Ascent of Peak 11997 on 2010-06-12

Climber: Phil Robinson

Others in Party:My son Garret
Date:Saturday, June 12, 2010
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Peak 11997
    Location:USA-New Mexico
    Elevation:11997 ft / 3656 m

Ascent Trip Report

We waited until June 11th to do this hike because of hearing of snow trouble other people had trying to hike the Pecos Baldy peaks too early. My adult son Garret and several of his friends were not able to make this hike on Memorial Day last year because of snow. Garret and I, Phil Robinson, left the house Friday morning, June 10, 2010, at about 5:30 AM and headed to the Pecos in New Mexico. We followed the Pecos River to Jacks Creek parking area and started to hike at about 8:00 AM. The elevation of the parking area was 8835 feet. The sky was clear and the air was cool and crisp as we started the hike. We hiked through the woods for a couple of miles then the trail opened up to a beautiful meadow area. We later crossed a beautiful stream and ate lunch where Garret and his friends camped the year before. We arrived at Pecos Baldy Lake at about 2:00 PM and found a great camping area. The hike was about 7 miles from Jacks Creek parking and it took us about 6 hours. The elevation of our camp was about 11,475 feet. Our packs were around 30 pounds. My pack was 19.6 pounds not counting food and water. I took about 2 pounds of water and 34 ounces of T-bone steaks that I later cooked on a 2 ounce chicken wire grill. The steaks were great! We had a campfire that evening then went to bed.
I got up at 6:30 AM and cooked fresh eggs and sausage. We were greeted, as almost every camping trip, by a 7 inch, very curious, white and grey bird. They come to the trees right by us and just stare. Our plan was to do 3 mountain peaks. We left the camp at about 8:30 and started to hike to East Pecos Baldy, elevation 12,529. This was an elevation gain of over 1000 feet. We found this peak very easy to do because you did not have to “burn” it up the mountain. There was a nice trail, on the southeast side, with switch backs all the way to the top. We arrived there 10:00 AM. The distance was 1.1 miles from camp. The day was mixed clouds and blue sky. The wind was blowing very strong. We looked at our next peak, Pecos Baldy Peak, elevation 12,500 and could see a small rocky ledge progressing to the peak. We hoped the wind would not cause problems. Even though it was narrow and the wind was blowing very, very strong it was not a problem making it. We arrived at the peak at 11:10 after 2 miles of hiking. I am mostly interested in hiking New Mexico 13K and 12K peaks, but I saw on the map the highest 11K peak in New Mexico, Peak 11997, and I thought I better get that too. When you are standing on the top of the peak, the top of your head is over 12,000 feet in elevation, so why not? I thought the peak was on the ridgeline that we had been hiking, but it was not. You had to drop 900 feet in elevation then go back up 400 feet then return. I thought, “No Way!” Then I kept looking at it and thought, “Might as well.” Garret stayed with the “No Way!” I took off my day pack and decided to run most of it. I ran to the bottom and then through the forest and stopped running as I started to go up hill again. I made it there in 32 minutes. The total distance from camp was 3 miles. My GPS said 12,009 feet in elevation. The time was about 11:45, 3 hours and 15 minutes from camp. I took pictures and started back. It took another hour to get back and my legs burned as I went the 900 feet in elevation back to the top of Pecos Baldy Peak. Garret made a wind break out of rocks while I was gone. We had to climb East Pecos Baldy on our return, then I saw a very small peak on the map, 11975 and I decided to get that peak also. Garret waited at the saddle. We then hiked back to camp and arrived at about 3:30. I had gone 6.6 miles. We had a great dinner of dehydrated beef stroganoff and berry cobbler, then had a campfire and went to bed.
We got up at about 7:30 and had breakfast and coffee. We packed up and headed back. We left camp at 10:00 AM and hiked the almost 7 miles to Jacks Creek parking area and arrived at 1:30. On the trip we saw a couple of deer, some elk and some well feed coyotes. The Pecos Wilderness is one of my favorite places in the world!
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:377 ft / 114 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Tent Camp
    Nights Spent:2 nights away from roads
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:377 ft / 114 m
    Route:Jacks Crk Parking to Pecos Baldy Lakes then PB Pks
    Start Trailhead:Pecos Baldy Saddle  11620 ft / 3541 m
Descent Statistics
Ascent Part of Trip: Pecos Baldy Lake Base (2 nights total away from roads)

Complete Trip Sequence:
1East Pecos Baldy2010-06-12 a3694 ft / 1126 m
2Pecos Baldy2010-06-12 b340 ft / 104 m
3Peak 119972010-06-12 c377 ft / 115 m
4Pecos Baldy2010-06-12 d880 ft / 268 m
5East Pecos Baldy2010-06-12 e464 ft / 141 m
Total Trip Gain: 5755 ft / 1754 m    Total Trip Loss: 175 ft / 53 m
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.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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