|Middle Rabbit Ear
The description below, found in NMSU archives, was created by the legendary Southwest Mountaineers. It is at a minimum twenty years old, but likely dates as far back as 1970ís. The rock itself may have changed since that time. The rating system certainly has. You will want to add at least a point to it. For comparison, the Normal Route, considered by many to be seriously sandbagged at 5.6, is listed in the same document as 5.5, the West Face as 5.6. So please treat what follows as a rough guide to an adventure, not as a solid and current info. If you do climb the route, sharing of what you learn would be appreciated.
"A fine route, really, up steep rock on the true North Face of the MRE, bypassing the Churck Key Buttress as closely as possible on the left. However, it is rotten in spots. Drop down the MRE-NRE bully on the East Side and little way and take to as obvious third class ramp leading up onto the North Face more or less below the looming Church Key Buttress. Once there, you see a viable narrow ledge snaking along behind sometimes rotten flakes above and disappearing around the skyline to the left. But to get on it, go way to the right and traverse back across a steep small holds slab and to the top of a rotten pillar. Then proceed ahead (east) on this narrow ledge, getting to an airy spot at the corner where (thank Gerch) a fine little traverse leads to a good belay spot 10 feet above.
"Next pitch goes up a steep gully directly above and steps across a barish wall to a belay below a roof. Then go around to the left and up steep, rotten rock, quite steep, but with good holds. You next see a steep crack turning into a smoothish dihedral above a bush about half way up. Above the bush itís best to jam with left foot in the crack and keep the right foot on the scant holds on the slab. Eventually a left handhold above helps to get you out of this predicament. Then continue on up on easier rock heading for the top of the Church Key. Finish the climb with a pretty steep slab directly above this."
Approach from the east rather than as described.