak, side view, looking east

Sugarloaf Peak, side view, looking east. The usual climb goes along the skyline.

Over-lapping granite slabs

Over-lapping granite slabs. Kathy leads.

Higher on the peak, Kathy leads

Higher on the peak, Kathy leads

Kathy on the summit, looking north

Kathy on the summit, looking north

The Organ Needle, to the west, from the summit of Sugarloaf

The Organ Needle, to the west, from the summit of Sugarloaf

The Organ Needle, to the west

The Organ Needle, to the west

The summit of Sugarloaf

The rounded summit of Sugarloaf, which requires a rappel for descent.

About believesteve

I am a photographer and have published a book of photography and accompanying text on running the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. The first (print) edition is out of print, but a second edition is available as an iBook (eBook) through the iTunes bookstore. All Grand Canyon, river and nature lovers will enjoy my book: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-grand/id672492447?ls=1
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