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Ascent of Palomas Peak on 2019-11-10

Climber: Rob Anthony

Others in Party:Christina Anthony
Rayleigh Anthony
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Sunday, November 10, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Palomas Peak
    Location:USA-New Mexico
    Elevation:8685 ft / 2647 m

Ascent Trip Report

Christina and I wanted to get out after a fair amount of travel. I suggested Palomas Peak as we had tried it before a summer ago, but turned around on account of Christina overheating. We would up doing Sandia Caves instead on that trip which shares a trailhead.

We were out shortly after 7 and it was looking like a perfect NM morning. After a navigation miscue, we took the Bernallio exit and headed east until the blacktop ends. The trailhead is about 2 miles from here on a fairly rocky gravel road. Passable in my wagon with sport suspension (read lower than most sedans), but an SUV or higher would have made things much more enjoyable.

From the parking lot, we headed straight out into the fall foliage and up a creek bed. Turns out this isn't the trail, but plenty of people have seemed to have taken it and it intersects with the main trail in about a 10th of a mile. For the next mile, the Faculty trail climbs at a good pace as you press through groves of scrub oak. The trail here is tight, and long pants are advised to avoid scrapes.

A little after a mile, the top of the ridge is gained and the trail opens up. After crossing the crest, the trail heads north and fantastic views are had to the North and East of South Mountain, San Pedro Mountain, and Placier Mountain. The hiking here is fairly flat and at 2.9 miles a nice meadow is reached. From here, you hook left onto a well worn trail (presumably coming from SR 165 from Sandia Crest Road (536). A large rock cairn marks a junction to the left and you turn south to begin ascending Polomas Peak. This is no longer the Faculty Trail, but has been reasonably maintained.

The trail is well carned and gains elevation again at a solid pace. Be sure to follow the cairns as if a turn is missed it is easy to get cliffed out into a class 3+ scramble. Following the cairns, the hardest moves will be class 2 up some limestone ledges. Once past the limestone ledges, it'a a gradual walk along the Western side of the ridge to the actual summit. The summit is ok, but the news are mainly of the South slopes of the Sandias and the radio tours on the top.


We retraced our steps back to the car. Not a single other party on the mountain and a pretty solid fall hike.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2235 ft / 680 m
    Extra Gain:300 ft / 91 m
    Round-Trip Distance:7.4 mi / 11.9 km
    Route:Faculty Trail/ South Ridge
    Trailhead:Faculty Trail   7050 ft / 2148 m
    Grade/Class:Class 2
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Animal/Pet
    Weather:Cool, Calm, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 57 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 50 Minutes



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