Ascent of Peak 10800 on 2016-06-23

Climber: Phil Robinson

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Thursday, June 23, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Peak 10800
    Location:USA-New Mexico
    Elevation:10800 ft / 3291 m

Ascent Trip Report

I left the house at 3:15 AM, June 23, 2016, knowing I would be driving longer than I would be hiking. I headed to northern New Mexico to the town of Costilla, then headed east on highway 196. It took about an hour on this road to get to my parking place. The first 10 miles is a paved road. The last 18 mile drive is on a well maintained dirt road and a 4WD vehicle is not required. Driving on highway 196, I saw a large herd of elk grazing by a stream in the early morning light. Shortly thereafter, I saw a herd of deer. There were other deer and elk along the way. Nearing my parking area I saw a funny little weasel. It almost looked like it was from a cartoon. It was skinny, about an inch in diameter. It was about a foot long from tip the of it’s nose to the end of it’s tail. It was really moving fast! Highway 196 is a beautiful drive. There are 2 camping areas near each other, Shuree Ponds Campground and Cimarron Campground. I parked just west of the Cimarron Campground. Shuree Ponds is a wonderful place to camp, especially in August. You can hardly find a square foot of space that is not covered with wildflowers in the lush green meadows near the ponds. In August it is clear almost every morning and rains almost every afternoon. This makes for the incredible lushness of the area.

I started hiking at 7:15 AM. It was a cool clear morning with a temperature of 50 degrees. The starting elevation was 9500 feet. I preplanned the hike and headed west up a gradual slope. There were a few downed trees but it was not excessive. The area is covered with a variety of beautiful confers mixed with some deciduous aspens. Almost everywhere I hike, if I study hard enough, I will find the remains of an ancient forest fire and thanks to a forest fire, maybe 100 years ago, it is a lush, but not overgrown forest. The hike to the first peak is mostly forest hiking with few views. I arrived at the top of Peak 10,820 after hiking for an hour and a half. The distance from the car was 2.1 miles. There is a wonderful ridge to the next peak. The forest open ups with some incredible views. The hiking is fairly easy. I arrived at Peak 11,100, also know as Peak 11,080, after hiking 4.1 miles from the start. I had almost been hiking for 3 hours. The very top is tree covered with no views. I started heading down on the wrong ridge but corrected myself. The first part on the decent is a bit of an obstacle course with downed trees, but as I headed further down the overgrowth thinned. The hike down from the top has a decent of between 30 and 35 degrees. I was glad I was going down this slope and not up. I descended the ridge to the road. This took about 1 ¼ hours to hike from the top. I continued down the road to the lowest elevation of the hike, 9240 feet. The road hike is very interesting because of the great variety of different types of beautiful trees. Trees from high, medium and lower elevations seem to meet along this road. There are ponderosa and bottle brush pines, blue and Engelmann spruce, white fir, aspen and other varieties of trees. Near the ground is a type of juniper. From the lowest elevation on the road it is a gradual assent of 260 feet back to the car. I arrived back about 1:00 PM after hiking for 5 hours and 45 minutes. I didn’t stop along the way, just stopped to take some pictures. The total hiking distance was 8.9 miles and the total up-down elevation gain was 2248 feet. The temperature was pleasantly in the upper 70’s. The drive home was a little longer than the morning drive. I spent 8 ½ hours driving round trip to bag these 2 peaks and was home at 5:30. I was more worn out from the drive than the hike.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1385 ft / 422 m
    Total Elevation Loss:85 ft / 25 m
    Route Conditions:
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1385 ft / 422 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 1300 ft / 396 m; Extra: 85 ft / 25m
    Loss on way in:85 ft / 25 m
    Distance:2.1 mi / 3.4 km
    Route:Headed west up ridge then south on ridge
    Start Trailhead:West of Cimarron Campground  9500 ft / 2895 m
    Time:1 Hours 30 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Route:To Peak 11,100 then ENE to road then North
Ascent Part of Trip: Peak 11,100/11080 & Peak 10820

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Peak 108002016-06-23 a1385 ft / 422 m
2Peak 110802016-06-23 b843 ft / 257 m
Total Trip Gain: 2228 ft / 679 m    Total Trip Loss: 378 ft / 115 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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