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North America, United States, Texas, The Chisos Mountains of Texas

The Chisos Mountains of Texas. Probably of most interest to the mountaineer in Texas are the Chisos Mountains. The rugged volcanic range rises sharply from the desert floor in a spectacular maze of jagged peaks, deep canyons, spires and volcanic necks. Located within the Big Bend National Park, the primitive region is pierced by one good road.

Most of the major peaks have been ascended by the simpler routes. There are numerous very difficult routes up the various faces of practically every one of them. Of particular interest to the climber are the countless unclimbed spires flanking the mountainsides and, in the southern part of the range, some isolated volcanic necks. The nature and complexity of the volcanic mass makes for a variety of types of rock. Characteristic of the larger peaks are sound rhyolites, jointed and fractured in such a manner as to afford safe climbing on very steep pitches. In contrast, there are peaks of relatively rotten rock, exemplified by the volcanic necks. The loftiest parts of the range rise some 4800 ft. above the desert floor, with the maximum elevation 7835 ft. above sea level.

It is well to be aware of the scarcity of water in this region, and also of the effects of sudden torrential downpours upon unpaved roads and in canyons.

A. E. Owen