Ascent of Lookout Mountain on 2012-08-25

Climber: BMS 914

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Saturday, August 25, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Lookout Mountain
    Location:USA-New Mexico
    Elevation:11580 ft / 3529 m

Ascent Trip Report

(for the first part of this ascent, see my TR on Sierra Blanca Peak...)

Arriving at the saddle, the rain and small hail had already begun, but Lookout Mountain was RIGHT THERE, so I decided to push things and blast up the peak. Ditching my pack, I began pushing hard up the slope to the chair lift. Near the lift, my hands and lower arms began to tingle, which I mistook for static charge buildup from the thunderstorm I was now ascending in. I retreated a little way back down the hill, then realized the tingling was just from pushing so hard for so long. I went back up the hill even harder, breaking into a run, pushing my aerobic capacity to near its limits.

I tagged the little circle slab and wall on the summit, and began running back down the slope to the chair lift, with the booming of nearby thunder motivating me to keep pushing, but not to keep pushing my luck.

Retrieving my pack I began the descent. The batteries in my GPS died, so I would be eyeballing it to the truck. As I reached the forest by the lower chair lift turn, the hail and rain opened up, with pellets the size of frozen peas stinging everywhere they hit. The flash of the lightning and the booming of the thunder was incredible, and when the two were occurring nearly simultaneously, there were many other places I was wishing I was. In short order, I was soaked, my soft shell not up to the hail and rain. I began down, got confused, and took the wrong forest, but quickly realized my mistake. The storm was clearly right overhead at the time, and the pressure of bad weather and all the rushing had played a role. Fortunately, I got back on course, and back to the ski resort. I ran down the "Upper Deep Freeze" ski run, took a ramp to another chair lift, then down a run called "Sunnyside" (first run was marked, other I discovered looking at the skiapache trail map. I arrived back in the ski resort, with just three miles of paved canyon road between me and the ride out!

My silent walkie-talkie came to life, with Eric explaining he had talked his way past the ranger (after much pleading), and would meet me at the closed gate to the resort. I ran the whole way there, and left both soaked and elated at a great day in the mountains!

-Note: the GPS track shown was re-created after my batteries died during the descent. It is fairly accurate, with the exception of the long, straight 1.4 mile line my software insists on drawing between my starting point at a turnout along the road and my finish at the ski resort parking lot. So please disregard this annoying anomaly.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:772 ft / 234 m
    Elevation Loss:2091 ft / 636 m
    Distance:3.5 mi / 5.6 km
    Grade/Class:Class 2
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Open Country
    Weather:Thunderstorm, Cool, Windy, Low Clouds
Lightining and hail/rain mix
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:429 ft / 130 m
    Extra Loss:6 ft / 1 m
    Distance:0.9 mi / 1.5 km
    Route:South Ridge
    Trailhead:Saddle w/Sierra Blanca  11157 ft / 3400 m
    Time Up:17 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:2085 ft / 635 m
    Extra Gain:343 ft / 104 m
    Distance:2.6 mi / 4.2 km
    Route:South Ridge to ski resort
    Trailhead:Turnout off (closed) highway  9838 ft / 2998 m
    Time Down:35 Minutes
Ascent Part of Trip: Sierra Blanca

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Sierra Blanca Peak2012-08-25 a
2Lookout Mountain2012-08-25 b
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by BMS 914
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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