Ascent of Black Mesa on 2019-02-01

Climber: Vic Hanson

Date:Friday, February 1, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Black Mesa
    Elevation:3639 ft / 1109 m

Ascent Trip Report

Finally, made it to the summit! I hiked from my camper, 4 hours and 8.6 miles.

Being both a hiker and a climber I enjoy a nice long approach to a mountain as much as the climb, and typically like to spend the best part of a day out doing an activity, whether it is a climb or a hike. I used to try to drive as close to the start of a climb as possible but now often will try to maximize the hike instead. I'm currently camped just off the dirt road going SE from Gold Nugget Rd., right below Guadalupe Peak, so decided to hike from my camper rather than ride closer on my motorcycle. I had downloaded Scott Peavy's GPS track and had seen that he had started not too far from here so that was added encouragement to do the same.

I got a later than usual start, and I don't usually start early, but it was a nice day for hiking so enjoyed the walk. Unfortunately I didn't see any animal trails going my way so had to settle for walking the road with numerous ATVs and Jeeps.

Once reaching the start of the climb at the old 4x4 road I stopped for a late lunch and then started up the ridge trying to avoid the Cholla, with a goal of reaching the top in about an hour. I had done it before so wasn't really looking forward to the seemingly never ending hike across the mesa to reach the summit. It's hard to focus on a straight line to the summit while avoiding Cholla and Ocotillo as well as the rocks but I was on target to meet my goal until I felt a needle in my foot. Even after removing all the visible spines something was still sticking me as I walked. I stopped and removed my shoe (I always wear trail runners) and I could just barely see it sticking through way down in the toe box. I finally got it out after practically unlacing the whole shoe and was able to continue, taking about 1:15 to reach the summit.

There is a large cairn there but no sign of a register. I was just about ready to leave when I saw a piece of wood and wires a little ways away. I looked over there and found the register jar in a small cairn, on top of the Benchmark. It was an old one but I hadn't signed it 6 years ago so I obviously didn't see it then.

On the walk back I stopped at the miners cabin alongside the road and looked at all the interesting stuff people have left in there, including a guest book! It seems to be a popular attraction for the ATVers. At the fork in the road before Peak 2455 I went to the right and summited that from the east and then descended towards the saddle on the north side and then west towards the road I started on. However just before reaching that was a nice track following a wash so I continued in that the rest of the way north until it joined up with the 4x4 road just before reaching my camper, at 6:50 pm. Total distance was 17.8 miles and time was 8:43, for an enjoyable day.

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2019 ft / 615 m
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2019 ft / 615 m
    Distance:8.6 mi / 13.9 km
    Start Trailhead:1620 ft / 493 m
Descent Statistics
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Vic Hanson
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.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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