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Ascent of Pinabete Peak on 2015-06-25

Climber: Phil Robinson

Others in Party:Hiked part way with Richard Oestreicher
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Thursday, June 25, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Pinabete Peak
    Location:USA-New Mexico
    Elevation:11948 ft / 3641 m

Ascent Trip Report

Petabete Peak is a peak I have been thinking about for quite some time. I looks difficult from all directions. I left my home at 4:30 AM, June 25, 2015, and arrived in Questa at 7:30 to hike with a peakbagging friend Richard O. We met and continued north on highway 522 to El Rito. In El Rito we turned east on El Rito Road then drove for about 15 minutes, the last part was a brutal 4 wheel drive road with a stream crossing. I carried my usual 15 pound pack with emergency gear, lunch and about 5 pounds of water. I like to carry this mostly for conditioning. We each took our vehicles and parked. It was a beautiful clear morning. We started hiking at about 8:45 at an elevation of 8725 feet, climbing a short ways to 8950 before dropping into a valley with an elevation of 8650 feet, then our assent. Shortly after we started to hike a large hawk buzzed hard and fast about a foot over our heads, then again. A minute later the hawk was flying full steam at my face. I ducked when it was about 3 feet from my face and felt the power of it pass inches above me. As it buzzed us it was making lots of racket. It was quite an experience! I have never heard of this happening before. We followed a road/trail to an elevation of about 11,400. It was great to not have to bushwhack to this elevation. Richard is still gaining strength from an illness last year so he returned at this point, 4.9 miles up, 9.8 miles round trip. He will be 68 this summer and is a great hiking inspiration! I still had 1000 feet in elevation gain and 1.7 miles to the top of Cabresto Peak. I followed the road/trail a little farther then had a steep, brutal, rock covered scramble to the top of Cabresto, elevation 12,448. This was the hardest part of the hike! I hiked this peak and Cabresto Sur Este Peak with my son Garret in October of 2009. I have done all 12K and 13K peaks………..that are possible……….and I wanted to hike a couple 12K peaks from previous years. I made it to the top of Cabresto Peak after hiking 5.9 miles and it took 4 hours and 30 minutes from the start with a total elevation gain of 4073 feet. It was still a beautiful cool morning, partly clear and partly cloudy. I hiked to Cabresto Sur Este Peak at an elevation of 12,456 feet. The Cabresto/Cabresto Sur Este area is all above the timberline with spectacular views. I had been hiking for 5 hours and 23 minutes and 6.9 miles from the start. There is about 381 feet of climbing from Cabresto. There are majestic mountain ranges in view from all directions of the 2 Cabresto Peaks. I now started hiking south towards Petabete Peak, elevation 11,948. Part of this hike was in forest and part of the hike was above the timberline. At times I was hiking on an old abandoned trail and at times bushwhacking. I arrived at Petabete Peak after hiking 9 miles in about 7 hours. There is about 700 feet of climbing from Cabresto Sur Este Peak.

After taking some pictures and looking around it was 4:00 PM. I knew I had to conserve time, so decided to beeline it back through the woods to the road/trail. I had been scouting the best way to go earlier in the hike and went west of the peak, then straight down. It was very, very steep. It was not too bad going down, but I would never want to go up this. I followed little valleys and ridges going down. I passed an area where there had been a giant avalanche last year. I crossed over many logs. Overall I was very pleased with the direction that I took off the mountain. I arrived at a little stream and took out my 1.5 ounce “Life Straw” to get a drink from the stream, having used up most of my water. It was delicious and refreshing. This is a great little piece of emergency equipment and is often sent to disaster zones for clean water. From the stream I only had to climb up a 30 foot hill to the road/trail. It took 1 hour and 50 minutes and 1.5 miles to hike from the peak back to the road/trail. The elevation at this point was 9690 after dropping straight down 2258 feet from Petabete Peak. It felt good to be back on a trail. Shortly before arriving back at the SUV there was the hawk! It started making noises at me and attacking me. It was fun-scary! It really got my adrenalin up! I had to duck, dive flat to the ground, hide behind trees and bushes and run at times. It would have made a funny video watching me! It must have attacked me 12 or more times over about a quarter mile. It followed me all the way back to the SUV diving at me, just missing me by inches. Wow!!! I didn’t see babies, but I am sure they were there. They don’t have to fear anything getting them! I arrived back at the SUV after hiking 13.3 miles and it took 10 hours and 20 minutes. The total elevation gain was 5484 feet, more than a mile straight up! Except for a few momentary stops, I pretty much hiked continuously. It took me 7 hours and 9 miles to reach my goal peak, Petabete, and 3 hours and 15 minutes and 4.3 miles with a beeline back. It was now a little after 7 PM. The next day I called Richard to ask him if he was attacked by the bird on the way back. He was, and said it was frightening! Even though it flew so close, only missing by a fraction of an inch I thought it was calculated and that the bird would never hit me. He proved me wrong. It dove at Richard 7 or 8 times while he dodged and dove to the ground and one time hit him hard in the head. He said he had a headache for the rest of the day. It also followed him back to the SUV attacking! After doing some research I should have been a little more than fun-scared! Sometimes these birds send people to the hospital with bloody heads and faces from talon attacks. I headed back down the tough 4WD road and didn’t get home until 10:45 PM. What a great hike in beautiful country!
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:1030 ft / 313 m
    Distance:6.4 mi / 10.3 km
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack, Stream Ford
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:700 ft / 213 m
    Extra Loss:202 ft / 61 m
    Distance:2.1 mi / 3.4 km
    Route:Hiked South from Cabresto Sur Este Peak
    Trailhead:Cabresto Sur Este Peak  11450 ft / 3489 m
    Time Up:1 Hours 40 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Extra Gain:330 ft / 100 m
    Distance:4.3 mi / 6.9 km
    Route:Beeline to Road/Trail then down
    Time Down:3 Hours 15 Minutes
Ascent Part of Trip: Petabette Peak +2

Complete Trip Sequence:
OrderPeak/PointDate
1Cabresto Peak2015-06-25 a
2Peak 124562015-06-25 b
3Pinabete Peak2015-06-25 c
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip


 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Phil Robinson
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