Saturday, May 15, 2010

Wagon Mound (6,930 ft.)
Starvation Peak (7,042 ft.)

11 May and 13 May, 2010: On a trip down to Rio Rancho, I bagged my first two New Mexico peaks.
Wagon Mound is a National Historical Landmark, used by early settlers as a guiding landmark, due to its high prominence. I took a short side trip and climbed it on my way down. From the cemetery at the east edge of the town of Wagon Mound, I reached the summit in 30 minutes, via a steep gully on the north side. The west high point is the true summit. Class 3 scrambling and crack climbing to get through the cliff bands.
On Thursday, I did Starvation Pk., named for an apocryphal story about Spanish soldiers besieged by Indians on its summit. It's in an isolated portion of Santa Fe National Forest. I started from Rd. 48, off of CR B28A. I circled clockwise to find a weakness on the west side of the cliff bands, which brought me out, via Class 3 scrambling, near the south end of the summit plateau. It reminded me a lot of Fremont Fort in Colorado. The true summit is located at the far northwest end. Pictures are at:
Long life and many peaks!

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Sheep Nose (8,894 ft.)
Bell Rock (8,118 ft.)
UN 8,740

8 May, 2010: Back in the fall, I had checked out Sheep Nose but couldn't take the dogs up it. This time, I went back with partner Brad Darnell to claim it. First we hit UN 8,740 just outside Woodland Park, for another ranked Teller County peak, on the way up to Douglas County. Afterward, we added the unranked Bell Rock, as it is right in the same area near Westcreek.
Sheep Nose is, just as the literature states, Class 4. The crux is a very steep crack climb at the base of the summit block. I was very glad the rock was dry! The views from the top, which very few have savored, are fabulous. Very nice for a half day before going to work!
Pictures are at:
Long life and many peaks!