Ascent of Ute Mountain on 2018-09-29

Climber: Phil Robinson

Others in Party:Can't Find ClimberID br>Jeremy
Date:Saturday, September 29, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Ute Mountain
    Location:USA-New Mexico
    Elevation:10093 ft / 3076 m

Ascent Trip Report

I left my house about 4:30 AM, an hour too early, to meet 3 other peakbaggers north of Taos to hike Ute Mountain. I gave myself an hour, just in case there were traffic problems or some other issues. I took a leisure drive up, picking up a little breakfast on the way. I took a light snooze, in the KTAO Radio Station parking lot, and met the other hikers at 8:00 AM, September 29, 2018. We took 2 vehicles, Fred drove with me, and Jeremy drove with Richard.

Sorry for the poor directions…….I was following Richard and it was nice to not have to “think” going to the peak’s parking area. We turned northwest in Costilla, New Mexico to a dirt road called Stateline. It is exactly on the New Mexico Colorado border. We headed directly west on the boarder, went south to a locked gate, then after reorganizing north again, headed southwest to our parking area. The road is not too difficult, but definitely not for a passenger car. We were directly north of the peak.

It was a beautiful morning, just about the right temperature to start out. The skies were mostly blue mixed with a few cirrus clouds. There was a slight forest fire haze in the distance. We started hiking at 9:30 AM at an elevation of 7658. (My GPS trek started with a glitch, showing 300 feet less) It was great hiking with 3 other fellow peakbaggers with a like-minded passion. We had great conversation up and down sharing our adventures and peakbagging stories. We start down an old road, then up an incline covered with small rocks heading straight south towards the peak. The mountain is forest covered, with nice views here and there. At the lower elevations there are several types of juniper, ponderosa pines and a few pinion trees, higher up the trees change to blue spruce, white fur with a few golden colored aspen on the top. Ute Mountain, elevation 10,093, is an ancient extinct shield volcano. It is covered with igneous rocks that were formed when it was active. There are nice views to the north, one can see the 800-foot deep Rio Grande gorge and the newly established Wild and Scenic River, Rio Grande Del Norte National Monument area. Ute mountain is the high point of this national monument. This river has sliced its way through the volcanic flows to make this gorge. We arrived at the top after hiking a little over 3 hours. We hiked 3.2 miles and had an elevation gain of 2435 feet. We signed the peak logs in a red can, inside a jar. The top is forest covered and there is no view. Jeremy and I hiked to the south end of the top, about a quarter mile, and had an incredible view looking south. I could see the southern Rio Grande Gorge, The Box. This is one of 2 areas I used to take people down as a 10 season rafting guide. The company was White Water Adventures. (Drive over the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge for an exciting view!) We stayed about 50 minutes on the top and had a bite to eat. We then descended the mountain. The many little boulders on the mountain are an obstacle and we had to watch carefully as we hiked. It was a beautiful hike down. We enjoyed the views when the forest opened up. It took about 2 hours to get down, 5 total. We hiked 6.7 miles and my GPS said that there was a 2592 up-down elevation gain, about a 6 hour hike with the lunch. This included the walk to the south top. We drove back to the carpool meeting place, then back home. Even though this was not one of my goal-peaks, I was excited to hike it. I had seen it many times and always marveled at this volcanic dome, San Antonio’s sister peak, rising out of the flatlands below.

See almost 1500 NM peak pictures....

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2592 ft / 789 m
    Total Elevation Loss:10093 ft / 3076 m
    Round-Trip Distance:6.7 mi / 10.8 km
    Route Conditions:
Open Country, Bushwhack
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2435 ft / 742 m
    Distance:3.2 mi / 5.2 km
    Route:Straight up the south side
    Start Trailhead:North of Peak at it's base  7658 ft / 2334 m
    Time:3 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:10093 ft / 3076 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 9936 ft / 3029 m; Extra: 157 ft / 47m
    Gain on way out:157 ft / 47 m
    Distance:3.5 mi / 5.6 km
    Route:North down the north face
    End Trailhead:Same as start  157 ft / 47 m
    Time:2 Hours 
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Phil Robinson
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

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