Archival (trips predating this website) can be found here

Grand Teton Climbing Trip

Leader: 
Michael Altherr
Leader Email: 
mraltherr1@gmail.com
Date: 
Wed, 2014-07-30
Difficulty: 
Hard
Technicality: 
Advanced

We have reserved 21 climber camps on the approach to the Grand Teton for several dates between July 31, 2014 through August 6, 2014. In addition, we have a group camp site to accommodate those not on the mountain. Besides the Grand, multiple and varied recreational opportunities exist in the area. Several spots remain and can be had for a $50 commitment fee paid to the trip leader. Several team building and training exercises will be conducted in between now and our departure in July. If you are interested in participating, or have any questions, please contact the trip leader.

Rubber Ducky Float Trip

Leader: 
Zack Baker
Leader Email: 
zackbaker@gmail.com
Date: 
Sun, 2014-07-13
Difficulty: 
Moderate
Technicality: 
Beginner

Join Zack for a Rio Grande floating adventure. We will start at 10am on Sunday July 13 at the Red Dot trailhead, hike down to the river, continue up the river trail to the bottom of the Blue Dot. There, we will stop and enjoy lunch and inflate our floating toys/mattresses/water wings. We will then float back down to the Red Dot, wash off in the clean springs, and hike back to our cars.
The $3 vinyl inner tube toys at Smiths are suitable for this trip, and/or a life vest or wetsuit. Please invite summer students and postdocs.
Please email Zack if you would like to sign up, or call 505-412-5961 for more information.
 

Splashing down the East Fork of the Jemez (or "Jemez Box Canyon Lite")

Leader: 
Kei Davis
Leader Email: 
keidavis00@gmail.com
Date: 
Sat, 2014-07-12
Difficulty: 
Moderate
Technicality: 
Beginner

Summer visitors are welcome!  Some old hands could be really helpful, too.
Join Kei and Lisa for a repeat of this hike.  This is the 'lite' version of this hike, stopping at the first big jump-off (jump-off optional) and returning by land.  This more moderate version avoids the need for car-shuttling and assisted descents as chronicled in the latter link (btw, you can interpret Momo's caption "The canyon goes on and on" as "fast forward to the end"--the full hike is a rather long affair).  Our memories are vague and inconsistent about the duration of this version so be prepared for 3-4 hours at a moderate pace.
As Bill wrote in the first linked page, be prepared to get wet.  I learned the hard way the first time I did this that middle of the summer or not, cotton clothing isn't the best choice.  Rubber/plastic sandals are great, sport shoes will work.  Hat and sunscreen strongly recommended, water essential, snacks as desired.  Many find walking poles helpful.
We'll get an early start to avoid the possibility of getting caught in an afternoon storm.  Let's plan to depart Sullivan field, carpooling as preferred, at 8:00a.m. sharp Saturday July 12, so plan to get there by 7:50a.m. to get organized.  From there it's 30 minutes' drive (nearly exactly) to the Las Conchas trailhead.  Note that if the Las Conchas trailhead parking area is full, at that time of the day there should still be plenty of space just short of there at the Cattle Call Wall climbing area.  Sullivan field parking shown with red "x" in first attached map, Las Conchas parking areas in second.
RSVP keidavis00@gmail.com--I'd like some idea of how many people to expect.
 

Adventuring from a remote camp in the North Cascades, July 12-17+

Leader: 
Bill Priedhorsky
Leader Email: 
bill@priedhorsky.net
Date: 
Sat, 2014-07-12
Difficulty: 
Easy
Technicality: 
Beginner


Update Feb. 27: Three small upstairs rooms remain available, along with nooks and crannies.
For something different this summer, I am organizing an outing to the Pacific Northwest.  Our destination will be the North Cascades, based at the North Cascades Basecamp, who call themselves a "European-style lodge and cabin". The camp is near the settlement of Mazama (meaning mountain goat) in the Methow Valley, which reaches into the North Cascades from the east side. The lodge is 15 minutes upstream from Winthrop, Washington, and about 4 1/2 hours from SeaTac airport. Activities include hiking on hundreds of miles of trails in the valley and the mountains above, rock climbing on Goat Rocks, fishing, mountain biking (bikes provided), and horse riding offered by outfitters in the valley. Recommended horse outfitters include Early Winters Trail Rides in Mazama, and Moccasin Lake Ranch in Winthrop.

