Ascent of Caprock Hills Knob 4700 on 2007-12-17

Climber: Edward Earl

Date:Monday, December 17, 2007
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Caprock Hills Knob 4700
    Location:USA-New Mexico
    Elevation:4700 ft / 1432 m

Ascent Trip Report

At I-40 in San Jon, I took exit 356 and headed S on NM-469. The highway climbs to the rim of "The Caprock", a cliff band. 14.7 miles from I-40 I turned left (E) on NM-275. From this point, all roads follow section boundaries and all mileages are exact multiples of a mile. After 4 miles on NM-275 I crossed the border from Quay county to Curry county. After 1 more mile I turned left (N) on CR N, which I followed 1 mile and parked where it turns 90° left at point 4730. A cluster of old buildings, probably unoccupied and possibly on the verge of being abandoned, lies a few hundred feet NW.

I hiked due E on an overgrown road. After less than 5 minutes I encountered a closed but unlocked gate, secured only by an unlocked chain wrapped around the post. I bypassed it through a gap on the left. After a total of 15 minutes on foot, I left the road and struck out at a 45° angle to the left. After about 5 minutes on this course I encountered a fence. Just as I climbed over it, the summit of the westernmost of the two "Caprock Hills" came into view.

The summit plateau of both hills, as well as the rim on which I was standing, is guarded by a 10' high cliff band with a few occasional breaks. After a couple of minutes of searching, I found a way down off the rim and after a few more minutes of scrambling down and up through some brush I found myself on the summit plateau of the western hill. The summit is quite flat and it would take some leveling and/or surveying to identify the highest ground. Some walking around, stepping on any rocks or mounds, is necessary and sufficient to call it good.

The eastern hill is a very similar matter: find a break in the small cliff, then scramble down and up through brush. The summit plateau is smaller than that of the western hill, but it is still flat and requires a minute or two of walking around before calling it good.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:270 ft / 81 m
    Extra Gain:120 ft / 36 m
    Round-Trip Distance:3 mi / 4.8 km
    Trailhead:CR N  4730 ft / 1441 m
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Open Country, Snow on Ground, Scramble
Descent (To Destination) Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 
Ascent (From Destination) Statistics
    Time:40 Minutes

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