Ascent of Cerro Toledo on 2016-06-04

Climber: Phil Robinson

Others in Party:My Friend Jim
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Saturday, June 4, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Cerro Toledo
    Location:USA-New Mexico
    Elevation:10930 ft / 3331 m

Ascent Trip Report

I left my friend Jim’s house at 5:00 AM to drive to the Jemez Mountains and hike Cerro Toledo, elevation 10,930. I was interested in hiking this peak because it falls within the top 100 major peaks in New Mexico. We were heading on I-25 north when we were delayed for an hour and a half because of a wreck. We then drove to Espanola, New Mexico and headed north on highway 84/285. A couple miles north in Espanola is a road named Fairview, just past this road we turned to the west on forest road 144. It is a beautiful drive with views in all directions, but one needs to pay close attention to the road because of the steep drops. The road is a well kept dirt road. We drove for approximately 35 miles in my Toyota Land Cruiser. It is possible to make the drive in a passenger car, but I would recommend a sturdy SUV with good clearance. The hike starts at a high elevation, 10,450 feet, then drops into a valley, elevation 9810, then heads to the peak. We started hiking at 9:50 AM. The temperature was near perfect. The skies were clear but somewhat hazy. It was a steep incline down, but we found clear open areas to hike. When we reached the bottom of the valley we followed a ridgeline to the top. We had to do a lot of bushwhacking over logs and through the trees. About half way up there was clear open country and it was much easier to hike. Nearing the top of the ridge we saw about 20 female elk with several of their babies. We first hiked to a unnamed peak bump that was 10,830 feet in elevation, then down into the saddle then to the top of Cerro Toledo. It took us 2 hours and 25 minutes to hike and the distance was 3.3 miles. We headed to Turkey Ridge, elevation 10,710. The next 2 hours we hiked through an area that had had a forest fires several years ago. The grass still had its winter brown. There were nice views in all directions, but this part of the hike was not so attractive at ground level. We reached Turkey Ridge after hiking 4.5 miles. It took us 3 hours and 20 minutes from the start. We followed the ridge north, enjoyed some great views of Valle Caldera, saw a couple more elk, then reached Indian Point, elevation 10,240. We had now hiked 5.7 miles in 4 hours and 15 minutes. I was only interested in Turkey Ridge and Indian Point because they were near Cerro Toledo. We decided to hike in a beeline down the hill. It was a fairly steep log strewn hike down. We connected with an old unused road about half way down, saw one more elk, then continued hiking until we reached the lowest elevation of the hike, 9310 feet. On almost all peakbagging hikes there is a nice downhill “rest” at the end of the hike, but not this hike, we had to climb out over 1100 feet to get back to the SUV. We followed the road to the west knocking off 400 feet in elevation gain in a gradual way, but then it was straight up the side for the next 700 feet in elevation gain, with as much as a 32 degree grade at times. This was the 5th peakbagging hike with my friend Jim. He has now done 14 NM peaks. Even though we both were a little worn out by the end, Jim greatly enjoyed the hike. We made it back to the SUV after hiking 9.4 miles. It took us a little less than 7 hours to hike. The total up-down vertical elevation gain for the entire hike was 2751 feet. It was a stunningly beautiful drive on the dirt road back to Espanola.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1320 ft / 402 m
    Total Elevation Loss:840 ft / 256 m
    Route Conditions:
Open Country, Bushwhack
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1320 ft / 402 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 480 ft / 146 m; Extra: 840 ft / 256m
    Loss on way in:840 ft / 256 m
    Distance:3.3 mi / 5.3 km
    Route:Ridge south to saddle, elevation 9810, then to top
    Start Trailhead:Ridge west of peak  10450 ft / 3185 m
    Time:2 Hours 25 Minutes
Descent Statistics
Ascent Part of Trip: Cerro Toledo

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Cerro Toledo2016-06-04 a1320 ft / 402 m
2Turkey Ridge2016-06-04 b260 ft / 79 m
3Indian Point2016-06-04 c1171 ft / 357 m
Total Trip Gain: 2751 ft / 838 m    Total Trip Loss: 1980 ft / 603 m
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Phil Robinson
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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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