Ascent of Baldy Mountain on 2010-10-02

Climber: Phil Robinson

Others in Party:My friend Jim.
Date:Saturday, October 2, 2010
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Baldy Mountain
    Location:USA-New Mexico
    Elevation:12441 ft / 3792 m

Ascent Trip Report

I left the house at 3:30 AM with my friend Jim to head to northern New Mexico, to the Cimarron mountain range, to re-hike Touch-Me-Not Peak and then Baldy Mountain. I was carrying a 13 pound day pack including 5 pounds of water. I have been trying to figure out how to hike Baldy peak for the last 2 years. The eastern part of the peak is owned by Philmont Scout ranch. I am an Eagle Scout and was senior patrol leader of troop 166 in Albuquerque so I figured they would let me go from their side. They said no for insurance reasons. The western part is gated up and there is not really a way to get close and “burn it” up the mountain. A very long hike seemed the only option. We headed to Taos, then Eagle’s Nest, then east toward Cimarron. A short way into the canyon is a dirt road to the north. We took the fork to the right. You definitely need a 4 wheel drive vehicle from this point. We traveled about 5 miles and parked the SUV at coordinates 36 33.479 N, 105 12.160 W. The elevation was about 10,750 feet. We started hiking at 7:25 on a cool crisp clear morning. I hiked Touch-Me-Not Mountain last year and didn’t want to hike it again but I could not see another way to go to get to Baldy Mountain. We hiked down a blocked off road to the saddle, then up through the forest through a bolder field, then to the top. We reached Touch-Me-Not, elevation 12,044, at 9:00 AM after hiking 2 miles. There were some beautiful views to the west but to the east the clouds looked like a churning sea. We started heading towards Baldy Mountain across the ridge. The clouds got thicker and thicker until we were walking in very dense cloud cover. I am glad we had a GPS because it would have been easy to get disorientated. We hiked through bolder fields, dense trees, and open meadows and along the ridge. We arrived at Baldy Mountain, elevation 12,441, at 12:10 after hiking 6 miles. I like to take pictures in all directions from the top of mountain peaks and all I could get was about 20 feet in each direction of dense cloud cover. I have only been in this mountain range twice and both times it was under dense cloud cover. I was very disappointed that I was not able to see the vistas. When I was in Boy Scouts I hiked and camped all over New Mexico but never went to Philmont Scout ranch. I was disappointed that I could not see it from the peak. The peak was cold and misty to the point of filling our hair with water droplets. We decided to drop down in elevation back to the timberline to eat lunch. We started heading down, but things looked different. Because of the dense clouds we were starting to go to the wrong ridgeline. I used the track-back on the GPS to get to the right ridge. We made it back down to the tree line and had lunch. I was tired of beef jerky so I brought smoked oysters, crackers, dried fruit and chocolate. After a 20 minute lunch we continued on and had to re-hike Touch-Me-Not. It was some work to re-hike it. We were a little tired and it seemed like the mountain range was longer coming back. We continued on in the fog and clouds and arrived back at the car at about 5:25. Ten hours of almost non-stop hiking. The total hiking distance was 12.2 miles. We headed down the road and at a certain point the steering froze up. I was afraid we were going to have to hike out four miles, part way in the dark, and call for help. Jim looked under the SUV and saw a large rock lodged in the front axle. I moved the steering wheel as he pushed it out. What a relief! When we got down the mountain and into the town of Eagle’s Nest we looked back and saw deep dark violent black rain clouds covering the mountain. We were very glad we were not hiking down the dirt road. After stopping for a quick dinner we arrived back at 10:00 PM.
Click on photo for original larger-size version.
This is a picture of Baldy Mountain. Notice the round rainbow. This picture was taken June 16, 2018 on my Wheeler Peak +4 hike. The picture is taken from near Horseshoe Lake just east of Wheeler Peak. The picture is taken looking east (2018-06-16). Photo by Phil Robinson.
Click here for larger-size photo.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1156 ft / 352 m
    Total Elevation Loss:759 ft / 231 m
    Round-Trip Distance:12.2 mi / 19.6 km
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1011 ft / 308 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 397 ft / 121 m; Extra: 614 ft / 187m
    Loss on way in:614 ft / 187 m
    Distance:6.1 mi / 9.8 km
    Route:4 Wheel Drive Road then Touch Me Not then North
    Start Trailhead:Touch Me Not Mountain  12044 ft / 3671 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:145 ft / 44 m
    Gain on way out:145 ft / 44 m
    Distance:6.1 mi / 9.8 km
Ascent Part of Trip: 4 Wheel Drive Road Base

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Touch-Me-Not Mountain2010-10-02 a1294 ft / 394 m
2Baldy Mountain2010-10-02 b1156 ft / 352 m
3Touch-Me-Not Mountain2010-10-02 c1229 ft / 375 m
Total Trip Gain: 3679 ft / 1121 m    Total Trip Loss: 1044 ft / 318 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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