Ascent of Ortega Peak on 2015-12-24

Climber: Miguel Santibanez

Others in Party:Dan
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Thursday, December 24, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Ortega Peak
    Location:USA-New Mexico
    Elevation:7659 ft / 2334 m

Ascent Trip Report

Visiting some friends in town for Christmas, and Dan and I decided to go for a hike. He lives in a nearby apartment complex at elevation 4440'. We hiked 1.5 miles to get to the trailhead for T119 (also known as "A Trail"). Look on All Trails or similar website for details. The trailhead is a culvert at about elevation of 4600', and the trail follows the "drainage canal" that brings down rainfall all the way up the mountain. The trail makes its way past a giant white letter A painted on the mountain (hence the namesake?) and goes past two gates that mark the beginning and end of private property (close them behind you). Most of the trail is covered in fist sized rocks and the upper part of trail has markings from ATVs since T119 connects to various other trails behind the ridge line. We continued the hike on the trail until we got to a water tank for livestock about 600' elevation difference from the summit. The satellite view clearly shows it to the SW. We hiked another 200' elevation on trail before turning our way off the trail and "bushwhacking" our way through cactus and tall grass up to the top. It was a 400' climb in .2 miles, but it's shallow enough that I didn't use my hands to stabilize myself (not a scramble). I do wish I had my hiking sticks... Reverse route to the bottom. Dogs are not prohibited on the trail, but I wouldn't recommend bring them for the bushwhack part.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:3219 ft / 981 m
    Total Elevation Loss:3219 ft / 981 m
    Round-Trip Distance:12.2 mi / 19.6 km
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack, Snow on Ground
    Weather:Drizzle, Cool, Windy, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:3219 ft / 981 m
    Distance:6.2 mi / 10 km
    Route:Trail 119
    Start Trailhead:4440 ft / 1353 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:3219 ft / 981 m
    Distance:6 mi / 9.7 km
    End Trailhead:4440 ft / 1353 m

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