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Leah's Lair - the Fissure, NM

Guide 17 Triplogs  0 Topics
  4 of 5 
no permit
45 17 0
Canyons are inherently risky. Flash floods occur without notice on sunny days. Technical skills & surrounding topography knowledge required yet does not eliminate risk.
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Difficulty 3.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 2.2 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,481 feet
Elevation Gain 45 feet
Avg Time One Way 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 2.35
Interest Off-Trail Hiking
Backpack No
Dogs not allowed
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
5  2014-02-05
Wednesday Looping
37  2014-02-03
Monday Marble Madness
39  2014-01-24 imike
6  2012-10-20 imike
Author imike
author avatar Guides 253
Routes 0
Photos 6,930
Trips 2,467 map ( 21,513 miles )
Age 71 Male Gender
Location Cloudcroft, NM
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Apr, Mar, Oct, Nov → Any
Seasons   ALL
Sun  5:16am - 7:03pm
0 Alternative

Our Slot Canyon!!
by imike

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Slot Canyons are not a common feature in the Alamo area… but, we do have our one narrow cut: Leah’s Lair- the Fissure!

Though lying immediately adjacent to our most popular hiking route: the A Trail, it goes mostly unnoticed. The top shows as a narrow rocky cleft, obscured by overgrowth on the north end next to the trail.

Walking along the top… gazing down into the dark precipice, conjures images of bottomless depths. In fact, it is not all that deep, but it has enough fall away to inspire moments of anxiety for those venturing into its depths.

The entry is typically accomplished by walking over into the adjacent canyon to the south(N1- Grotto Canyon) and working your way down and around to the south side of the slit. The mouth is massively overgrown and at first glance does not appear to be worth the effort. In fact, look a bit higher and you’ll spot a narrow ledge winding across the top of the overgrowth. Follow that ledge route to enter the Fissure.

After the first corner you will need to drop down and crawl through a short cave… emerging into the open topped formation… which immediately drops down and away.

It continues to drop as you work your way along a very narrow ledge, with the dark drop away again giving you the feeling of unfathomable depths. In fact, you are not all that far from the bottom.

For many hikers, a rope may be a good idea… both to avoid unnecessary risks and to aid climbing back up the narrow slot.

At one point, many thousands of years ago, this feature extended well to the south. The same fault can be found across Grotto Canyon in the ridge on it’s south side. The erosion that created the canyon removed the Fissure from that area. That would have really been impressive…

…but, we take what we can get! This is our slot canyon… and is well worth a visit!

Leah really liked it… at least until it scared the pumpkin out of her!

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2014-01-16 imike
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Connector trail - Not Applicable

    To canyon trip
    This interesting feature is reached by hiking up trail T119, the -A- Trail. Around 2.2 miles up the trail near the 6500' level... look behind the dead trees and overgrowth on your right. You'll spot the narrow cleft. Approach with caution... enter with greater caution...
    page created by imike on Jan 16 2014 12:25 pm
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