Ascent of Black Mesa on 2009-05-22

Climber: Jamie Bakken

Others in Party:Solo
Date:Friday, May 22, 2009
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Black Mesa
    Elevation:4973 ft / 1515 m

Ascent Trip Report

I arrived in Kenton, OK after a drive down from Lamar, CO where I had stayed the night before. I was on a mission to do 5 State High Points in the space of just a few days. I had just completed Mt. Sunflower in Kansas the day before. Luckily I was able to get a shower at the fitness center at the Lamar Community College as I'm not sure there were many places around to clean up. It was an absolutely beautiful drive between Boise City, OK and Kenton and the weather was just right. After loading up my backpack with some snacks, lunch, and several litres of water I departed from the trailhead. About a mile or two into the hike I ran into some cattle that found me pretty interesting but at least they left me alone. About 2 1/2 miles in the trail steeply climbs but I just kind of took my time as my knees were a little sore from a running injury. I believe I made the summit in under 2 hours and I spent about 45 minutes - an hour on the top just enjoying the absolute quiet. Upon beginning my descent I actually ran into some folks from my home state of Wisconsin who were also highpointers. Small world running into people that live only about an hour from me while we were way out in OK. It was a nice leisurely hike back. I got back to the trailhead with a round trip time of about 3 1/2 hours. I made the obligatory stop at the Kenton Merc and discovered that there are different owners now from the person described in all the guidebooks. He was out at the cemetery apparently when I got there but a relative showed up and let me in to cook me up a burger and provide a certificate for climbing Black Mesa. He also told me about how people come from all over to stargaze in little Kenton because of the lack of light pollution at night. Sounds like my kind of place. I reluctantly left after a pleasant visit but was on my way to beautiful N. New Mexico very excited to make an ascent up Wheeler Peak.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:654 ft / 199 m
    Round-Trip Distance:8.4 mi / 13.5 km
    Trailhead:4319 ft / 1316 m
    Quality:4 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
Ascent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 45 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 30 Minutes

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