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Best of today’s climb of the Sandias

I met a guy on the trail last week and we talked for a few minutes and walked together for a while. However I got distracted sooner or later by taking photos and the like and didn’t see him for the rest of the hike. When I got to the summit, there he was, about to board the same tram down. We chatted about the routes we have taken to the summit and he mentioned trail I’ve always wanted to climb, but did not want to attempt it solo.

We exchanged phone numbers, and as the weather worked out in our favor, today at 9:00 we hit the trail. Supposedly, it was a shorter route, but it was exceedingly steep. In one section I figured that we were scrambling on a 1:1 ratio, one foot up for each foot forward. We gained about 500 feet in one tenth of a mile and it was a serious workout.

Photo opps were not great, but here are a couple that I liked.
My hiking partner told me the name of this bush but I did not write it down.

One specific problem with this route is that it is fairly barren with respect to views. The route travels up box canyons that hide most of the view out to the west.

This is what I mean by narrow, the canyon here was maybe 100 feet wide. The biggest problem I had today was dealing with a back-lit image and the sun flaring into the lens. I think I’ll go back to this trail once we hit the June Solstice and hope that there is more light thrown on the “chimney” formation there in the middle of the image.

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