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Ascent of San Antonio Mountain on 2011-05-13

Climber: Richard Oestreicher

Date:Friday, May 13, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:San Antonio Mountain
    Location:USA-New Mexico
    Elevation:10908 ft / 3324 m

Ascent Trip Report

The legality of ascending San Antonio Mountain is ambiguous. While the mountaintop is federal property, nearly all of the land around the base of the mountain is privately owned, and, because of the presence of an array of communications towers and other facilities at the summit area, the Forest Service has posted signage discouraging access at the boundary between public and private land on the road up. Nonetheless, the Summitpost page for this mountain describes several ascents.

The road to the top runs west from US285 for half a mile reaching locked gates with multiple no trespassing signs. Slightly to the left is a locked gate with Forest Service signage prohibiting unauthorized access and giving a phone number to call for permission. I started up the road, passing numerous no trespassing signs along the side of the road. It’s unclear whether the road corridor represents legal public access, but I assumed it must be to provide access to the tower complex.

At the National Forest boundary (about half way up) I encountered much more discouraging US. Govt. signage threatening fines of up to $5000 and/or 6 months in jail (maybe free transport to Guantanamo?) for unauthorized entrance. As I was contemplating abandonment of my climb, I spotted a Forest Service truck heading down the road toward me. When they stopped to lock a gate, I asked about access for hikers. The signs, they claimed, were to discourage people from driving up and “messing with the equipment on top.” There would be no problem with my continuing up the road. I accepted this as authorization, although frankly I’m not sure these workers really had the authority to grant it. Future climbers might want to check about access at the Tres Piedras ranger station a few miles south.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:2240 ft / 682 m
    Distance:6.8 mi / 10.9 km
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Bushwhack
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:2240 ft / 682 m
    Extra Loss:20 ft / 6 m
    Distance:3.6 mi / 5.8 km
    Trailhead:8688 ft / 2648 m
    Time Up:2 Hours 5 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Distance:3.2 mi / 5.2 km
    Time Down:1 Hours 15 Minutes



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