Ascent of El Cerro de Las Lunas on 2016-04-23

Climber: Phil Robinson

Others in Party:My dog Captain
Date:Saturday, April 23, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:El Cerro de Las Lunas
    Location:USA-New Mexico
    Elevation:5955 ft / 1815 m

Ascent Trip Report

I’m mostly interested in hiking the tallest 164 peaks in New Mexico, those with an elevation from 10,820 on up to the tallest peak in New Mexico, Wheeler Peak, elevation 13,161. I have 131 so far. The 164 peaks include the highest 102 major peaks, those with a prominence or 300 feet and over, and all the minor peaks in between. recently added 2 interesting lists, “The Santa Fe Classics” and “The Albuquerque Home Court Peaks.” I have hiked most of the peaks on those 2 lists already, but there were a few I have not, and El Cerro de Las Lunas was one of them.

I was planning on hiking with my daughter Christina and her dog Bane, but at the last minute she was not able to come. My hiking buddy Daisy, a wirehair fox terrier, died about a year and half ago and since that time I have acquired 2 wonderful male wirehair fox terriers. They had their first birthday last month. I did not take them hiking last summer because I did not trust them to stay with me. One of them, named Major, gets car sick, so his brother Captain was the default peakbagger. I felt that if Bane were near, Captain would stay near also. When Christina and Bane could not come, I decided to take Captain anyway. Captain has taken very few car rides. He was so happy to be in the car, he was making loud happy sounds as we drove.

I would call El Cerro de Las Lunas more of a peak bump than a real peak, yet by the end of the hike I was surprised by how much effort it took to hike the peak bump. It was Saturday morning April 23,2016. I started hiking around 10:00 AM. It was a short drive south of Albuquerque on Interstate 25 to Las Lunas then a drive east on Highway 6. The area around the peak has a special protected designation, Open Space. There is a nice picnic area and place to park, a short drive on Highway 6 then south of the road. Captain was so happy to be out and it was nice for me to have his company. We hiked to the south-southeast along a very nice wide trail covered, with a fine-grain rock surface. I kept Captain on his leash for awhile, then let him off the leash. He was very excited and did not stay too close, but close enough. The day was warm and hazy sunny. The trail turned into a dirt trail, then it went down a little to the base of the peak bump. There was a small secondary trail that headed straight up, then this trail disappeared and it was a bushwhack straight up. It was an easy hike, but at times took a good deal of effort going straight up. I arrived at the top of the peak, after hiking 2.5 miles. It took an hour and 20 minutes and the up-down elevation gain was 855 feet. The views were very nice in all directions. There was a small peak bump to the north-northeast. When driving from Albuquerque, this looks like the main peak top. I hiked straight down, then back up to the top of this volcanic bump. Again, there were very nice views. Captain sure was having a great time! Now that the newness of the hike was over he was staying closer to me. He had lots of good resistance training with lizards, a bunny and other interesting things catching his attention, but he kept on coming. We arrived back at the car after hiking 5.9 miles. (I am sure the dog did at least 12 miles.) It took 3 hours to hike this distance. The total up-down elevation gain for the entire hike was 1305 feet. Wirehaired fox terriers are very, very energetic like-to-hunt-and-explore, fun dogs! Captain did very well and I plan on taking him on some more peakbagging adventures and maybe his brother Major with a little Dramamine.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1305 ft / 397 m
    Total Elevation Loss:550 ft / 167 m
    Round-Trip Distance:5.9 mi / 9.5 km
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:855 ft / 260 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 755 ft / 231 m; Extra: 100 ft / 30m
    Loss on way in:100 ft / 30 m
    Distance:2.5 mi / 4 km
    Route:SSE from the Open Space Parking Area
    Start Trailhead:Open Space Parking Area off Hwy 6  5200 ft / 1584 m
    Time:1 Hours 20 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:450 ft / 137 m
    Gain on way out:450 ft / 137 m
    Distance:3.4 mi / 5.5 km
    Route:NNE to another peak bump then back
    Time:1 Hours 40 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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