Ascent of Relica Peak on 2014-08-30

Climber: Phil Robinson

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Saturday, August 30, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Relica Peak
    Location:USA-New Mexico
    Elevation:11760 ft / 3584 m

Ascent Trip Report

We planned a family outing to Red River, New Mexico over Labor Day weekend. It was my hope to pick up several peaks at the same time. My wife and I drove to Red River, getting in 8:30 Friday evening. We rented a 2 bedroom condo on the river. No dogs allowed, so I could not bring my hiking dog Daisy. We had a late dinner out, then and a nice evening by the fire. I got up early Saturday morning, August 30, 2014, leaving at 6:00 AM in hopes of hiking Van Diest Peak. From High Street in Red River I turned north on Bitter Creek Street and went about 4 or 5 miles to the north. I encountered a “No Trespassing” sign. I saw some people and they said it would be okay to go further, but a little later encountered a very extensive second set of “No Trespassing” signs and a locked gate. I decided to hike a different peak, Relica Peak, elevation 11,760. (See September 1, 2014, Van Diest Peak for what finally happened) I traveled east of Red River then south on highway 578. While driving I saw a large heard of elk and some deer. I proceeded to dirt Forest Road 58 and went down that road about a mile or so to a locked gate and Trail Head 58D. You do not need a 4WD to get to this point. I parked the SUV and decided to bushwhack it hard straight up the mountain. Another peakbagger showed a GPS trek following the road in a clockwise manner around the peak to the west, then going up. This is probably better. My son, his wife, my grandson and granddaughter were coming later in the morning so I was hoping to make a fast trip and be at the condo when they arrived. That was my main reason for going straight up the mountain. It was a cool crisp clear morning. I started hiking at 7:00 AM at an elevation of 9600 feet. It was a brutal, brutal first hour. Most of the time I was scrambling on all fours. I do not recommend going the way I went! After the first hour I found a ridge and the hiking was easier for awhile, then it got steeper again but not as hard as the first part of the hike. On the way up I saw some large grouse. It was a beautiful forest hike but there were quite a few logs to go over at times. It was a wonderful feeling to finally reach the top. It took 2 hours and 1.9 miles of hiking. Not all 11K peaks have expansive views, but this peak does. You can see the many majestic New Mexico peaks in all directions. Someone built a little shelter that is just big enough for one person to sit in. I signed a summit log and spent about 20 minutes on the top taking pictures. I went down the same way that I came up. I found a new technique to get down a steep incline. The last mile is very steep, and rather than a hard step-by-step downhill ankle hurter, I took big jumps down a loose dirt and gravel incline aiming one way then another way almost like being on skis or a snowboard. I have done this on big sandy sloops just for fun, but never hiking. I was surprised how much easier and more fun it was getting down. Don’t go up the way I went down! I arrived a little further to the west than I started so I followed the road and a little stream behind the locked gate. I arrived back at the SUV 3 hours and 40 minutes after the hike began and a slight bit over 4 miles total hiking distance. Total elevation gain with ups and downs was 2510 feet. If I had clockwise looped the peak, it would have been much easier, but would have been about 6.3 miles. I was able to get back to the condo shortly before my son and family arrived. We enjoyed walking around Red River which has the feel of a little Swiss Alps mountain town. We ate dinner that evening at the Sundance Restaurant which had some of the best sopapillas I have ever eaten! (See Sawmill Mountain Trip Report for my hike the next morning)
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2510 ft / 764 m
    Total Elevation Loss:350 ft / 106 m
    Round-Trip Distance:4 mi / 6.4 km
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Open Country, Bushwhack, Scramble
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2335 ft / 711 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 2160 ft / 658 m; Extra: 175 ft / 53m
    Loss on way in:175 ft / 53 m
    Distance:1.9 mi / 3.1 km
    Route:South of Peak Near Trailhead 58D Straight up
    Start Trailhead:Traihead 58D  9600 ft / 2926 m
    Time:2 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:175 ft / 53 m
    Gain on way out:175 ft / 53 m
    Distance:2.1 mi / 3.4 km
    Time:1 Hours 20 Minutes
Ascent Part of Trip: RR Labor Day Weekend 2014

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Relica Peak2014-08-30 a2510 ft / 765 m
2Sawmill Mountain2014-08-31 b2487 ft / 758 m
3Van Diest Peak2014-09-01 c2148 ft / 655 m
Total Trip Gain: 7145 ft / 2178 m    Total Trip Loss: 450 ft / 137 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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