Ascent of Luciano Mesa on 2006-03-24
|Date:||Friday, March 24, 2006|
|Ascent Type:||Successful Summit Attained|
| Location:||USA-New Mexico|
| Elevation:||5580 ft / 1700 m|
Ascent Trip ReportThe summit of Luciano Mesa competes with Cuervo Hill for the title of the most prominent peak in Guadalupe county NM. However, Luciano Mesa is better known by the fact that the Quay county HP is a liner a little more than 1 mile E of the summit. Therefore it makes sense to bag both points on the same hike.
From the Quay county HP I walked W along the power line past the airstrip, then headed slightly S toward the large 5580' contour. I crossed the dirt road in section 26 that parallels the boundary with section 25. All in all, the top of the mesa is very flat and the gradient is barely discernible in the field. The mesa extends for a few miles in all directions and visibility is hindered by scattered evergreen brush, so it is very difficult to tell where the highest ground is.
Eventually I arrived at a water tank that served as a tentative point for the highest ground. The tank appeared to be in approximately the center of the E lobe of the 5580' contour. I continued west for about 10-15 minutes in case of another candidate for the highest ground in the west lobe of the 5580' contour. Eventually the terrain began to drop gradually and visibility improved to the W and I became satisfied that there was no higher ground in this direction. I turned around and headed back E, somewhat S of my westerly leg, but also trying to follow the gradient when discernible. Eventually I arrived back at the same water tank I had seen before.
Since following the uphill gradient (when discernible) leads one naturally to the water tank from either the E, W, or S, and the terrain obviously drops to the N, I am willing to accept the ground around the tank as the HP of the mesa. I circumnavigated the tank and called it good. I'm willing to grant Luciano Mesa credit to any future visitor who reaches the tank.
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