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Broken Buttress Breaks, NM

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Rated  Favorite Wish List NM > Southeast
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Canyons are inherently risky. Flash floods occur without notice on sunny days. Technical skills & surrounding topography knowledge required yet does not eliminate risk.
Statistics
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Difficulty 3.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Round Trip 1 mile
Trailhead Elevation 4,859 feet
Elevation Gain 890 feet
Accumulated Gain 912 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 1 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 5.56
Interest Off Trail Hiking & Seasonal Waterfall
Backpack No
Post the 1st photoset!
Author imike
author avatar Guides 253
Routes 0
Photos 6,930
Trips 2,467 map ( 21,513 miles )
Age 69 Male Gender
Location Cloudcroft, NM
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Preferred   Apr, Mar, Oct, Nov → Any
Seasons   ALL
Sun  5:51am - 6:02pm
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Big Boulders!
by imike

The towering Buttress Cliffs just inside the mouth of Alamo Canyon (on the north side) did a major alteration back in 2010. I hiked past one day and they appeared ageless. The next day up and their vulnerability was clearly illustrated: a huge section of the cliff had collapsed!


It was odd to be so close to an event from the ticking geologic clock...

The canyon cut angling up to the Cliffs was never very appealing, but now with the tumbled piles of rock scattered below there is a greater justification for enjoying this short but interesting route.

It's intriguing to notice the assortment of older downfalls scattered in the upper basin area; these cliffs appear to donate rock to the canyon on a steady schedule.

Overgrown in the lower section, there are clear passages, mostly along game trails up the right side of the cut. The overgrowth gives way to slab dryfalls that lead up to the steeply sloped basin immediately below the cliffs.

Combined with Cave Canyon to the west, this makes for a nicer short loop hike... or, simply climb to the base of the cliffs and enjoy the jumble of giant rock debris.

The entry is apparent...on Trail 104 (Alamo Canyon) it is the cut just past Cave Canyon... leading up into the same cliff formations.. the ones with the obvious scar of collapsed rock!

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your canyon trip to support this local community.

2014-01-19 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.

    Most recent Triplog Reviews
    Broken Buttress Breaks
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    Exploratory to develop traverse/short cut down off of Roundup Cliffs to Dark Cliffs... giving access to Picnic Canyons, The Gap, Blind Cut... Busted Buttress and beyond. Got lucky, found what will likely be the cut... and decided to use Cave canyon for the west end access to the Dark Cliffs. This new routing provides some exceptional looping... now, just have to do the work!
    Broken Buttress Breaks
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    following up on a lead... and checking out a long planned route, my first day back out doing an exploratory hike yielded both a new cave and a successful ascent up through the cliffs to Alamo Ridge. The west portion of the Dark Cliffs also showed positive promise for a north side canyon route up to the Picnics. All the time lost to jury duty and a busted foot has created some minor issues, but it was a good day out!

    Side spurs n4, n5, n6 finally resolved... now need to check the cave up below the Roundup Cliffs... and the full canyons: Alamo Gap... Blind Cut. Way down on the list: the slot up at the top of N5? Too much to do!
    Broken Buttress Breaks
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    12 hikers showed up for our Sunday Beginner's Hike! Walked them up canyon through a bit of scrambling... then, traversed out and over to the Roundup Grounds trail for an easier exit...

    ... found new spur trail route... nice!

    Did a pre-hike hike... explored the Broken Buttress Cut, exited out Cave Canyon, hiking down canyon in the upper section before accessing the trail.

    Basically, a rest day.

    Permit $$
    None


    Directions
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    Connector trail - Not Applicable

    To canyon trip
    This short spur canyon can be found on your left, less than a quarter mile up the Alamo Canyon Trail (104) Trailhead, up on the far east end of Alamo Canyon Road... it can also be accessed from the top by hiking east from Cave Canyon
    page created by imike on Jan 19 2014 8:01 pm
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