Ascent of Strawberry Peak on 2016-10-09

Climber: Thomas Denham

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Sunday, October 9, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Summit:Car
Peak:Strawberry Peak
    Location:USA-New Mexico
    Elevation:7039 ft / 2145 m

Ascent Trip Report

Parked at the gate just before the Single Track trailhead and cut across to the trail to save some distance. I took the northern branch on the ascent and the southern branch on the descent. I think the northern might be slightly shorter. Just west of where the branches meet is a fork. I mistakenly went left. Going right would have brought my to the arroyo in half the distance. From here, I dropped down into Nogal Arroyo near the abandoned windmill and continued for about 0.85 miles. It had rained early this morning, so what was initially a muddy wash turned into a flowing stream just a short ways upstream. Eventually, the arroyo forked and I hiked between the two branches, passing a couple old stone cabins on the left before climbing up to Strawberry Peak itself. Once at the base of the mountain, I scrambled up the standard route (SE slope). Lots of loose rock, but nothing more than Class 2. I was shocked to find three other people at the summit. They had spotted some elk at the bottom of the mountain and showed them to me. There was no way I would have seen them myself. They had used mountain bikes to travel most of the way to the peak and hiked the rest. Lucked out with weather on the summit. Just 15 minutes before reaching the top, the peak was shrouded in cloud. An hour after leaving, a thunderstorm had surrounded the mountain once again.

I was surprised by the easiness of the descent, considering the looseness of the scree. I suppose it's easier to hike down than up on that type of rock. Descended the same route I came up, except for taking the southern branch of the Single Track. About halfway to the car, a thunderstorm has developed over Socorro Peak, which quickly moved in my direction. Initially just light rain, it later developed into torrential rain and hail. It ended just as quickly as it began, but I was soaked. Made it back to the car in 7 hours 15 minutes, including about half hour on the summit.

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2357 ft / 718 m
    Total Elevation Loss:2357 ft / 718 m
    Round-Trip Distance:14.9 mi / 24 km
    Grade/Class:Class 2
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Stream Ford, Scramble
    Weather:Thunderstorm, Pleasant, Breezy, Partly Cloudy
Dry except for second half of descent - thunderstorm with heavy rain and hail
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2357 ft / 718 m
    Distance:7.5 mi / 12.1 km
    Route:Single Track/Nogal Arroyo
    Start Trailhead:4682 ft / 1427 m
    Time:3 Hours 35 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:2357 ft / 718 m
    Distance:7.4 mi / 11.9 km
    Route:Single Track/Nogal Arroyo
    End Trailhead:4682 ft / 1427 m
    Time:3 Hours 5 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

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