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Ascent of Herschberger Peak on 2011-02-05

Climber: D. R. Harris

Others in Party:Three German Shepherds
Date:Saturday, February 5, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Herschberger Peak
    Location:USA-New Mexico
    Elevation:7850 ft / 2392 m

Ascent Trip Report

I hiked east from the Alamogordo Water Plant on Alamo Canyon Trail 104 'til I entered the side-canyon heading north from the conspicuous water-pipe setup near the point where Trails 104 and 103 join. I bushwhacked past the east waterfall, past the cave/overhang, up the eroded half-pipe/lave-tube/whatever, then kept going north up Herschberger. The sparse grass covered a constant succession of what appeared to be the top, only to expose another fifty-foot vista of grass. There were a couple of four-foot cliffs/benches, but nothing difficult to climb. My dogs just jumped up them. If taking this route, you will know that you are finally nearing the top when you enter trees. The trees end for another fifty-meter grassy meadow to the top. I descended down to the Mesa above Goat Springs Trail 118, then along Trail 118. I descended on this route as I could see or knew the entire distance.

On an earlier hike, it had grown dark and I tried to descend the same way I had come (hiking down toward the lava-halfpipe), and went a little too far west, reaching cliffs above the waterfalls. As it was rapidly growing dark, I spent the night there, cuddled between two of my German Shepherds to stay warm. The big, older male refused to cuddle and spent most of the night whining, wanting to continue home in the dark. During the night the dogs continually alerted on something, and I spotted a Mountain Lion as we hiked-out at dawn.
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