Ascent of Monte Luna on 2019-03-09

Climber: William Musser

Others in Party:Willie-Weimaraner Musser
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Saturday, March 9, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Monte Luna
    Location:USA-New Mexico
    Elevation:8086 ft / 2464 m

Ascent Trip Report

Not sure why Sun Peak has far more ascents than this fine little bump. First of all there are social (use) trails (un-maintained up both) but this one has over 300 feet of prominence and is right next to Sun. Well thus, here is a TR to assist. SO after completing the hike up Atalaya with Karen and Willie, Karen wanted to go to a bead store so I drove her 5 minutes down hill and dropped her off and me and the dog went back and re-parked at the trailhead to Atalaya Mountain at the St John's College. I was following a GPS track by others and basically when you get to the shallow flowing arroyo, you get to the intersection of Atalaya TH which crosses the water and heads to the left, where to get these two peaks you walk a bit up the water way till you see the large water tank. The maintenance road for the water tanks takes you up and around the tank with no restrictions or fencing and if you continue to follow the road it begins to head to the saddle between Sun and Luna peaks. But then the road swings to the left of Luna and I wanted the saddle.

Just about where you would expect it to, a social trail veers back to the saddle and I took it. The foot prints of dogs and boots in the snow and mud made it clear that although this is an unmarked, un-maintained trail it is used by locals often. Following my intuition, I disregarded the many braided options of other social trails along the way and ended up right on the exposed saddle. If you follow my GPS you will end right there. To my surprise there was another social use trail up Monte Luna. It was steep but largely easy to follow. At one point, it dumped me and Willie out on to some class 2+ rocks that were filled with frozen ice and his claws would not grip so I took him off trail and we bushwhacked some steep class 2+ nearly 3 areas and eventually stumbled back onto the un-maintained social trail that wound up and around to the peak with some decent views.

From the summit, I did not want to stumbled back onto that icy rock with the dog again, so I found another un-maintained trail going off the backside and hoped it would be safer. It was. Steep class 1+ to 2 but no ice and little snow. It also braided but I took the options that headed back to the saddle. At the saddle there is another un-maintained social trail up Sun and it was more well used than those up Luna so we went for that peak next.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:851 ft / 259 m
    Total Elevation Loss:25 ft / 7 m
    Round-Trip Distance:1.8 mi / 2.9 km
    Quality:4 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack, Stream Ford, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:851 ft / 259 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 826 ft / 252 m; Extra: 25 ft / 7m
    Loss on way in:25 ft / 7 m
    Distance:1.5 mi / 2.4 km
    Route:see GPS track
    Start Trailhead:parking at St John College  7260 ft / 2212 m
Descent Statistics
    Distance:0.3 mi / 0.5 km
    End Trailhead:saddle between peaks  
Ascent Part of Trip: Santa Fe-1

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Atalaya Mountain2019-03-09 a2241 ft / 683 m
2Lower Atalaya Point 81922019-03-09 b152 ft / 46 m
3Monte Luna2019-03-09 c851 ft / 259 m
4Sun Mountain2019-03-09 d315 ft / 96 m
Total Trip Gain: 3559 ft / 1084 m    Total Trip Loss: 607 ft / 185 m
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

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