Ascent to Sierra Blanca Peak- slope above saddle w Lookout M. on 2012-05-04

Climber: Richard Oestreicher

Date:Friday, May 4, 2012
Ascent Type:Unsuccessful - Turned Back
Point Reached:Sierra Blanca Peak - slope above saddle w Lookout M.
    Location:USA-New Mexico
    Elevation:11508 ft / 3507 m
    Remaining Elevation:465 ft / 142 m (59% left to go)

Ascent Trip Report

I did Lookout Mt. only because the top was just a few feet off the trail ( I had already done it in 2003). My goal was Sierra Blanca, but it was not to be. It had been extremely windy all day, but when I hit the ridge line (mostly unprotected) north of Lookout Mountain the winds picked up substantially, and by the time I hit the saddle between Lookout and Sierra Blanca the winds were truly gale force--hard to stand up straight. I found myself tiring quickly. Probably that was aggravated by my arrival in New Mexico the day before from my county high pointing expedition in Midwestern flatlands. I persisted part way up the Blanca slope, but decided continuing was too dangerous, both because of the winds on the final scramble and because accidents happen when climbers are already tired. Maybe I can make it back this summer. In my experience winds are terrible on many high New Mexico peaks in the spring and settle down a bit as the weather gets hotter.

My statistics below are from the Lookout-SB saddle and then down.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:413 ft / 125 m
    Distance:2.5 mi / 4.1 km
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Bushwhack
    Weather:Extremely Windy
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:323 ft / 98 m
    Distance:0.2 mi / 0.4 km
    Trailhead:Lookout-SB saddle  11185 ft / 3409 m
    Time Up:30 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Extra Gain:90 ft / 27 m
    Distance:2.3 mi / 3.7 km
    Time Down:1 Hours 

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