The lodge has an Octagonal Cabin and six rooms that accommodate two to four persons each. I have reserved the Cabin, which includes a kitchen that we can use to prepare dinners. For room rates, scroll down to the Summer category, with one weekend night and four weekday nights. The lodge can provide dinners (for a fee), but only if we fill it up. The cabin is reserved for 5 nights, arriving on Saturday July 12 and departing July 17, and is already filled. If you want to stay longer, all 6 rooms are currently available from July 12 until July 22. I will be flying to Seattle on July 11, and staying in the Northwest after the 17th to visit family.

If you would like to take part in the trip, please contact the Basecamp to reserve your room. Let me know that you are joining us, with your dates, via e-mail to bill@priedhorsky.net. I will keep track of people's travel plans to facilitate rental car sharing, etc.

This should be a different, interesting, and scenic adventure, and I hope you can join us.

Evening hike to the Natural Arch

Leader: 
Kei Davis and Lisa Biehl
Leader Email: 
keidavis00@gmail.com
Date: 
Wed, 2014-07-09
Difficulty: 
Easy
Technicality: 
Beginner

Join us for an easy after-work walk/hike to the nearby natural arch.
Besides the photo-op at the arch itself, this gives a nice view of Los Alamos and surrounding area, and shows the consequences of the 2000 fire and the ensuing recovery and changes.
Normal walk/hike speed is 25-30 minutes each way, so with sightseeing and picture-taking this will run a little over an hour.  This is nominally targeted at summer visitors but all are welcome--indeed, last year two of our most experienced Mountaineers joined and were extremely helpful with keeping the group on course and answering questions; this year that could be you!
We'll depart from the Mitchell trailhead at 6:30pm sharp, Wednesday July 9, unless there's rain enough to flood the canyon (highly unlikely).
Attached map (LAM website only) shows the location of Mitchell trailhead as a small yellow marker in the upper left corner.  No need to sign up, just show up.

Squaw Pass Backpack; Weminuche Wilderness

Leader: 
Jean Dewart
Leader Email: 
jdewart@q.com
Date: 
Thu, 2014-07-03
Difficulty: 
Hard
Technicality: 
Moderate

I am proposing a 4 day backpack, to start/end at the Williams Creek Reservoir, north of Pagosa Springs, Colorado.   I will have to do a scouting trip, ahead of time - to make sure the trails are open - but, the area is south from last year's forest fires.  In the event that the scouting trip is not successful - we will switch the hike location - most probably to the South San Juan Wilderness Area, out of Platoro, Colorado. 
 
The hike will take off from the Williams Creek trailhead, on trail #587.  About a mile short of Williams Lake, turn northwest onto the Continental Divide Trail.  Camp Thursday night below the CDT.  Friday,  Join the CDT and go west on the CDT to Squaw Pass.  Camp at the lakes west of Squaw Pass.  Take a day hike on Saturday. On Sunday, hike down to the Cimarona Trail head on trail 586 - the trail ends about 1 mile from where we will leave the cars.   
 
We will leave Los Alamos early on Thursday July 3rd and drive to the trailhead.   Then hike for the afternoon.  Returning the late afternoon of Sunday July 6th.  The total distance is about 25 miles and the elevation gain is 3,000 - 4,000 ft total.  
 
To sign up, send an email to jdewart@q.com.   Trip limit will be 12 people.   Folks are responsible for their own tents/stoves/food - but, we will help folks  connect with eachother, if folks would like to share equipment.  If we have not backpacked together before, please let me know about your recent backpacking experience, so we can be sure this trip is suitable. 

 

Canyoneering in Zion National Park

Leader: 
Dan Creveling
Leader Email: 
dan@canyoneeringnm.org
Date: 
Sat, 2014-06-28
Difficulty: 
Moderate
Technicality: 
Moderate

Canyoneering in Zion National Park
(A 2014 trip of the Los Alamos Mountaineers)

Pre-Trip Training: June 21st and 22nd
Trip to Zion National Park: June 28th - July 3rd
Trip Leader: Dan Creveling (plus many people helping!)
 
