Ascent of Blue Angels Peak on 2015-02-16

Climber: Greg Slayden

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Monday, February 16, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Hi-Clearance Vehicle
Peak:Blue Angels Peak
    Elevation:4548 ft / 1386 m

Ascent Trip Report

I had been here before in November, 2013, but we were rushed for time and we only climbed the northernmost of the three peaks of Blue Angels. To be sure I could claim this county high point I wanted to return and visit all the contenders.

I coaxed my 2WD but high-clearance rented Chevy Traverse up the rough road pretty far, to a pullout at 3740 feet. Only a few bottom scrapes. I hiked the road towards the "Prospect" on the map, and took a non-standard southerly swing across the desert towards the boundary monument. The only real obstacle is the dangerous cholla cactus, which needs a wide berth. Otherwise the terrain is a mixture of sand, grass, and gentle bushes.

The monument is a nice place for a photo op (and a technically illegal hop into Mexico and back). From there I climbed up the southernmost US summit on the ridge, which is clearly lower then the next one to the north. I then went to the middle peak, marked by a sandstone arch cave on its north side. This one, with a tree-crested high rock, does seem like the highest.

The climbing along the crest is mostly class 2 or 3 on giant boulders. I made my way to the northern summit, with the benchmarks, which I recalled from my last trip. Satisfied, I decided to return by dropping straight down to the NE from the peak to the road below. While not too bad, I don't recommend this route, due to steepness and tricky scrambling.

From the road it was an easy jaunt back to the car. Overall, a very scenic and easily accessible area and worth a repeat visit even if you don't have peakbagger OCD like I do. I was back at the car by 9 AM and did not see a soul on my entire hike, neither border crossers, hikers, or border agents. On the drive down I did see the latter two groups, though.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1018 ft / 309 m
    Total Elevation Loss:1018 ft / 310 m
    Round-Trip Distance:3.6 mi / 5.9 km
    Grade/Class:Class 3
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack, Scramble
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:858 ft / 261 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 808 ft / 247 m; Extra: 50 ft / 15m
    Loss on way in:50 ft / 15 m
    Distance:2.1 mi / 3.4 km
    Start Trailhead:3740 ft / 1139 m
    Time:1 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:968 ft / 295 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 808 ft / 247 m; Extra: 160 ft / 48m
    Gain on way out:160 ft / 48 m
    Distance:1.5 mi / 2.5 km
    End Trailhead:3740 ft / 1139 m
    Time:45 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Greg Slayden
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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