Ascent of Sandia Crest on 2017-11-22

Climber: Phil Robinson

Others in Party:Jim Miller
Date:Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Sandia Crest
    Location:USA-New Mexico
    Elevation:10678 ft / 3254 m

Ascent Trip Report

I met my friend Jim at his home, 7:00 AM on a warm November 22, 2017 day. This was the day before Thanksgiving. Our goal was to hike to the top of Sandia Crest, I planned to hike further north to reach wilderness high points, then back south taking the Sandia Peak Tramway to the bottom. The tramway drops nearly 1 mile in vertical elevation with spectacular views in all directions. Taking the tramway is a must event for anyone visiting Albuquerque! We left one car at the bottom of the tramway and took the second car north to the bottom of the La Luz Trail. We started hiking at 7:30 AM. The starting elevation was about 7000 feet. There is a nice trail to the top with many switchbacks. The views become better and better as one ascends the mountain. As we were nearing the top we were hearing from other hikers that there was a bear up ahead, but we did not see it. We enjoyed seeing the mighty cliffs of Sandia Mountain. This is one of the best rock climbing mountains in the world! It took us 5 hours and 50 minutes and 8 miles to reach the top of Sandia Crest, elevation 10,678. The hike had an elevation gain of 3678 feet. Jim went to the Sandia Crest restaurant while I went north to get the Sandia Mountain Wilderness highpoint. List of John’s Mountains shows the highpoint in one location while Peakbaggers shows it in a separate location. I went to both locations seeing deer along the way. Doing this adds about another three quarters of a mile to the overall trip. I returned to the restaurant and Jim and I both ordered a green chile hamburger and enjoyed the views overlooking Albuquerque in the far distance. The hike from the Crest to the tramway is one of the nicest short hikes in New Mexico! It is about a two and one half mile hike on the “edge of the world.” It is an especially nice hike in the summer when this Canadian Zone area is 20 degrees cooler than Albuquerque below. We hiked along the ridge to a rock hut that was built in the 1930’s. It is in a dramatic location with a massive cliff below. From there we hiked over to the tramway. Our total hike, including the wilderness highpoints, was 11.4 miles. Our total hiking time including lunch was 8 hours and 15 minutes. The total up-down elevation gain was 4209 feet. We were able to get the first tramcar down, then back to our cars, then home.

This is the last peak of 2017. I am interested in hiking the highest 102 major peaks in New Mexico with all the minor peaks in-between. (Sandia Crest is not high enough to be one of them.) There are 173 peaks and I now have 153. It will be very difficult to get the remaining 20 because of permission issues. If I do not hike them all, it will not be the will, but rather the way. I hold back peaks every year so that I do not run out, the last 6 years I have peakbagged over 100 miles each year with an elevation gain equivalent to hiking from sea level to above Mt. Everest. This year I peakbagged 110.4 miles with an overall elevation gain of 29,405 feet. I hiked 20 peaks and 1 wilderness highpoint. If you would like to see “The List,” here it is

Sandia Crest was the first peak I hiked as an 11 years old Boy Scout in Troop 166. This was in March of 1966.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:3678 ft / 1121 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:3678 ft / 1121 m
    Distance:8 mi / 12.9 km
    Route:La Luz Trail
    Start Trailhead:La Luz Trailhead  7000 ft / 2133 m
    Time:5 Hours 50 Minutes
Descent Statistics
Ascent Part of Trip: Sandia Crest

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Sandia Crest2017-11-22 a3678 ft / 1121 m
2Sandia Mountain Wilderness High Point2017-11-22 b531 ft / 162 m
Total Trip Gain: 4209 ft / 1283 m    Total Trip Loss: 531 ft / 162 m
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.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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