In Search of the Unseen

The Organ Needle is the tallest point for miles around and one of the most dramatic peaks in New Mexico. With 4,000 ft of vertical gain, trail is rugged, unmarked, and dangerous. Given the challenging ascent and the likeliness of summer storms, reaching the summit is a test of physical strength and personal will.

Parts of the Organ range are impossible to reach on foot. The extreme geology keeps hidden its most dramatic spaces.  Equally inaccessible, the White Sands Missile Range lies north and east of the Organ Needle. From the summit, hikers are afforded a unique view into these otherwise secret places. Like many hikers, Faith Purvey was curious to see the other side of the range and dreamed of summiting the Needle. In April 2015 she joined a group for an overnight summit. The group, led by the notorious guide Ron Lautenbach, slept on top of the needle.

In Search of the Unseen is a series of interviews and photographs that document the special ascent and explore the summit’s lore, symbolism, and value.