As of 16 April 2014  :  33 canyoneers attending
 
Have you been to Zion? I mean, have you REALLY been to Zion?? This is your chance to discover all of Zion's hidden gems that most people who visit the park never get to see. We will be hiking, rappelling, climbing, scrambling, and swimming to some of the best that the park has to offer. Prerequisites are good rappelling skills (or willing to learn) and a spirit of adventure.
 
2014 LAM Climbing School students encouraged to attend!
 
*** SIGNING UP ***
 
Send an email to me to sign up: dan@canyoneeringnm.org
If I don't already know you, a short introduction and description of your current technical rope experience would be helpful.
 
Due to permit issues, it would be good to have a rough idea of how many people are going by the beginning of April. Permits are often still available even weeks before a trip (depending on the canyon of course), but please sign up as soon as you can to help ensure we have enough permit space for everyone.
 
!!DISCLAIMER!!

This is NOT a guided canyoneering trip! Although the intent is to be playing on the ropes, this is by no means a guided trip. We will have pre-trip training to allow everyone to become familiar with canyoneering specific techniques and gear. Ultimately though, you are responsible for knowing your own skill level and sticking to it! Having said that, there will be some very knowledgeable people on this trip who will do their best to ensure everyone has a wonderful time and NO ONE gets hurt. The canyons in Zion fill the spectrum from beginner to advanced, so there will be a fabulous canyon for everyone.
 
*** Pre-Trip Training ***
 
!! Pre-trip training is required!! (with some exceptions*)
 
Pre-requisite skills:
 
We will not be teaching rappelling in the pre-trip training. We will be teaching the particular rappelling techniques that canyoneers have adopted that are different from what climbers normally do. It is assumed that you have rappelled 'climbing style' before and are already comfortable with going over the edge of a cliff. Have you been rappelling before? If not, the LAM Climbing School is a good way to get the basic skills needed.
 
Keep in mind that there is usually no turning back once entering a canyon. Ropes are pulled as we move down the canyon, so returning back up the canyon is not possible. Once the group finishes the first rappel, the group is generally committed to finishing all of the rappels.
 
June 21st (9am-noon) : Rappelling practice at “The Y” climbing area.
Canyoneering specific rope rigging, rappelling single strand on 8mm-9mm ropes, adding friction and locking off, guided rappels, self-rescue. Also discussions on the ACA canyon rating system and canyoneering gear/clothing that will be required for the trip.
 
June 22nd (9am-3pm) : Anchor training and descent of Pajarito Gorge
At the top of Pajarito Gorge: discussion and demonstration of common anchors seen in canyoning including bolts, trees, boulders, rock and knot chocks, dead-man anchors, meat anchors. Also discussion of rope management and sequencing. Pajarito Gorge is a short, fun canyon in White Rock. Trailhead parking is located at the end of Kimberly Lane. We will do the canyon in four rappels. The longest rappel is about 120 feet. We will also demonstrate an application of a guided rappel over a deep pothole full of water.
 
(*) An exception to the training requirement may be granted (ultimately up to the trip leader) if one of the following apply:
You fully participated in a LAM Canyoneering course and descended Pajarito Gorge
You participated in previous LAM Zion trips and descended Birch Hollow
You have descended a technical canyon with me, Brett Kettering or Mike Brandt
You have other canyoneering experience that can be validated by the community
 
*** GENERAL DAILY ROUTINE ***
 
June 28th and July 3rd are driving days. June 29th - July 2nd are canyoneering days.
 
Permits issued by the park limit group size to as low as 6 people in some canyons, other canyons have a limit of 12. Depending on the canyon, we may choose to set our limit even lower (for safety and time considerations). Because of these group size limitations, we will not be able to stay together as an entire group – we will be splitting up each day. This is a common routine for canyoneering in Zion, and we will have plenty of experienced volunteers to help lead groups through the canyons each day. I will be making sure that each group on each day has a leader who knows how to get in and out of their canyon safely. I would like us to meet as a group in the evenings to talk about the day, count heads, and prepare for the next day of canyoning. People who have permits in their name are committed to that canyon, but others are able to join in anywhere there is permit space. It is not a very rigorous system, and flexibility is built in on purpose. It will make more sense when we are there :o)
 
*** LODGING ***
 
Plenty of lodging options in the Springdale area and several out past the east entrance of the park too. I will not be organizing any large scale lodging for everyone. I will likely be in a Cowboy Cabin at the Ponderosa Ranch Resort (east side of the park, see below). Many canyons start on the east side and end on the Springdale side, requiring a car shuttle. Other canyons are entered and exited by trailheads serviced by the Zion Canyon shuttle bus on the Springdale side. Still others are entered and exited on the far east side without shuttle service. The point is, no matter where you stay, you will likely be part of a car shuttle. It's a very common thing in Zion.
 
