Ascent of Chicoma Mountain on 2011-05-22

Climber: Richard Oestreicher

Date:Sunday, May 22, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Chicoma Mountain
    Location:USA-New Mexico
    Elevation:11561 ft / 3523 m

Ascent Trip Report

From US 64-285 I took Forest Road 144 almost 27 miles in about an hour. By the standards of New Mexico forest roads this one is nearly a superhighway: thoroughly graded, few large rocks, wide enough for two cars. A passenger car would have no trouble with it. It's quite an engineering marvel, carved into mountainsides in many places with dramatic views all the way up. Indeed, it would be worth the drive even if you weren't climbing the mountain.

At the spot I parked, my GPS put the peak at 0.90 mi. away. A bit farther up the road there is an abandoned forest road that heads back toward the peak, but taking that would add more than a half a mile each way compared to a bushwhack more or less straight up. It's not especially steep, and you run into this track part of the way up anyway. The main problem is fallen trees, literally hundreds of them, making part of the hike seem like a steeple chase. Just before the top you emerge from the woods into a big meadow. I found the USGS benchmark next to the rock cairn that marks the top. As I ate my sandwich on top, storm clouds I had been watching moved in and started dropping snowflakes on me. I hightailed it back to my car.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:811 ft / 247 m
    Round-Trip Distance:2.2 mi / 3.5 km
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:811 ft / 247 m
    Distance:1.1 mi / 1.8 km
    Route:bush whack
    Start Trailhead:Forest Road 144  10750 ft / 3276 m
    Time:50 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Distance:1.1 mi / 1.8 km
    Time:30 Minutes

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