Ascent of La Mosca Lookout on 2011-08-12

Climber: Phil Robinson

Date:Friday, August 12, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:La Mosca Lookout
    Location:USA-New Mexico
    Elevation:11036 ft / 3363 m

Ascent Trip Report

Last Saturday after hiking Mount Taylor I realized that there was another 11K peak about a mile and a half away. If I had of looked at the map a little closer I would have hiked them both at the same time. At the top of Mount Taylor is a great place to camp about 100 feet from the top. I have never camped right on the top of a mountain before, and being that it was nearly a full moon I decided to go up after work on Friday, hike Mount Taylor again, elevation 11,301, then hike La Mosca Lookout Peak, elevation 11,036, then back to Mount Taylor and camp the night. It took me about 2 hours to drive from Albuquerque. From Grants I headed northeast on highway 547 until I came to the second highway 193. (There are two 193 roads. I assume they make a loop.) Highway 193 is a dirt road that you follow east for 5 miles. I had a regular car and the car worked well but I had to take it slow at times. I parked the car at a hiking sign. This is the start of Gooseberry Trail. I started hiking at 3:30 at an elevation of 9300. Just hiking by myself, I knocked 45 minutes off the time that we hiked last Saturday. (See other trip report under Mount Taylor) I made it to the top in an hour and 45 minutes. I saw one deer on the way up. I took an overnight backpack that weighed 23 pounds including about 5 pounds of water. You have to bring all your own water because there does not appear to be even a little water source. I took my backpack off and put it where I was going to spend the night and proceeded to La Mosca Lookout Peak. The entire hike from start to finish is beautiful; spectacular views, flower filled meadows and majestic forests. The hike across the top follows a trail and towards the end a road. At the first saddle you have to watch closely or you can lose the trail. You go to the right and continue on the east side of the mountain. The base of the second saddle, about where the road starts, has an elevation of 10.590 feet. I followed the road, but right before the peak “burned” it up the hill to the lookout tower. It took me 2.5 hours to reach the second peak and I traveled almost 5 miles from the car. The mountain has a fire lookout tower and there are large antennas all over that ridge. I took some pictures and followed the road back to the trail then hiked back up to Mount Taylor. The elevation climb from Taylor to La Mosca is 446 feet and the elevation gain back to Mount Taylor is 711 feet. It is a fairly easy hike but a little more work than what I was anticipating. I arrived at Mount Taylor after hiking about 3.5 hours and traveling about 6.6 miles from the car. I set up my tent in a little forested area about 75 feet from the top. I started my stove and cooked dehydrated beef stroganoff from the very top as the sun was setting, the lights from Albuquerque were being turned on and the moon was rising. It was an amazing panorama of sites! I had a great night’s sleep. The moon was so bright it was like someone was shinning a flashlight on my tent. I got up a couple of times in the middle of the night just to look at the lights of Albuquerque and the silvery moonlight. I got up early and left to hike back at 8 AM and again, because I was hiking by myself, I knocked 30 minutes off last week’s time. It took me 1.5 hours to get back. The only wild life, besides some birds I saw coming back was a little horny toad. My total travel time up and back was 5 hours and I traveled almost 10 miles. The total elevation gain for the peaks was 3157 feet.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:501 ft / 152 m
    Round-Trip Distance:10 mi / 16.1 km
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack
    Gear Used:
Tent Camp
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:501 ft / 152 m
    Distance:5 mi / 8.1 km
    Route:Gooseberry Trail Parking to Mt. Taylor to La Mosca
    Start Trailhead:Mount Taylor Saddle  10535 ft / 3211 m
Descent Statistics
    Distance:5 mi / 8.1 km
Ascent Part of Trip: Gooseberry Trail Base (1 nights total away from roads)

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Mount Taylor2011-08-12 a2001 ft / 610 m
2La Mosca Lookout2011-08-12 b501 ft / 153 m
3Mount Taylor2011-08-12 c766 ft / 233 m
Total Trip Gain: 3268 ft / 996 m    Total Trip Loss: 501 ft / 153 m
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Phil Robinson
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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.

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