Hotels:
For lodging information near Springdale, Utah (main entrance to the park) a good place to start is:
http://www.utah.com/lodging/zion.htm
 
Camping & Cabins (to list a few... there are more):
My preference is to stay at the Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort. They have campsites, Cowboy Cabins that fit up to six, and larger structures as well. The campsites cost about the same (or maybe less) than the Watchman and South campgrounds, but offer nice bathrooms/showers and two pools and hot tubs :o)
http://www.zionponderosa.com/index.htm
 
The Watchman campground is a good place to camp in Springdale.
http://www.nps.gov/zion/planyourvisit/watchman-campground.htm
 
Zion has a park campground located at the Springdale entrance/visitor center. It is first come first served, so it's good to have a backup option planned out.
http://www.nps.gov/zion/planyourvisit/south-campground.htm
 
*** PERMITS ***
 
Permits are required for most of the canyons we will be exploring. I will give specific details to trip participants on how to obtain permits at a later date.
 
*** CANYONS ***
 
Here are short descriptions (with links to more info) of some of the technical canyons on the menu. There are several more canyons that will be on the manu as well!

Birch Hollow
Description:
4-7 Hours depending on group size and if a shuttle is arranged in Orderville Gulch
10-12 rappels depending on what is down climbed. Longest rappel is 120'.
Dry. Possibly some mud puddles depending on recent weather.

If you only do one canyon on this trip, and want to stay dry, this is it! Birch Hollow is a fantastic introduction to technical canyoneering, with beautiful fluted rappels that are very beginner friendly. This trip starts with a 45 minute hike down Birch Hollow until the first obstacle is encountered. This drop, about 120', can be avoided on the right with a 40' rappel, or on the left with a steep down climb (but where is the fun in that!?). Several down climbs and one 45' rappel later brings you to the 100' fluted rappel which marks the beginning of a long sequence of fun rappels, ultimately ending in Orderville Canyon. A 15 minute hike up Orderville Canyon brings you to a steep trail exiting the canyon on the right. After about 30 minutes along this trail you arrive at a small parking area for 4WD vehicles. If you arrange for a pick-up from Zion Adventure Company or the Ponderosa Ranch Resort, this is where they will be. Otherwise, plan for another 90 minutes or so following a steep uphill 4WD road to another parking area where cars will be staged.

For more information see the links below.

Web Links:
http://www.canyoneeringusa.com/utah/zion/technical/birch-hollow
http://www.zionnational-park.com/zion-birch-hollow.htm

ORDERVILLE
Description:
10-12 Hours. We will plan to start as early as possible.
2 rappels. Longest about 20 feet.
First half of the canyon will be dry, second half will be walking through water with a couple short mandatory swims.
Wetsuit recommended. At least a 3/2 farmer john.

This is a nice introduction to easy canyoneering with water obstacles. This trip starts hiking down the 4WD road mentioned above in the exit of Birch Hollow. The first half of the canyon is hot and dry hiking. The second half involves hiking through potholes and running water, some short swims, and down climbing in the watercourse along small waterfalls. Several log jams to climb over are evidence of the power of recent flash floods. This canyon is very deep and narrow in sections. In some places the walls are close to 1000' high and the canyon is only about 10' wide. Lots of beautiful photo opportunities here, so waterproof your camera and bring it along!! As a bonus, Orderville pours into the one-and-only Virgin River Narrows! The last few miles of hiking is in the Virgin River, which tends to have large rocks hidden underwater. Hiking poles might be useful for this portion of the hike. The hike ends at the Temple of Sinawava shuttle stop in Zion NP.

For more information see the links below.

