Ascent of The Dome on 2013-08-10

Climber: Phil Robinson

Date:Saturday, August 10, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:The Dome
    Location:USA-New Mexico
    Elevation:11336 ft / 3455 m

Ascent Trip Report

Sierra Mosca Attempt then The Dome

I left right after work, at 3:00 PM, to hike Sierra Mosca Peak and Peak 11,821 on Friday August 9, 2013. A week ago I was in the area and was not able to hike the peak. I drove to Santa Fe then I turned right on highway 503 near the town of Pojoaque and proceeded to dirt Forest Road 306. I saw what appeared to be an elusive ring-tailed cat. I was able to find Trail Head # 8 but could not find Trail Head # 7. I could see it on my GPS so I marked it and drove to the site. Nothing was there. I had a full backpack of 32 pounds with about 9 pounds of that water. The starting elevation was 8310 feet. I planned to camp overnight along the way because 16 miles up and back was too much for a single day. I could see the trail on my GPS so I followed the red line but I could never spot even a hint of an old trail. I went down a very steep obstructed hill. My hope was to find the trail at the bottom. At the bottom there was no clue of a trail. I wadded across a stream and continued up a hill that showed switchbacks, yet there were none. The hill was very steep and I was scrambling on all fours. I was hoping the trail would appear at the top. I dropped something about 100 feet back and viewed it as a sign not to go on. I could not sustain this difficulty if it persisted for 16 miles. Trail 157 does not exist! It was a very difficult and disappointing return to the SUV. I hate defeat! It felt good to get back. I went nine tenths of a mile each way, 1.8 total and had a hard total elevation gain of 852 feet with a full backpack. It took a little over 2 hours to accomplish and I was back where I started.

The Dome

I knew up the road was Trail Head #5 and the start of the hike to The Dome, elevation 11,336. I continued up Forest Road 306 until it turned onto Forest Road 435. It was hard to spot the trail head so I parked in a meadow and hiked up the road. This is about 11 miles and 40 minutes from where the road turns to dirt. You need a 4WD to get to this point. It was 8:00 PM on a no moon night when I started hiking. I just wanted to get a start. I hiked seven tenths of a mile and 20 minutes to the trail head then set up my tent at the edge of a beautiful meadow. It was near dark. I lit my camp stove. I like the liquid fuel stoves that adjust, nothing to throw out and it lasts a very long time. I cooked dehydrated lasagna, which was fairly tasty, then went to bed. The wind sounded nice through the trees. In the middle of the night I heard a couple of coyotes whooping it up.
I got a very early start, 5:40 AM. I wanted plenty of time just in case there was another nonexistent trail. I ate granola and had some coffee left my tent and some other items and started the hike at 6:15 on a cool crisp morning. The trail is through a beautiful forest of aspen, spruce and pine mixed with grass and wildflowers. There were logs to cross over but it was not too bad. The trail, for the most part, is very easy to find but at times vanishes, so you have to be aware. I was hiking on trail 153. At the top it meets trail 151 then continues along the ridge to the peak. The sign for The Dome trail points into the woods but is actually a little further up the hill. I arrived at The Dome at 8:00 AM and had hiked 4.5 miles from my SUV. The total hiking time was 3 hours and 50 minutes from the start. There are no views on this peak and very few along the trail. The hike down was quick and I arrived at the beautiful meadow and my tent at 9:45. I packed up and looked around an old deserted cabin then returned to the SUV at 10:15. The total hike up and down was 9 miles, 8.3 for the day, hiking time was 4 hours and 30 minutes. I had a total elevation gain of 2283 feet. The drive home to the Albuquerque area was 2 hours and 30 minutes.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2286 ft / 696 m
    Total Elevation Loss:240 ft / 72 m
    Round-Trip Distance:9 mi / 14.5 km
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack
    Gear Used:
Tent Camp
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2166 ft / 660 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 2046 ft / 624 m; Extra: 120 ft / 36m
    Loss on way in:120 ft / 36 m
    Distance:4.5 mi / 7.2 km
    Route:Meadow below Trail Head #5
    Start Trailhead:9290 ft / 2831 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:120 ft / 36 m
    Gain on way out:120 ft / 36 m
    Distance:4.5 mi / 7.2 km
Ascent Part of Trip: The Dome (1 nights total away from roads)

Complete Trip Sequence:
1(Attempt) Sierra Mosca2013-08-09 a852 ft / 260 m
2The Dome2013-08-10 b2286 ft / 697 m
Total Trip Gain: 3138 ft / 957 m    Total Trip Loss: 1092 ft / 333 m
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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