Ascent of Thompson Peak on 2012-07-19

Climber: Richard Oestreicher

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Thursday, July 19, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Thompson Peak
    Location:USA-New Mexico
    Elevation:10554 ft / 3216 m

Ascent Trip Report

Perhaps the hardest part of this trip is the drive up. The 11.8 mi. up dirt roads from highway 50 took me slightly over an hour; the climb up Thompson Peak took 55 minutes. From the Glorieta exit on I-25 I took 50 east to County 63a (a good gravel road) which turns into a forest road in about 4 1/2 miles. It gets rougher pretty quickly but not really terrible until the last 3 mi. Don't try it without an appropriate vehicle. At one point my route was blocked by some fallen trees. Fortunately, a motorcyclist came up behind me as I pondered what to do, and we collaborated on clearing out the debris. Deep ruts, rocks, and mud slides for much of the last three miles.

The road ends at a down-at-the heels picnic area, probably not maintained for quite some time but still has a functioning table and out house. The trail from the picnic area to the peak appears well-used, and has gotten some maintenance; a few downed trees not cleared, but not many. It follows an undulating ridgeline; hence the total elevation gain for the trip is more than double the net difference between the picnic ground and the peak. At 1.15 mi. out, according to GPS, my elevation was exactly the same as at my start point although there had been more than 250 feet elevation gain. Somebody erected a giant rock cairn at the top--more like a monument. I signed in the register in a plastic can; recognized quite a few names. Nice views, especially to the North.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1083 ft / 329 m
    Total Elevation Loss:592 ft / 180 m
    Round-Trip Distance:3.7 mi / 6 km
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:770 ft / 234 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 491 ft / 149 m; Extra: 279 ft / 85m
    Loss on way in:279 ft / 85 m
    Distance:1.9 mi / 3.1 km
    Start Trailhead:Glorieta picnic area  10063 ft / 3067 m
    Time:55 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:313 ft / 95 m
    Gain on way out:313 ft / 95 m
    Distance:1.8 mi / 2.9 km
    Time:44 Minutes

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