Ascent of Mount Taylor on 2018-01-23

Climber: Alex Lennon

Date:Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Taylor
    Location:USA-New Mexico
    Elevation:11301 ft / 3444 m

Ascent Trip Report

Kari and I drove in on the north end of FR193 right after the end of the pavement on Lobo Canyon Road. We drove on packed snow perhaps a quarter of the distance to the Gooseberry Springs TH and parked right around the 8500ft contour. We continued up to the trailhead on foot- easy walking as someone had driven all the way up there just a few days prior, presumably in a big truck. We walked in the hard-packed ruts and made great time to the trailhead.

We started up the gentle, straightforward trail for ten minutes or so. I say straightforward, but in the snow we still managed to miss a turn when the trail descends briefly into the drainage. Instead we followed the gentle ridge on the west side of the drainage (opposite the trail) until the huge ponderosas gave way to the vast, open, and meadowy southern slopes of Taylor. Here we continued following the ridge which lay before us, intersecting the trail just a few hundred yards below the summit.

The view proved spectacular. Some descriptions I had read led me to believe that the summit proper was completely treed in; this is definitely not the case. A beautiful 270 degree vista rewards those who hike up here. Sandia Crest, Truchas Peak, and even a distant Wheeler are visible from up here, as well as numerous small ranges to the south. The ancient, blown-out volcanic crater is a treat to see as well. It was cool imagining the ancient volcano pre-eruption, dominating the New Mecixan desert at over 17,000ft in height.

We followed the standard trail all the way back down. We had a much better time following it from above, even with sections of moderately deep snow. We decided to do this peak at more or less the last minute, and boy are we glad we did!

Distance: ~16 miles with 2800ft of gain. Car to car in 6 hours.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2800 ft / 853 m
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Snow on Ground
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2800 ft / 853 m
    Start Trailhead:8501 ft / 2591 m
Descent Statistics

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