Ascent of San Antonio Mountain on 2019-06-28

Climber: William Musser

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Friday, June 28, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Hi-Clearance Vehicle
Peak:San Antonio Mountain
    Location:USA-New Mexico
    Elevation:10908 ft / 3324 m

Ascent Trip Report

This high prominence peak can be seen all the way from CO. It looks like a little hill as the geometry of this volcano is VERY misleading. I read all the reports of routes and private land but made my own plan. I took my car up the one lane well gravel graded forest road (Route 87) until the USGS map showed that I was now on Forest Property. There was a large turnout by the cattle crossing guard. I then looked uphill at the large clearings between the trees and picked the closer one to the car (not the one that the Covill/Jones party describes in their report which is further down road). The clearing route I took takes you more quickly to Antone and the Covill/Jones route takes you more efficiently to the true highpoint, by-passes this extra credit peak (Antone) and appears to keep you out of bushwhacking to maximum extent possible. I can not address any concerns that Jones raises about their parking choice there was none where I was.

I was not feeling good. Tired from the hike the day before? not hydrated? not sure...or simply under-appreciating the steepness of the open country hillside of this enormous shield cone. Along the way the volcanic rock is everywhere in the grass and is some great ankle twisters. I found my heart racing and did not bring enough water as I underestimated the total length of hiking. I swithcbacked the hills to take the slope out but I could not get my pulse down which is very unusual for me and often a precursor to triggering a-fib and of course my pills where in the car with extra water.

So I slowed down to what seemed like a snail pace up the mountain. The mixture of open grassy fields, large diameter old growth aspen and fir trees is quite attractive. Much solitude. And I have never seen so many deer/elk carcasses in my life. I must have found 4 complete rib cages and two complete skulls and scattered bones everywhere. I caution that this is NOT a good solo bushwhack. It is much longer than it looks and steep in sections with horrible volcanic rock half hidden in the grass. I rolled on a piece of basalt and and lost my poles and crashed down on my side and pulled a muscle in my lattisma dorsi region - very painful. Rolled an ankle once too and all I could think of is going into a-fib, passing out, and being eaten by a mountain lion and adding to the carcasses on the hill.

I took my time. I ended up doing the uphill in under 2 hours and covered about 4 miles including navigating and bushwhacking through the firs and aspen a few times to get from Antone to the true peak. Coming down took an hour and I was stepping very deliberate to not get hurt. The diagonal road shown on the USGS map is gone (Forest Road 110). The sign at the bottom says don't use it and good luck finding it from there where this no trace of it. Up near the beginning of the trees you will find it but following it down was hard as it disappears at a barbwire fence. You can see by my track I did eventually find it coming down but nature has reclaimed that path.

The mountain has a lot of volcanic rock. I found vesicular rhyolite, vesicular basalt and smooth glassy basalt while up there. There is not much prominence off of the first subpeak Antone but it has by far the only great views. The true peak is in the middle of a forest with tower clutter everywhere. I felt better as the day went on but I was glad to be back at the car with more water and no serious injuries. Then off to Wheeler to collect another state highpoint.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2388 ft / 727 m
    Total Elevation Loss:325 ft / 98 m
    Round-Trip Distance:7.1 mi / 11.4 km
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Open Country, Bushwhack
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Hot, Calm, Clear
65F up to 84F
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2313 ft / 705 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 2063 ft / 629 m; Extra: 250 ft / 76m
    Loss on way in:250 ft / 76 m
    Distance:3.9 mi / 6.3 km
    Route:see GPS track
    Start Trailhead:Boundary of NF see GPS track  8845 ft / 2695 m
    Time:1 Hours 59 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:75 ft / 22 m
    Gain on way out:75 ft / 22 m
    Distance:3.2 mi / 5.2 km
    Route:see GPS
    Time:1 Hours 7 Minutes
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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