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Ascent of Lobo Peak on 2017-10-29

Climber: Rob Anthony

Date:Sunday, October 29, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Lobo Peak
    Location:USA-New Mexico
    Elevation:12115 ft / 3692 m

Ascent Trip Report

Christina and I spent the night at Taos ski valley after her presentation to UNM Taos. We got up early, grabbed breakfast at the Taos Cow, and were on the trail by 7:50 am. We were originally going to take the Italianos trail, but it looked like it would be difficult to get our SUV back in to park it safely and the hike back to the trail from the Manzanita trail looked long. We instead decided to Ascend the Manzanita trail and descend the Yerba trail.

The Manzanita trail begins with moderate rise in elevation for the first mile. The next half mile felt fairly level and at 1.5 miles we started hitting stream crossings. We counted 10 stream crossings on the way up, none of them particularly difficult late in the season. At 2 miles, the trail begins ascending fairly rapidly. Our pace slowed considerably to slightly over a mile an hour as Christina started feeling a bit ill.

We hit the crest around mile 4 and then headed right towards lobo peak. There are a few loose class 2 sections that Christina did not feel comfortable on, but I never felt any need to use my hands. At mile 4.2, the trail intersects with the Yerba trail. The summit is just 0.3 miles and another class 2 scramble away.

Fantastic views from the summit of Lobo peak of the Taos Mountains, Taos, the Rio Grande and the Start of the Rio Grande Rift, the Santa Fe Mountains, and we could even see the familiar shape of the Sandias way to the south. I wasn't sure how far north we could see, but at least most of the New Mexico Sangre de Christos.

We descended via the Yerba trail as intended. The spur takes you immediately down the west side of the peak and the trail is not super well defined. Shortly later, a clear sign marks a trail heading back east and down the mountain. This upper part of the trail is extremely steep in places and not as easy to follow as the Manzanita trail. Thankfully, someone had the foresight to mark the trail with orange tape in the trees, which saved us from wandering the wrong way a couple of times. There are blazes, they just aren't as prevalent as the tape.

After 2 miles of steep descent (this would be quite nasty if slick and in fact there was a death on this trail in 2015 during foul weather), the trail levels out and more stream crossings are encountered. Here we ran into a few folks out for short excursions into the woods - it was likely too late for any of them to make a summit bid. The stream crossings are plentiful, but easy to navigate (easier even than the Manzanita trail in my opinion).

We reached the trailhead and hiked 0.7 miles back up the road to the car.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:3985 ft / 1213 m
    Total Elevation Loss:3985 ft / 1214 m
    Round-Trip Distance:9.5 mi / 15.3 km
    Grade/Class:Class 2
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Stream Ford
    Gear Used:
Animal/Pet
    Weather:Cool, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:3785 ft / 1153 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 3735 ft / 1138 m; Extra: 50 ft / 15m
    Loss on way in:50 ft / 15 m
    Distance:4.5 mi / 7.2 km
    Route:Manzanita Trail
    Start Trailhead:Manzanita Trailhead   8380 ft / 2554 m
    Time:3 Hours 14 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:3935 ft / 1199 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 3735 ft / 1138 m; Extra: 200 ft / 60m
    Gain on way out:200 ft / 60 m
    Distance:5 mi / 8.1 km
    Route:Yerba Trail/Route 150
    End Trailhead:Manzanita Trailhead   8380 ft / 2554 m
    Time:2 Hours 46 Minutes



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