Ascent of Peak 11455 on 2013-08-06

Climber: Richard Oestreicher

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Peak 11455
    Location:USA-New Mexico
    Elevation:11455 ft / 3491 m

Ascent Trip Report

I took NM 276 to its end where it becomes FR 391 at an unlocked gate. The road quality is good until an intersection where a sign announces that road maintenance ends. I took the right fork (FR 391E), much rougher. At approximately 1.5 mi. I encountered another intersection for FR 391ED --rougher still, needs a Jeep or truck--which goes to an abandoned mine site where I parked. If you're a rock hound this is worth some time--lots of micaceous and crystalline rocks. My GPS gave elevation at just over 9200 and distance to the hp coordinates at 1.6 mi., but the hike is a bit more than twice that far. The trail heads very steeply up to the ridge where I was slightly over a mile from my destination. It doesn't look like many people use this trail, but it has gotten enough maintenance that it is not seriously obstructed with underbrush and downed trees. Most of the downed trees have been cut. I found one exception around 10900 where I lost the trail amidst a bevy of downed trees. On the way down I discovered a use trail winding through the obstructed area but it is hard to follow. The main problems with the trail are steepness and rocks. It gains about 675 feet in the first half mile and about 1750 feet in 1.5 mi. It is also rock covered all the way which makes for rough footing and slow going down as well as up. It took more time and effort than the mileage and total elevation gain would lead one to expect. I also lengthened the trip a bit with wild mushroom hunting, and the 5 lbs. or so I found made for a heavier day pack than normal.

I reached the ridge line at roughly 11100 and about 1.8 mi. where I had a snack near a cairn. Just past this spot there is a stunning view of Hermit Peak to the SE. The trail heads up to the ridge trail. Theoretically (eg. according to my map) the ridge trail heads slightly west of the high ground of 11455 and close to the hp coordinates, but I found it hard to follow and bushwhacked through the trees a bit to an open area where I was about 0.5 mi. from the hp coordinates. This looks like a possible caldera. It offers great views west to high peaks in the Pecos Wilderness. The trail heads down slightly, and then you are back in the trees, with some tree hopping for the last few hundred yards. Hard to say exactly where the high spot is.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2528 ft / 770 m
    Total Elevation Loss:277 ft / 83 m
    Round-Trip Distance:7.2 mi / 11.6 km
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack
    Weather:Pleasant, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2405 ft / 733 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 2251 ft / 686 m; Extra: 154 ft / 46m
    Loss on way in:154 ft / 46 m
    Distance:3.5 mi / 5.6 km
    Start Trailhead:FR 391ED  9204 ft / 2805 m
    Time:2 Hours 55 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:123 ft / 37 m
    Gain on way out:123 ft / 37 m
    Distance:3.7 mi / 5.9 km
    Time:1 Hours 56 Minutes

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