Ascent of Southwest Mesa on 2002-03-14

Climber: Scott Surgent

Date:Thursday, March 14, 2002
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Southwest Mesa
    Elevation:3060 ft / 932 m

Ascent Trip Report

The Crockett County highpoint is atop Southwest Mesa, located in the northwest appendage of the county near the Pecos River. This is a very pretty area, a contrast to the other 98% of the county, which is scrubby desert. There is just one town in the county, Ozona, which is along Interstate-10. I bought an air-filter for my truck there. Apparently, Ozona is known for its fancy stone architecture.

I originally scouted Southwest Mesa a few days earlier. I found the road off of US-67 about 8 miles east of McCamey and entered the "Boob Kelton" ranch (Yes, It's "Boob"). A good bladed dirt road leads to the wind farm on top the mesa, but the road is gated and locked at US-67. I knew I could get onto this good road by taking a sketchy ranch road from the adjacent Kelton ranch, but there were a few of them and I wasn't sure which one to take, and it was late, so I gave up. The next day I met with Bob Martin and we talked about it and he described the road I should have used, so I decided to go back a few days later on my way home to Arizona.

Fast forward to the 14th (today). I drove back to the Kelton ranch, driving in a mile and a half to a gas pipeline road. I followed this road a mile southwest to an unlocked gate that fed me onto the good dirt road to the wind farm. I drove a couple miles to a building at the base of the mesa and met a worker, so I parked and went up to him. Generally, workers don't care about visitors. He said he didn't mind me poking around on top and even "escorted" me up the road to the top. He just said to stay away from the fan towers, then we parted ways.

The highpoint is a single 3,060-foot contour toward the mesa's east side. I arrived to the highpoint area with no problems. It was windy and nearing sunset, so I had just a few moments to snap a photo and walk the area a little.

I didn't stay long, with a keen desire to be back on the main highway before dark. Plus, I had passed a couple gates and I was concerned I might get locked in. Anyway, I made it out fine, drove back through McCamey and 40 more miles to Interstate-10 in Fort Stockton, by which time it was dark. I drove another 120 miles to Van Horn and stayed in a hotel, then drove back home the following day.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:5 ft / 1 m
    Round-Trip Distance:0.2 mi / 0.3 km
    Trailhead:3055 ft / 931 m
    Route Conditions:
Open Country

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