Web Links:
http://www.canyoneeringusa.com/utah/zion/technical/orderville-canyon
http://www.zionnational-park.com/zion-orderville-canyon.htm

KEYHOLE
Description:
2 Hours
2-3 Rappels, longest is about 50' (actually two raps done in a combo)
Wetsuit recommended!! At least a 3/2 farmer john.

This is a great canyon for a fun, half-day adventure to escape the heat! Lots of water, many swims with one potentially 100' long swim in a "slanted corridor." This is a car-to-car hike, so no shuttle arrangements required. The trip begins with a short but steep hike on slick rock to a saddle, then a quick sandy descent into Keyhole. The first section of Keyhole involves hiking and down climbing in a slot. The canyon then opens up for a moment to a sandy area and a nice place for a break. Then, the canyon narrows up again offering its first rappel. From this point on it is rappelling or down climbing into pools of water. The last section is a slanted corridor about 100' long and may require swimming the entire distance. It is narrow, so the walls are available to help keep you afloat and propel you forward. After this section, there is a short, sandy hike to the cars. The slanted corridor is accessible from the bottom and may be checked out beforehand if there is any concern about swimming or water temperature.

For more information see the links below.

Web Links:
http://www.canyoneeringusa.com/utah/zion/technical/keyhole-canyon
http://www.zionnational-park.com/zion-keyhole.htm

PINE CREEK
Description:
5-7 hours
5-6 rappels, some with awkward starts. Longest is a free hanging 100' rappel with some exposure clipping in to the anchor.
Wetsuit recommended!! At least a 3/2 farmer john.

This is a very scenic and wet canyon with lots of down climbs, fun rappels (including a 100' free hanger!), and several pools of water to swim. The hike starts at a parking area immediately after exiting the long Zion Tunnel heading east. Right away you find the first rappel/down-climb which marks the beginning of a short series of pools to wade/swim through. There is the possibility of a "wet disconnect" here, so the first person down should help set the rope length for the rest of the group. The next series of rappels drops into two pools, the last of which is the famous "cathedral rappel." This may also require setting the rope length to avoid a swimming disconnect. More hiking and down climbing through beautiful narrows and then the canyon opens up to some great views of Zion. The last rappel is 100' and free hanging. While on rappel, don't forget to look into the beautiful cave that you just rappelled off. The hike out is boulder hopping and scrambling down the watercourse, and then a final short hike up to a parking area along the road.

For more information see the links below.

Web Links:
http://www.canyoneeringusa.com/utah/zion/technical/pine-creek-canyon
http://www.zionnational-park.com/zion-pine-creek.htm

MYSTERY
Description:
8-10 Hours
11 rappels, longest is about 135'
Small pools of water, but no swimming expected. Last rappel drops into the Virgin River Narrows for about 1/4 mile long hike in the river with tourists.

This is a very beautiful canyon that requires winning a lottery drawing to obtain a permit reservation. The hike starts on the property of the Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort. The trail quickly enters Zion NP, and after about 40 minutes you arrive at "The Death Gully." This is a steep and loose hiking descent into Mystery Canyon. Take your time and be careful. Once in the canyon you encounter many rappels and down climbs, and even a section of nice narrows. The canyon opens up again to what is sometimes a small lake formed by a landslide several years ago. It will likely be dry for our trip. Hike up and over the landslide dam back into a beautiful green section of the canyon. You will eventually come to the rappel into Mystery Springs. The rappel starts after traversing a large slab overlooking the remaining section of the canyon. This is a very beautiful spot, so don't forget to stop and take in the view! The rappel will land you into Mystery Springs, which will probably be at least waist deep and the first water encountered during the hike (unless the lake is not dry). Continue down canyon following a small stream down climbing several obstacles. The last rappel is along a waterfall into the Virgin River. Tourists will likely be pointing and taking your picture. This rappel is very slippery, so be careful... you will likely be on camera after all! A short hike down the Virgin River brings you to a sidewalk trail, which ends at the Temple of Sinawava shuttle stop.

For more information see the links below.

Web Links:
http://www.canyoneeringusa.com/utah/zion/technical/mystery-canyon
http://www.zionnational-park.com/zion-mystery-canyon.htm

BEHUNIN
Description:
About 9-10 hours
10 Rappels mostly in the 100' range. Longest rappel is 165' and mostly free hanging
Generally dry, but could hold some water depending on recent weather conditions. Plan for some knee deep sections, and possibly a dip into one pothole near the end.

