Ascent of Lobo Peak on 2013-07-17

Climber: Phil Robinson

Date:Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Lobo Peak
    Location:USA-New Mexico
    Elevation:12115 ft / 3692 m

Ascent Trip Report

Wednesday July 17, 2013 was the most physically exertive day of hiking in my life, 14.6 miles, 8.6 of those with a backpack, 7 major and minor peaks and a daily elevation gain of 6485 feet. Although surprisingly it did not seem very difficult. The 2 day hike was 22.7 miles, 9 peaks and an elevation gain of 7627 feet. I spent almost the entire 2 days on beautiful ridgelines with expansive views in all directions. Because I was spending the 2 days high above streams, I had to carry all the water that I needed. I cleared out many of my ultralight luxury items and carried about third of my backpack weight in water. My pack weighed 33 pounds and 11.25 pounds was water; 180 ounces or 1.4 gallons. There was enough water, but I still could have used more.

It was a crisp 45 degrees when I started hiking at 7:45 AM. I had a 3 hour drive to get to the Galivan trail head just before the Taos, New Mexico ski area. The starting elevation was 8893 feet. I did not have anyone else that could go with me so I went by myself. I left my dog at home thinking this hike might be a little too much for her. As I started the hike I saw a mother deer with 2 of the smallest baby deer that I can remember. The canyon has a small stream, beautiful forest and meadows. Just before the ridge are stunning green meadows filled with wildflowers. I am always glad to see the ridgeline, elevation 11,136, and I made the 3 miles in about 2 hours. Hiking to the west I made Peak 11,849, 2 hours and 40 minutes after leaving and 3.4 miles. From this peak I could see the entire hike before me, a spectacular green wildflower covered ridge! A short hike and I was on top of minor Peak 11,748 and then on to Lobo Peak the highest point of the hike, elevation 12,115. This was my second time on top of Lobo. My wife went the first time and gained a respect for peakbagging! I reached Lobo Peak in 5 hours and 20 minutes and 6.9 miles. This was where I got to put my backpack down for a little while. I went south to hike Perra Peak, elevation 11,765. Perra is about a mile south of Lobo. I arrived after hiking a little over 6 hours and 8.1 miles. I returned to Lobo and re-hiked it from the south, now 9.2 miles and 7 hours. I picked up my backpack and hiked along the beautiful ridge to the north. In many different areas along the 2 day hike there were grouse, big birds, hidden in the trees and ridges. I hiked from meadows to dense forest then back to meadows again. The trail to Lobo is a maintained but the trail from Lobo to Flag Mountain is an old unmaintained trail. At times you can just make out the trail and at other times it is no where to be found. I have always wanted to camp on a ridge or the very top of a peak. I arrived at little Peak 11,810 after hiking 11 miles in 8 hours and 15 minutes. I debated stopping and doing Flag Mountain the next day but I wanted to get the hard part over early. I left my backpack on top and took along my emergency bag and continued the hike. It felt good to have the backpack off. It was a pretty hike to Flag Mountain, elevation 11,946. I arrived after hiking 12.8 miles in 9 hours and 20 minutes. The was my 100th any size NM peak that I have done, not counting repeats. (134 counting repeats) For the first time on the hike, I sat down for about 7 minutes. I was now at the far end! I signed a log, enjoyed the views and returned to Peak 11,810 to spend the night. The day started clear and now there were dark black clouds all around. There was no lightening, thunder or rain so I sent my tent on the very top. I have several tents. This trip I took my Big Agnes Fly Creek 2 person UL tent. I could not be happier with this tent; only about 2.5 pounds, makes into a very small bundle, easy to set up and you can have a 2 person tent for the weight of one, so lots of room. I set it up with the smaller end towards the wind yet as soon as I got it set up the wind stopped. It was an incredible late afternoon, night and morning. Vast untouched wilderness in every direction and watching nature’s drama unfold before my eyes, ever changing! I cooked dehydrated beef stroganoff and heated delicious dehydrated raspberry and chocolate dessert . Both highly recommended by me. It was total amazing silence except for a lone coyote, below me, making “wild cowboy yips” to try unsuccessfully to find a friend. It was very cool and I got out my down jacket. It got down to 39 degrees that early morning. The clouds cleared out and they went to rest in the nearby valleys. Half the night was moon filled and half total darkness. In the total darkness the stars blanketed the sky with the white Milky Way over head. I pulled the tent back so I was sleeping under the stars, moon, meteors and satellites. I didn’t want to go to sleep for watching the beauty.

The warm sun hit the mountain early and the views all changed. I fixed some granola and coffee then packed up, sorry to have to leave. The hike back to Lobo Peak was a little less than an hour and 16.4 miles for the 2 days. I expected to see large animals on this trip, yet only saw signs that they had been around. I did see squirrels, chipmunks and marmots. I headed east and crossed over Peak 11,974. I was planning to redo the first peak again when it dawned on me that I could take a different canyon out then hike about a mile up the road, saving lots of hard work. I headed south into Italianos Canyon. The bottom half is one of the nicest short hikes in New Mexico, crossing a beautiful little stream many times mixed with rich greenery and wildflowers. I arrived at the road, elevation 8725, then hiked a mile up the road to my car. It was a cool 73 degrees. The total 2 day hike was 22.7 miles. The second day was 8.1 mile, and 4 hours and 45 minutes of hiking. It was my most physically exertive hike first day of hiking and second longest, yet not the hardest by any means. There were no bolder fields to cross, no massive inclines, nor forests that were to difficult to get through. What a great ridge hike!
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:910 ft / 277 m
    Total Elevation Loss:205 ft / 62 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Bushwhack
    Gear Used:
Tent Camp
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:910 ft / 277 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 705 ft / 215 m; Extra: 205 ft / 62m
    Loss on way in:205 ft / 62 m
    Distance:2.4 mi / 3.9 km
    Route:Peak 11746 then saddle
    Start Trailhead:11410 ft / 3477 m
Descent Statistics
Ascent Part of Trip: Flag Perra Lobo 11849 +3 (1 nights total away from roads)

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Peak 118492013-07-17 a2956 ft / 901 m
2Peak 117462013-07-17 b333 ft / 101 m
3Lobo Peak2013-07-17 c910 ft / 277 m
4Perra Peak2013-07-17 d275 ft / 84 m
5Lobo Peak2013-07-17 e715 ft / 218 m
6Peak 118022013-07-17 f322 ft / 98 m
7Flag Mountain2013-07-17 g974 ft / 297 m
8Lobo Peak2013-07-18 h635 ft / 194 m
9Peak 119742013-07-18 i154 ft / 47 m
Total Trip Gain: 7274 ft / 2217 m    Total Trip Loss: 1690 ft / 515 m
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Phil Robinson
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.

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