Ascent of Mount Taylor on 2019-08-17

Climber: Alexander OConnor

Date:Saturday, August 17, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Taylor
    Location:USA-New Mexico
    Elevation:11301 ft / 3444 m

Ascent Trip Report

Mount Taylor sits within the Mount Taylor Volcanic Field/Mount Taylor complex. The complex had also gone by the names Cebolleta (little/tender/spring onion) Mountains or San Mateo Mountains (not to be confused with the San Mateo Mountains in Socorro County) no doubt creating some confusion when comparing notes with features with similar names.

Mount Traylor is a dormant stratovolcano (composite) volcano. Unlike sheild volcanoes (like the one you can see in Hawaii where the slopes are gentle and the lava released tends to be runny), composite slopes can start gradual, but become steeper the higher up you go. Lava from these volcanoes have a high viscosity (thicker and stickier), and eruptions from these tend to be more explosive and can produce pyroclastic flows. Mount Taylor's last eruption is slated at about 1.5 million years ago.

Another interesting fact about this particular mount is its history with the Navajo People. Mount Taylor is one of the four sacred mountains said to have been secured to the earth with a great knife decorated with turquoise, and is the home of Yellow Corn Girl and Turquoise Boy. The peak itself has been referred to by the Navajo as (translated) "Turquoise Mountain". Other tribes also recognized this mountain in their beliefs and mythology.

The entire area is as gorgeous as it is rich with both geological and cultural history. The trek to the summit is not very steep, nor is it very difficult to achieve (minus the altitude). The journey through the forest is peaceful and beautiful. Once beyond the treeline the rest of your trek up will be through meadow like grasslands and slopes. You'll have a wonderful view of the mountains all around at the summit as no other range within 50 miles comes close to 11,000 ft. There is also a registry at the summit which was of course signed.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail

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