Ascent of Relica Peak on 2012-08-11
|Other People:||Solo Ascent|
Only Party on Mountain
|Date:||Saturday, August 11, 2012|
|Ascent Type:||Successful Summit Attained|
| Location:||USA-New Mexico|
| Elevation:||11760 ft / 3584 m|
Ascent Trip ReportFrom the MIddle Fork off the Red River TH (crowded as usual) I took the road to a gate where the trail turns left. Last year when I was here the gate had " property for sale" and "No Trespassing" signage. This year nothing except Forest Service "no motor vehicles." Perhaps the FS bought the acreage. There is a solitary house about a mile in but no indication that hikers can't go up the road.
The road (or its remnants) ascends slowly for about 1.4 mi. from the parking area to about 10,400. It actually took me a bit away from the peak, but my goal was to get as much elevation gain on the road as possible before I began what I knew would be a steep bushwhack and to get around to the west side of the peak which is not as steep as a direct route up. I encountered a variety of use trails here and there, but mostly it's a steep bushwhack. Not a great many downed trees, but awkward walking across the steep slope. I followed the ridge line west of the peak up to close to 11,400 and then down a bit into the saddle at a bit over 11,200. From there I found a fairly clear use trail most of the way until the last 1/4 mi. to the peak.
Although the elevation for Relica Peak is a bit lower than what would normally be tree line in this neighborhood, the top is almost bare. As a result, there are magnificent 360 degree views of almost all of the high peaks in the area--the Latir Wilderness to the North, Gold Hill west, Baldy and Touch-me-not east, and the whole Wheeler Peak range to the south. Someone constructed a small stone hut at the top. This is not an easy ascent, but well worth the effort. Peakbagger lists Relica Peak at 11760, LOJ at 11780. MY GPS gave multiple readings between 780 and 790. There's a benchmark on top--maybe there's an official USGS elevation even though it's not shown on the topo map.
On the way down I took a somewhat more direct route following a stream bed part of the way. Normally this is not a good idea because streams on steep peaks usually collect lots of debris and downed trees. This one was not bad, but it's a narrow chute and would be dangerous in a rain storm. I wouldn't chance it if you don't have a clear day. I emerged from the slopes onto the road a few hundred yards east of where I had left it, leaving an easy mile walk back to my car.
|Summary Total Data|
| Elevation Gain:||2282 ft / 695 m|
| Distance:||6.3 mi / 10.2 km|
| Route Conditions:||Road Hike, Bushwhack|
| Gear Used:||Ski Poles|
| Elevation Gain:||2271 ft / 692 m|
| Extra Loss:||145 ft / 44 m|
| Distance:||3.6 mi / 5.9 km|
| Trailhead:||TH Middle Fork Red R. 9634 ft / 2936 m|
| Time Up:||2 Hours 28 Minutes|
| Extra Gain:||11 ft / 3 m|
| Distance:||2.7 mi / 4.3 km|
| Time Down:||1 Hours 18 Minutes|
|GPS Data for Ascent/Trip|
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Peaks: climbed and unclimbed by Richard Oestreicher
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