Ascent of Tolby Peak on 2013-08-29

Climber: Richard Oestreicher

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Thursday, August 29, 2013
Ascent Type:Unsuccessful - Turned Back
Peak:Tolby Peak
    Location:USA-New Mexico
    Elevation:9750 ft / 2971 m

Ascent Trip Report

I didn't really expect to make it to the top today (given a late start and a long trip), but wanted to see whether starting from the Tolby Trailhead at the west edge of Cimarron State Park was a viable route. I payed the $5 day use fee for the State Park (find forms and drop-off point across the road at the campground). My GPS gave me a distance of 4.28 mi. to the highpoint coordinates. The trail begins at a gate and then splits in a few hundred yards. I took the Upper Tolby. My map shows a variety of defunct and windy forest roads heading roughly in the direction of the peak off the Upper Tolby Trail. At just under two miles out I headed uphill on one of them (you need to watch carefully for it; the entrance is obscure. I walked right by and had to double back). I followed dead forest roads to roughly 9650 where I couldn't see where the road continued (I later ran into another piece a bit higher) and bushwhacked up hill a bit. I did find another overgrown forest track, but by that time I had walked close to 4 miles and the peak was still 3.0 miles away according to GPS. It may be possible to bushwhack on a more direct heading where the defunct forest roads finally peter out (maybe around 10,000 or so) but that would be a long bushwhack and the slopes have the usual downed tress. I decided against going further because it was hot and humid and late in the day. While this route is possible, going all the way to Tolby would be along slog, over 15 mi round trip, maybe even close to 20. It might be possible to backpack into Tolby Meadows and camp and climb up from there the next day.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1740 ft / 530 m
    Total Elevation Loss:87 ft / 26 m
    Round-Trip Distance:6.8 mi / 10.9 km
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Bushwhack
    Weather:Hot, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1707 ft / 520 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 1653 ft / 504 m; Extra: 54 ft / 16m
    Loss on way in:54 ft / 16 m
    Distance:3.9 mi / 6.2 km
    Start Trailhead:Tolby Trailhead  8097 ft / 2467 m
    Time:2 Hours 33 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:33 ft / 10 m
    Gain on way out:33 ft / 10 m
    Distance:3 mi / 4.8 km
    Time:1 Hours 16 Minutes

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