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Ascent of Eagle Peak on 2017-03-11

Climber: Rob Anthony

Others in Party:Rayleigh (Dog)
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Saturday, March 11, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Eagle Peak
    Location:USA-New Mexico
    Elevation:9786 ft / 2982 m

Ascent Trip Report

A bit of a late start (8 am) out of Albuquerque. In Socorro, I stopped to pickup breakfast burritos and topo maps of the area which I had purchased the day before and had stashed outside the New Mexico Bureau of Geology office.

Other than my dog eating a breakfast burrito, the drive out was uneventful. I took NM-12 to SR-233 just North of Reserve. This road is signed "Eagle Peak Lookout" coming from the East, but I don't think the West. At 3 miles in, the road crosses the Tularosa River - I was worried about the crossing as high runoff had prevented access to several trails in the Gila 2 weeks earlier - it was a wet crossing, but easily passable in my car.

I then continued to follow the road until the junction with FT-4166E. It it a pulloff on the right, but is labeled FR-4166F. I opened a gate and parked my car on the other side. This is essentially a 4x4 road and becomes impassable with exception off heavily modified vehicles after Wilson Tank (~0.3 miles past the gate).

The 4x4 road follows a stream for about 2.5 miles and gradually gains elevation, after which it makes a sharp turn and gains elevation rapidly up the side of a talus slope. At Mile 3.3, the road merges with SR-38, which serves as the main access road to the lookout.

By mile 4, 8,400 ft, there were substantial patches of snow on the road and all tracks up SR-38 through the snow died out. By 9,000 ft, the road was almost entirely covered in snow and I was pot-holing often.

At ~9400 ft (mile 5.5), a clearing is reached which intersects with Trail 15. There is a locked gate here. We continued to follow the road until ~9600 ft, and then the snow got so bad on the north facing slopes, that I abandoned the road and scrambled up the west face to the summit.

Nice views of the Gila greeted me at the summit. Unfortunately, the stairs to the top of the outlook were locked, but we stayed for ~20 minutes and then headed down. I followed generally the same route I took up. but did not scramble down the west face. This was a mistake as I was post-holing several ft in snow going down the road.

Got out before nightfall and was back on paved roads when the sun set. We spent the night at the Datil Campground and froze our asses off all night. Dog was exhausted in the morning and we returned home instead of picking off Horse Peak as originally planned.

Another 2kp off the list. I probably wouldn't return to this peak unless if I drove to the top in a truck.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2786 ft / 848 m
    Total Elevation Loss:2786 ft / 848 m
    Round-Trip Distance:13.4 mi / 21.6 km
    Grade/Class:Class 2
    Quality:4 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Snow on Ground, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Animal/Pet
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2686 ft / 818 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 2586 ft / 788 m; Extra: 100 ft / 30m
    Loss on way in:100 ft / 30 m
    Distance:6.6 mi / 10.7 km
    Route:Wilson Canyon, Lookout Service Road
    Start Trailhead:Forrest Road 4166E/ SR38  7200 ft / 2194 m
    Time:2 Hours 32 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:2686 ft / 818 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 2586 ft / 788 m; Extra: 100 ft / 30m
    Gain on way out:100 ft / 30 m
    Distance:6.7 mi / 10.9 km
    Route:Wilson Canyon, Lookout Service Road
    End Trailhead:Forrest Road 4166E/ SR38  7200 ft / 2194 m
    Time:1 Hours 57 Minutes



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