Ascent to Elephant Rock-cliff face on 2013-08-14

Climber: Richard Oestreicher

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Ascent Type:Unsuccessful - Turned Back
Point Reached:Elephant Rock - cliff face
    Location:USA-New Mexico
    Elevation:9503 ft / 2896 m
    Remaining Elevation:1053 ft / 321 m (55% left to go)

Ascent Trip Report

I tried climbing Elephant Rock last year from the north side by going up a canyon and wide stream bed, but ran into impenetrable cliffs. I should learn from experience, but sometimes I don't. The topo map shows a trail (195) going up from the south to the ridge near Elephant Rock, but it looked like a very roundabout route. I started out just above the Red River water treatment facility on the west edge of town. I passed though a gate and bypassed a "No ATV's sign." At an intersection about 500 feet beyond the gate I went straight ahead uphill, although the map shows the trail going left. The road continued for a few hundred yards becoming a wide stream bed. The stream bed got narrower, wetter, and steeper. Soon I was scrambling up rocks with precarious hand holds. Perhaps, part of what kept me going were the many shiny rocks and small crystals. I just bought a couple of books on amateur geology and rocks and minerals. I spent more than an hour prospecting and did find some interesting crystals. Once I continued i hit sheer rock faces and cliffs at just over 9500 feet. No peak bagged, but a fun experience. I headed back down the stream bed, had a snack and then headed west on the correct trail (see separate trip report for that leg of the journey).
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:858 ft / 260 m
    Total Elevation Loss:18 ft / 4 m
    Round-Trip Distance:2.6 mi / 4.2 km
    Route Conditions:
Bushwhack, Scramble
    Weather:Hot, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:853 ft / 259 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 840 ft / 256 m; Extra: 13 ft / 3m
    Loss on way in:13 ft / 3 m
    Distance:1.5 mi / 2.4 km
    Start Trailhead:water treatment plant road  8663 ft / 2640 m
    Time:1 Hours 5 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:5 ft / 1 m
    Gain on way out:5 ft / 1 m
    Distance:1.1 mi / 1.8 km
    Time:37 Minutes

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