Summit Hike, January 10, 2010

If it’s Saturday and I’m in Albuquerque you will frequently find me on the mountain.  It’s a routine and I’m pretty stuck on it.  But this Saturday when I woke and saw the blanket of cloud covering the mountain I lost all motivation to even think about climbing it.

I’ve not climbed to the summit since November, or maybe even October of last year.  I’m out of good climbing shape and then when you add to that the fact that the upper third of the mountain has sloppy snow and ice on the trail, you have to then add hours to the total hiking time.

About 11:00 I saw that the skies were going to clear and I had a burst of inspiration and started throwing together my clothes and other gear.  But then I sat down and started to add up the hours, and decided that even if I got on the mountain at 12:30 I could extend a fit 3 hour hike into an unfit four and a half hours, and then, adding for the snow, be looking at possibly six hours or more to summit.

I decided that it was time to take out the tram pass and head for the summit and skip a torture session.

It had been a week since I had last been here and my primary purpose was to check out the trails to the south of the tram and then walk along the connecting trail toward the saddle.

Unlike the trails north of the crest parking lot, the main trail heading south from the tram was very packed and would not have made for good cross-country skiing.  Hopefully this next week brings new snow and the cycle of packing down the snow will start all over again.

I had hoped that the ice fog that blanketed the south end of the range near my house would have extended to the tram but there was almost no evidence of it from the day before.  However, the south peak, six miles distant, was still covered in the remnants of the ice.

Since I love panoramas, I added this one of the view to the south peak.

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