Ascent of Tunnel Hill on 2011-09-04

Climber: Phil Robinson

Others in Party:My daughter Christina
Date:Sunday, September 4, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Tunnel Hill
    Location:USA-New Mexico
    Elevation:11668 ft / 3556 m

Ascent Trip Report

We were having a little family outing in Red River, NM over Labor Day weekend 2011 with 10 of our family members, staying in a weekend rental vacation home. This morning I got up early and hiked Greenie Peak and Saturday morning I got up early and hiked Black Mountain. (See the trip report for those 2 peaks) The plan was to pack everyone in my 1992 Toyota Land Cruiser and travel up the very tough 7.5 mile dirt road to Goose Lake. My son and his father-in-law were going to fish and everyone else was going to enjoy just being around the high alpine lake, 11550 feet. One person did not feel well and stayed behind, so at 10:45 AM we piled 9 of us in the Land Cruiser. You keep going through Red River east until you see a sign to turn left to Goose Lake. You must have a 4WD to do this! The road is better than it used to be, but it is one of the toughest I have driven in New Mexico. Immediately when you get off the paved road you have to cross a stream and then it is a tough hall up the hill. It took about an hour of bumpy driving to get to the lake. I really like driving on tough roads so I had fun. Nobody would hike the other 2 peaks with me this weekend, but this time my daughter Christina decided that she wanted to hike with me. She is 14 and this is her 6th peak. My 19 year old daughter Lauren has done 5, my wife 2, my son Brandon 3 and my son Garret 24. My other 2 daughters zero. We parked the car and my plan was to beeline it close to the ridge to Tunnel Hill, elevation 11,668. It was a cloudy cool afternoon. We left at 12:40 AM. We started out through some open country but it quickly became the “land-of-the-fallen-trees.” It was an obstacle course to the peak. My daughter liked all the fallen trees and used the time as a photographic adventure getting many great pictures. It was a 1.8 mile hike to the peak and it took an hour and a half to get there. I was going to hike Relica Peak but the fallen trees made it too slow to get there on an afternoon hike. The views were spectacular! We heard some distant thunder but nothing close. I used the walkie-talkie to call my son to let him know that we made it and started back. I am not sure why they call it Tunnel Hill. I did not see anything, but I would guess there is a mining tunnel somewhere on the mountain. The forest is very beautiful to hike through, but again lots of fallen trees going back. The total hike was 3.7 miles and it took 3 hours to hike. There is not a lot of elevation gain from Goose Lake to Tunnel Hill but there is lots of up and down along the way. Everyone was ready to go when we got back and just as soon as we were in the SUV it started to sprinkle. No one could sleep going down, except my granddaughter, because of bumpy heads flying around on the rough road. We got back to the house at 3:40 PM, looked around town, ate a great dinner and played dominoes in the evening before bed. I hiked about 7 miles today including both peaks and 15.1 miles over the 3 day weekend, hiking 3 peaks. Just a note ….yesterday we visited Elizabethtown, the abandoned gold mining settlement, about 12 miles east of Red River. It is a great place to visit if you like the history side of things.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:773 ft / 234 m
    Total Elevation Loss:655 ft / 198 m
    Round-Trip Distance:3.7 mi / 6 km
    Route Conditions:
Open Country, Bushwhack
    Weather:Cool, Calm, Overcast
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:488 ft / 148 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 118 ft / 36 m; Extra: 370 ft / 112m
    Loss on way in:370 ft / 112 m
    Distance:1.8 mi / 2.9 km
    Route:Goose Lake up Tunnel Hill's Western Slope
    Start Trailhead:11550 ft / 3520 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:285 ft / 86 m
    Gain on way out:285 ft / 86 m
    Distance:1.9 mi / 3.1 km
Ascent Part of Trip: Red River Cabin Base

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Black Mountain2011-09-03 a2602 ft / 793 m
2Greenie Peak2011-09-04 b669 ft / 204 m
3Tunnel Hill2011-09-04 c773 ft / 236 m
Total Trip Gain: 4044 ft / 1233 m    Total Trip Loss: 775 ft / 237 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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