Friday, October 04, 2013

South Sandia Peak (9,782 ft.)
or: Marjean's First Summit

1 October, 2013: Still whittling away at the many ranked peaks contained within the Sandia Wilderness, I decided that Marjean, my sweet little rescue dog, was finally ready for a major hike/climb. So we headed out to the Embudo trailhead on the east edge of Albuquerque.
I chose this peak and route because the distance given on the description on SummitPost was only 6.4 miles. In retrospect, I think this figure is seriously low. I think it was really more like twice that! Still, we made it, although it taxed poor Marjean to the limit.
We linked four trails for this route: The Embudo Canyon trail, then a left onto the 3 Guns trail, then a right onto the Embudito  trail, finally linking up with the Crest trail for the final push to the summit. For the first mile or so, the Embudo trail is a bit hard to follow along the bottom of the drainage. But, if you just keep heading upstream, a clear trail finally emerges. The trail junctions, and the other trails, are all deliciously clear and easy to follow. 
The junction with the Crest trail is marked only with a rock cairn, and you have to know (or guess right) to make a sharp left to follow the Crest trail north, on one of the rare sections where it actually traverses below the ridge crest on the west side. Contrary to what most maps show, there is actually a trail right to the summit.
We saw hardly anyone all day, but did meet a hiker named Otis at the summit, who took the photo above.
More photos are at:

RT: 7 hrs., 30 min. (including 20 min. at the top)
Vert.: 3,360 ft.

Long life and many peaks!


Blogger picks up stones said...

Hi Patrick I am just now documenting this years hiking and came across my notes made at So. Sandia Peak. I enjoyed looking at your blog and reports on Summit Post - you have been having way too much fun. Wishing you many safe adventures in the future.
Otis (aka Picks up Stones)

9:06 AM  

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