Ascent of Little Costilla Peak on 2020-07-18

Climber: Will Wente

Others in Party:Zeus
Date:Saturday, July 18, 2020
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Little Costilla Peak
    Location:USA-New Mexico
    Elevation:12584 ft / 3835 m

Ascent Trip Report

Departed Albuquerque ~5:30am and drove to road cut pullout TH described by Fred Brown and Richard Oestreicher. Zeus was eager to get started and the weather was so warm I was tempted to leave my windbreaker in the car to save the weight.

Ascending immediately from the car, I quickly came across the fence-line describe by others. The barbed wire is all down on the ground, but the fence post are clearly visible. There was also (eventually) a very solid trail. It climbs like a bat out of hell for the first mile to 1.5 mi., but it's hard to miss. If ever in doubt, just return to the fence. The trail must get more use than I anticipated. I passed three groups: two associated with a boy scout troop out of Houston and the third a couple for hikers from Los Alamos.

As the fence-line breaks out of the trees, I recommend heading to the ridgeline. The fence continues downhill from the ridge and it is much easier to hike the ridge. The wind was blowing pretty good (~25 mph), but I stay warm by jogging where I could. Once on the summit I put on my windbreaker, which I was glad to have brought after all. Ascent was 3.39 mi and took 1 hr 20 min. Zeus doesn't much like to sit and enjoy the views, but the scenery was spectacular. To the west and north, Big Costilla, Vintrero, and Jarocito Creek Peaks were visible, as were the Latir peaks, the Wheeler range and even Baldy and Touch-Me-Not to the southwest. If the wind hadn't been blowing I could have spent an hour looking around relaxing. Zeus, not so much.

The descent was pretty quick (only took at hour). Before I knew it I was back to the car. In total, the hike/run was 6.76 mi, and 2:19. A pleasant outing in northern NM

I spent the rest of the afternoon trying to find a road that might lead to a higher elevation TH and take off some of the distance to get to Big Costilla, Vintrero, and Jarocito Pk, but to no avail. Road stops at Ted Turner property, and all the old roads on the maps and visible on Google Earth are blocked.

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2534 ft / 772 m
    Round-Trip Distance:6.8 mi / 10.9 km
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Open Country
    Gear Used:
    Weather:Pleasant, Windy, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2534 ft / 772 m
    Distance:3.4 mi / 5.5 km
    Start Trailhead:10050 ft / 3063 m
    Time:1 Hours 20 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Distance:3.4 mi / 5.4 km
    Time:1 Hours 0 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Will Wente
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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