Ascent of West Blue Mountain on 2016-09-14

Climber: Dennis Poulin

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Wednesday, September 14, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:West Blue Mountain
    Location:USA-New Mexico
    Elevation:10336 ft / 3150 m

Ascent Trip Report

I enjoyed this hike. The hike begins with a 2 mile saunter through the beautiful Coffee Pot drainage. I saw deer, fresh bear scat and prints, and a bull elk bugled not 100 ft from me. Scared me! The trail is iffy in spots, but I learned that it was mostly marked by old blazes on the trees. Sometimes a cut log or a cairn would help with clues if the tread of the trail was too faint. There were a couple places where I just followed my instincts as to where the trail may have gone and then shortly I would stumble upon it again. My map and GPS were absolutely necessary for keeping me going in the correct direction.

Near the summit I crossed Cub Spring, nice water, and continued following the trail all the way to the east side of the peak looking for a route up through the nasty brush and blow downs littering the slopes. Eventually, I just headed up and I think I stumbled onto the old trail and I followed it up to the summit area. There is an old barb wire fence that I followed for a while. No real views from the forested summit. I made a bad decision on my descent. I just headed north down the steep slope to intersect the trail below. This is a nasty bushwhack with lots of blown down trees. I think the easiest way to the summit is to either go all the way around to the east side saddle and then go up, or to head south from the Cub Spring and ascend through the taller timber to the summit.

This is a relatively long hike that took all day. When I got back to the Coffee Pot drainage, the bull elk bugled again. It was an enjoyable hike back through the drainage to the trailhead.

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:3306 ft / 1007 m
    Total Elevation Loss:250 ft / 76 m
    Round-Trip Distance:13 mi / 20.9 km
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:3181 ft / 969 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 3056 ft / 932 m; Extra: 125 ft / 38m
    Loss on way in:125 ft / 38 m
    Distance:6.5 mi / 10.5 km
    Route:Trail 69
    Start Trailhead:7280 ft / 2218 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:125 ft / 38 m
    Gain on way out:125 ft / 38 m
    Distance:6.5 mi / 10.5 km
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Dennis Poulin
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.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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