Ascent of Cerro Mojino on 2019-03-10

Climber: William Musser

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Sunday, March 10, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:4x4 Vehicle
Peak:Cerro Mojino
    Location:USA-New Mexico
    Elevation:7935 ft / 2418 m

Ascent Trip Report

Karen, Willie and I wanted some exercise and on way back from a Santa Fe weekend that was quite fun. But Willie was sick and the roads were muddy. This particular area is in PUBLIC land! and unlike many of the other forest roads it does NOT require a permit. So far so good! The road started out pretty good the mud was dry but soon we were in 4 high and then we started to spin wheels some so no further. later in the year, the roads will be good for a closer approach but today, after substantial snow-melt, no way. I found a nice clearing and parked. The mud and winds were so bad that Karen and Willie stayed in the truck. The ground was littered with elk tracks like more than I have ever seen. I found the entire carcass of an elk nearby. The long flat muddy approach soon gives way to a mixture of snow, mud, elk prints, and highly vesicular volcanic basalt. Working my way through the dense juniper trees, I was bummed to see so many crushed cans in the woods. Since there are no trails up this cerro, I suspect, they were left from hunting expeditions from those that do not respect the landscape and even in the thickest juniper stands I continued to find them!

Near the rounded summit, I found another elk carcass but this one was not cleaned to the bone yet. Still lot of rotting flesh and skin and ravens chowing down. I started to wonder if this was cougar country? Then near the summit I saw the largest coyote I have ever seen by far. This was not the typical bony 30 to 40 pounder that I see all over Colorado, it was tall and thick and I would guess somewhere between 65 and 75 pounds. Certainly it stood about as tall as Willie my Weimaraner that is 85 pounds. It was huge. I can only surmise it was a hybrid coywolf and it was in full stalking pursuit of a large herd of elk. I could see the tan colored hides of the huge elk ducking in and out of the junipers with the coywolf moving quickly around the herd trying to find a juvenile to separate from the herd. Being alone, and not knowing if the canine was hunting in a pack or solo, I decided to make my presence known to all animal parties above me that I was about to mix it up - and thus, making menacing sounds and raising my walking stick above my head. The herd dispersed and the coywolf was not to be seen again.

The summit had no views. The best views were on the west slopes coming up and down.

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:445 ft / 135 m
    Round-Trip Distance:2.1 mi / 3.4 km
    Quality:3 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Bushwhack, Mud/Swamp
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Pleasant, Windy, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:445 ft / 135 m
    Distance:1.1 mi / 1.8 km
    Route:see GPS track
    Start Trailhead:4 wheel drive road before mud too thick  7490 ft / 2282 m
Descent Statistics
    Distance:1 mi / 1.6 km
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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