This canyon is more advanced than the others on this list. The hike begins along the Angel's Landing trail located at 'The Grotto' shuttle stop, and returns along the Emerald Pools trail ending at the 'Zion Lodge' shuttle stop. It has a very long and steep entry hike, followed by a complex series of long entry rappels to get to the canyon floor. Several sections of hiking are exposed to tall cliffs. Not recommended for anyone fearful of heights or not 100% confident in their rappelling skills. Prior canyoneering or climbing experience is required.

For more information see the links below.

Web Links:
http://www.canyoneeringusa.com/utah/zion/technical/behunin-canyon
http://www.zionnational-park.com/zion-behunin-canyon.htm

The beaver dams of Santa Barbara Canyon

Leader: 
Bart Olinger
Leader Email: 
bart.olinger@gmail.com
Date: 
Sun, 2014-06-22
Difficulty: 
Moderate
Technicality: 
Moderate

Santa Barbara Canyon, south of Penasco, NM, has a beautiful series of beaver dams about 7 miles up canyon from the Santa Barbara campground, in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The trail is well graded through a beautiful mountain valley, and rises about 1000 ft to get to the beaver dams.  
In order to get there, however, we must pass through the debris of a microburst that occurred on Sunday afternoon, June 8th, 2014. The devastation from that event, lasting only a minute or two, is incredible.  This will require us to climb over some downed trees.  Further up the canyon we must also cross the Middle Fork over a collapsed log bridge (I've done it - so, it is possible!).  
Let's leave from the Los Alamos High School Sullivan Field parking lot at 8:00, which should put us on the trail at 10:00.   Bring a knapsack, lunch, 2 quarts of water, sun hat, sunscreen, and a rain jacket.  
Questions?  send an email to Bart at bart.olinger@gmail.com

Santa Fe Baldy hike

Leader: 
Jean Dewart
Leader Email: 
jdewart@q.com
Date: 
Sat, 2014-06-21
Difficulty: 
Hard
Technicality: 
Moderate

Let's celebrate the summer solstice with a hike up Santa Fe Baldy!  Wonderful views across northern New Mexico from the summit at 12,600 ft.
It is a 14 mile round trip, with 3600 ft elevation gain.  It will be about an 8 hour hike.
We will meet in Los Alamos at 6:50 am to carpool and leave at 7:00 am.  We will be hiking at about 8:30 am.  SF/ABQ folks - we'll meet you in SF at the DeVargas Mall or at the SF Ski Basin (we will work out these details when you sign up).  (if there is a strong chance of thunderstorms that day, we will leave 30 minutes earlier)
Bring lunch, water (2+ quarts), sunscreen.
To sign up and arrange carpooling details, email Jean at jdewart@q.com

Camping/hiking Wild Rivers/Río Grande del Norte National Monument June 6-8

Leader: 
Bill Priedhorsky
Leader Email: 
bill@priedhorsky.net
Date: 
Fri, 2014-06-06
Difficulty: 
Easy
Technicality: 
Beginner


Junction of the Red River and Rio Grande, seen from La Junta
For some time, we've been talking about a Mountaineers trip to the Wild Rivers area in the New Mexico's 2nd newest national monument. Let's give it a try. The Wild Rivers area lies on a plateau between the Rio Grande and Red River. The view from the La Junta, the point between them, is the most spectacular single view that I've seen in New Mexico. There are several trails around the plateau, as well as trails down to the Red River and Rio Grande, with difficulties ranging from easy to strenuous. Details can be found on the BLM web site. Trip Advisor lists several highly positive reviews.

This will be a car camping trip. The campsites offer shade, water, picnic tables, and pit toilets; if the group is large enough, we can rent one of the group sites with a large gazebo shelter. Between this year's cool spring weather (so far), the 7500-foot elevation of the camping areas, and the shaded campsites, early June should be a fine time to go.

We would leave Los Alamos at 8 AM on Friday June 6, although an advance contingent might go up the evening before to set up camp. This gives us Friday afternoon, Saturday, and Sunday morning for hiking and adventuring. I might do some fly fishing and would be willing to help a beginner or two. If folks are agreeable, we can combine forces to prepare dinner, and share the stoves and hot water at breakfast. We will share expenses; the group shelters go for $40 per night.

