Thursday, December 30, 2010

UN 6495
Las Mesas del Conjelon West (6,988 ft.)

28 December, 2010: More trips to New Mexico meant a couple of additional peaks not far off the road. Ten days earlier (the 18th), I stopped on the way down and slogged through some snow to UN 6495. This is one of only three ranked peaks on the Tetilla Peak quad, so I hope to finish it off fairly soon. On the return trip, I scouted the approach to Tetilla Peak, and found that the last two miles of approach road (after county maintenance ends) is too rutty to attempt in the Honda, at least when it's wet and muddy, so it got put by for later.
Heading home yet again just before the new year, I decided to hit Las Mesas del Conjelon West, which is just east of, and the line parent of, the Wagon Mound. Cimarron, who hadn't had a climbing adventure for some time, accompanied me this time. Even though it isn't the closest approach from the road (NM 120), I started at the same place as for Wagon Mound, the Wagon Mound and Santa Clara cemeteries. Here I knew I could leave the car safely. I covered the roughly
1¾ miles to the summit by traversing over a couple of gentle ridges on the north side of the Wagon Mound, crossing the open, flat area in between (which sports a 4WD track), and climbing one of the gullies which split the west face of the Mesa. There is scrub oak part of the way, but it was nowhere more than a couple of feet high, and not really hard to get through. After getting to the mesa top, I first climbed the southern minor summit, which proved actually to be a tougher climb than the actual summit. Thus, it took an hour and six minutes to reach the high point. From here it was clear that I didn't have time to try to add Las Mesas del Conjelon East to my day; there may be a closer approach point for it.
Only after getting home did I realize that this peak completed the Wagon Mound quad for me, a nice surprise, especially since I appear to be the first one! This probably closes out the calendar year for me, as there is much to do at home with the remaining three days. But, ATC, it hasn't been a bad year: 66 ranked peaks in Colorado and New Mexico, 26 unranked ones, some of them highly obscure, and two counties and a bunch of quads completed. Happy New Year to all!

Long life and many peaks!


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