Ascent of Mount Phillips on 2017-09-25

Climber: Fred Brown

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Monday, September 25, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Mount Phillips
    Location:USA-New Mexico
    Elevation:11741 ft / 3578 m

Ascent Trip Report

Entered Cimarron State Park on US-64, stopping at a pay station in Tolby Campground for a $5 day use pass. Continued another three miles to the parking lot for Clear Creek which is located at mile marker 292. Headed up the obvious Clear Creek Trail which eventually makes a hard right leaving the creek behind and heading west up a hill. About a quarter mile later made a left off the trail, bushwhacking south along the northern ridge of Tolby Peak. I suggest staying east of peak 10162 which is covered in deadfall.

After summiting Tolby continued down Tolby's southern ridge to a saddle which intersects with the obvious Clear Creek Pack Trail. Its only about a half mile or so. From the saddle its about a mile up the mountain to Mount Phillips. Total distance from Clear Creek TH to the summit of Mount Phillips: 5.42 miles / 4 hours total time. Had to walk around a bit to find the exact highpoint since the summit is flat. Found the benchmarker about 30ft east of the trail signpost but other areas looked higher so walked around to hit them. Also hit the posted grid coordinates for the summit.

For the return I headed back down the Clear Creek Pack Trail for a short distance then bushwhacked down Phillips northern ridge to the Clear Creek drainage basin below. The upper part of the ridge was not bad but as I descended closer to the feeder streams that make up Clear Creek the terrain and obstacles made for a more difficult journey. Beyond some game trails never stumbled on any real trail. Eventually hit the Clear Creek Trail. Total distance/time down: 4.67mi/2:42. If I had to do over I would have returned back to Tolby Peak, traversed around the summit then back down the northern ridge to the trail. I fell and tumbled about three/four times despite using hiking poles coming down. While an occasional fall happens I've never fallen so many times. Did I say I hate bushwhacking. Spent seven hiking two mountains, never saw anyone else. Nice cool weather made for great hiking.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:691 ft / 210 m
    Total Elevation Loss:3991 ft / 1216 m
    Round-Trip Distance:5.8 mi / 9.3 km
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Bushwhack, Stream Ford
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:591 ft / 180 m
    Distance:1.1 mi / 1.8 km
    Route:Clear Creek Pack Trail
    Start Trailhead:Tolby Peak-Mount Phillips Saddle  11150 ft / 3398 m
    Time:40 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:3991 ft / 1216 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 3891 ft / 1186 m; Extra: 100 ft / 30m
    Gain on way out:100 ft / 30 m
    Distance:4.7 mi / 7.5 km
    Route:North Ridge thru Clear Creek Drainage
    End Trailhead:Clear Creek TH Parking Lot  7850 ft / 2392 m
    Time:2 Hours 42 Minutes

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