Ascent of Peak 11116 on 2013-07-31

Climber: Phil Robinson

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Peak 11116
    Location:USA-New Mexico
    Elevation:11116 ft / 3388 m

Ascent Trip Report

My hope for this 2 day backpacking trip was to be able to hike the ridgeline from Spring Mountain to Peak 11,455 in the Pecos Wilderness of New Mexico. I left the house at 4:45 on Wednesday, July 31, 2013 and headed north of Pecos, New Mexico. The canyon was closed because of a recent fire so I rapidly had to change my plans. I went from the eastern side of the Pecos Wilderness through Santa Fe to the western side of the Pecos Wilderness in hopes of climbing Serra Mosca and Peak 11,116. I had a 37.5 pound backpack and was able to dump 5 pounds of water because I was not doing the ridge hike and was sure I would be able to find water. I started hiking with a 32.5 pound pack. I turned off highway 503 near the town of Pojoaque and proceeded to dirt Forest Road 306. That turned onto Forest Road 435. I passed Borrego Mesa Campground and parked my SUV at Trail Head #6, Rio Medio. The distance on the dirt road was about 9 miles and a regular car should be able to make it. I started hiking at 9:00 AM at an elevation of 8755. This is a partly burned out area from a fire about 5 years ago. I went up a hill then dropped into a valley with a beautiful little stream and lush forest. This was the lowest point of the hike, elevation 8290. The trail is partly maintained and partly not. I had to cross over quite a few downed logs. I came across an enchanting well constructed beaver dam and pond. It was a cool morning and a joy to hike. At 2.5 miles the trail turns towards the stream. I hunted and hunted and found it would be extremely tough bushwhacking for the next 8 miles or so and knew it was too much. I hate defeat but thought about turning around. I turned around but decided to look up the hill and found the trail. Anyone that hikes this trail should be forewarned of this tricky location. I continued on, much higher up the mountain than I anticipated. I lost the trail another time, but found it. I was on trail 155 and at 6.6 miles came to the crossing trail 158. I headed south with a plan of doing Peak 11,116 first. Shortly into this canyon and I entered the heart of an area that had a large forest fire about a month ago. It was dark and black with many upright and fallen black trees. It felt kind of spooky. The hike became very difficult at this time. I had to go over and under thousands of logs to reach the top. I and my backpack became increasing black from the soot. With about 1.1 miles and an hour plus more of hiking to reach the top I put my backpack down and continued a hard steep chug up a blackened and many log covered mountain. It was very, very hard climb. Once each year I seem to get an overly hard hike and this was it! The logs all fell horizontally to the north. I went over one after another, after another, dodging this way and that. Finally I made it to the burned out top of Peak 11,116. It took 9.7 miles and 6 hours to reach with an up and down elevation gain of 3286 feet. It probably doesn’t matter which way a person goes to reach this peak, the log obstacle course will be there. Two months ago there was most likely no view, but now because the forest is gone, there were fantastic views. I took some pictures and reached in my zipped pocket to call my wife and the seams had ripped and my phone was gone. Sierra Mosca would have taken into the next day to hike so I knew I could not go without a call to my wife, because she would have thought I was in trouble. I had to start back. Going down was very difficult also and I followed my path directly in hopes of finding my phone. I did not want to camp in a burned out area so I knew I still had a long hike ahead. I returned to the area where the 2 trails crossed then hiked an additional 1.5 miles, got water at a little stream, then camped. The total hike for the day was 14.8 miles. I hiked nonstop for 9 hours. This was the second longest hike for me in a day ever, and the most I have ever done with a backpack for a single day, add to that 6 of those miles through a tough burned out forest!! Wow! I gladly set up camp, cooked dehydraded beef stew, which I do not recommend, and dehydrated raspberry chocolate desert, which I do recommend. I had a nice night’s sleep up the hill near the trail.
I got up 6:15 and had dehydrated skillet breakfast. It was very good. I packed up and left at 7:30 AM continued hiking the 5 miles out of the canyon. It was a cool cloud covered morning. It took 2 hours and 30 minutes to finish the hike for a total hiking time of 11 hours and 30 minutes. My two day hike total was 19.8 miles, including a half mile detour. It took and elevation gain of 915 feet to hike out, for a total 2 day elevation gain of 4201. I did not see any large animals but saw many deer and elk tracks.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4201 ft / 1279 m
    Total Elevation Loss:1840 ft / 559 m
    Round-Trip Distance:19.8 mi / 31.9 km
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack
    Gear Used:
Tent Camp
    Nights Spent:1 nights away from roads
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:3286 ft / 1001 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 2361 ft / 720 m; Extra: 925 ft / 281m
    Loss on way in:925 ft / 281 m
    Distance:10.2 mi / 16.4 km
    Route:Trail 155 to Trail 158
    Start Trailhead:Trail Head #6 - Rio Medio  8755 ft / 2668 m
    Time:6 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:915 ft / 278 m
    Gain on way out:915 ft / 278 m
    Distance:9.6 mi / 15.4 km
    Time:5 Hours 30 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Phil Robinson
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
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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