Back to main list page
KML file for this list (for Google Earth)
New Mexico Top 15 By Reduced ORS
|ORS, RORS, Ht in meters
|Big Hatchet Peak
|Sandia Peak, North
|San Andres Peak
|Sierra Blanca Peak
|Pueblo Peak (NW)
||Sangre de Cristo
||San Mateo (South)
|Silver Top Mountain
Notes on selected peaks:
- Big Hatchet Peak, the state winner, is a relatively unknown peak
because it is located in the bootheel of New Mexico, away from major cities or roads.
Its absolute elevation is not high; however it is a large peak in terms of local relief,
and it is steep in all directions, with significant cliffs
near its summit. All of this combines to give a large ORS. The peak is on
BLM land and is reported to be fairly easy to climb, considering its remoteness.
- Organ Needle is another peak which does not have a large absolute elevation but
has exactly the shape that is rewarded by ORS: steep and pointy. The Organ
Mountains are a small but dramatic range which lie near Las Cruces, New Mexico. They
offer excellent rock-climbing, albeit with some cactus-infested approaches.
- Shiprock is the kind of feature that ORS is made for. It is a
world-famous volcanic plug, rising steeply from the northwestern plateau area of New
Mexico (part of the dramatic Colorado Plateau). It is virtually closed to climbing,
being a sacred mountain of the Navajo Nation.
- The Sandia Mountains are the pride and joy of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Their steep
west faces provide the backdrop for the city. The optimal point in the Sandias is
actually just NW of the summit of North Sandia Peak, atop the Shield, New Mexico's
largest rock wall, site of some very serious climbs. (The author lives just a few miles
from this point.)
- Sierra Blanca Peak is not particularly steep, but it does have a lot of
local relief. It is the site of one of the southernmost ski areas in the US. It is also
the prominence champion for New Mexico (over 5000 feet).
- The Brazos Cliffs, near the town of Chama, are dramatic cliffs, highly visible from miles away, but
would not appear on any height or prominence listing for the state.
- Pueblo Peak is the best peak, in terms of ORS, in New Mexico's part of
the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Note that the state high point, Wheeler Peak, does not
appear on this list. Pueblo Peak beats Wheeler Peak
because Pueblo Peak lies on the western edge of the range, rising steeply
above Taos Pueblo. Wheeler Peak lies deeper inside the midst of the range.