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Ascent of Quemazon Peak on 2006-05-29

Climber: Edward Earl

Date:Monday, May 29, 2006
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Quemazon Peak
    Location:USA-New Mexico
    Elevation:9960 ft / 3035 m

Ascent Trip Report

Quemazon Peak is a local unofficial name for an unnamed hill on the crest of the ridge between Quemazon Canyon and Guaje Canyon. The hike to Quemazon Peak is the same as that to Caballo Mtn, the Los Alamos county HP, for the first 2¾ miles. A couple of minutes' hiking time after crossing the 9500'+ saddle at the head of Quemazon Canyon is a major fork. Hikers to Caballo Mtn go left here; I took the right fork, which veers gradually to the E and joins the pipeline road.

The pipeline road climbs to 9800' and then levels off to cross a sloping meadow. Near the highest point on the road I struck off cross-country uphill to the left. The grass grew in tall clumps, slighly tussocky, but was not a serious impediment. Upon reaching the ridge crest I encountered a two-track running along the edge of the forest. The two-track proved useful for the remainder of my climb to the summit, which is rounded and mostly forested. A shot-up tin can hangs inverted over a tall, skinny stump about 30' SE of the relatively well-defined highest ground.

On the decent, I followed the two-track and found that, after a few intersections, it joins the main pipeline road. Future hikers to Quemazon Pk can find the two-track where the pipeline road gains the meadow, just after a green horizontal pipe on the left side. There is a grid of tracks up the meadow, but if you simply take whichever fork takes you straight up the ridge to the summit, you'll get there.
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