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Ascent of Guadalupe Peak on 2018-02-10

Climber: bob l

Date:Saturday, February 10, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Guadalupe Peak
    Location:USA-Texas
    Elevation:8749 ft / 2666 m

Ascent Trip Report

I flew in from Vegas and spent the night in El Paso. Early the next morning, I drove the 100 miles or so to the Pine Springs trailhead. I arrived at the trailhead, which was full of RVs, just near sunrise. The morning glows and weather were calm and just starting to shift awake like all of the nearby sleepy campers. I suited up in most of my winter gear and went for the trail. The trail starts tough and immediately climbs up the imposing mountainside which is crowned by a rugged ridgeline. It’s heavy breathing the whole way up the mountain side as you switchback and zigzag through the beautiful brushy but testing scenery. Just under the ridgeline, you veer right and hug the ridge to a rocky overlook area. From the overlook, the trail levels somewhat but persistently proceeds through a woodsy section that contours around a meandering canyon. More grudging switchbacks await near the end of this forestry area, but then the trail opens into a dreamy, flattish grassy plateau corridor. In here, you’ll pass the turn off to the upper campground and you’ll think you can see the peak off up a shade to your left, but that is just an impressive false peak. The trail actually swings around this first peak then sticks tight to a canyon wall where you’ll need to use a small wooden man-made bridge in one of the narrower sections. From here, you can now see Guadalupe and the few remaining, stony, switchbacks keeping you from her. These upper switchbacks stopped me a few times and there were more of them than I had seen from the bridge area below, but eventually you will get a glimpse of the prominent triangular peak monument that sits on top of this mountain and you’ll know you have it. The peak is spacious and the views are incredible, big, and wide just like Texas. Nice to have this one under my belt.
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