Please let me know ASAP at bill@priedhorsky.net if you would like to join us.

Bill

Climbing School Graduate Overnight Trip to Penitente Canyon

Leader: 
Norbert Ensslin
Leader Email: 
norbert.ensslin@gmail.com
Date: 
Sat, 2014-05-24
Difficulty: 
Moderate
Technicality: 
Moderate

We will continue our series of fun trips for Climbing School graduates with an overnight trip to Penitente Canyon in the Alamosa Valley, Colorado.  This area is known for hard climbs, but also has a nice selection of easy and moderate one-pitch bolt routes. Penitente also provides some opportunities to do easy leads in the 5.6 to 5.8 range.
 
 
Penitente Canyon is located about 3 ½ hours drive north of Los Alamos near Saguache, Colorado, and has a nice campground.  We will drive up Saturday morning, climb Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning, and drive home Sunday afternoon.  (On Sunday afternoon, my car will be making a detour to Villa Grove to check out snow conditions in that area, so other climbers should bring additional cars so that they can return straight home.)  Bring overnight camping gear and camping food along with rain gear and your personal climbing gear. If you already have a rope, bring that also so that we can set up more climbs for everyone.  Let's depart from the Sullivan Field parking lot across from the High School at 8 AM Saturday.
 
Please e-mail back to Norbert at norbert.ensslin@gmail.com if you would like to come on this trip.  This way we will know how many graduates are coming and how many climbing leaders should also be invited to join us.
 
 
 

Climbing School Graduate Fun Day Trip to Tres Piedras

Leader: 
Norbert Ensslin
Leader Email: 
norbert.ensslin@gmail.com
Date: 
Sun, 2014-05-18
Difficulty: 
Moderate
Technicality: 
Moderate

We will continue our series of fun trips for Climbing School graduates from this year or other recent years with a one-day outing to Tres Piedras, located about 90 minutes north of Los Alamos.  Tres Piedras has low-angle slab and friction climbing on beautiful granite knobs and slopers, mostly bolt-protected with some gear placements.  We will set top rope climbs in the 5.7 to 5.10 range.  Leading opportunities are more limited, starting with 5.8 trad or 5.9 bolt routes.
 
Let's meet at the Sullivan Field parking lot across from the High School at 8:15 AM to sign the Club waiver, then depart by 8:30 AM.  Climbers from Santa Fe can join us at the Northern New Mexico Community College in Espanola at 9 AM.  Bring your climbing harnesses, helmets, shoes, lunch, and raingear.  If you already have a rope, bring that also so that we can set up more climbs for everyone.  Please e-mail Norbert at norbert.ensslin@gmail.com if you would like to come on this trip.  That way we will know how many graduates are coming and how many climbing leaders should be invited to help set up climbs.
 

La Luz Trail hike

Leader: 
Jean Dewart
Leader Email: 
jdewart@q.com
Date: 
Sun, 2014-05-11
Difficulty: 
Hard
Technicality: 
Moderate

Let's head down to the Sandia Mountains and hike the La Luz trail.  This is a hike up a magnificent granite escarpment to the top of the Sandias, with spectacular cliffs and spires and bird's eye views of Albuquerque below.  The hike begins in the desert and climbs to an alpine environment.
 
The hike is 8.5 miles and climbs 4200 ft.  The hike will take about 5 hours.  We'll hike up and take the tram down.  The cost of the tram is $12 per person.  
 
We'll meet in Los Alamos and leave at 7 am.  Bring lunch and 2-3 quarts of water.  Send an email to jdewart@q.com to sign up.  Carpool arrangements will be sent to participants.    
 

Climbing School Graduate Fun Day Trip to Las Conchas

Leader: 
Norbert Ensslin
Leader Email: 
norbert.ensslin@gmail.com
Date: 
Sat, 2014-05-10
Difficulty: 
Easy
Technicality: 
Moderate

This is the first of three rock climbing trips for Climbing School graduates from this year or other recent years.  These trips are intended to be fun, moderate outings to some of our favorite climbing areas so that graduates can continue to improve their climbing skills and get a reward for their hard work during the school!  The Las Conchas area provides short toprope climbs in the 5.6 to 5.10 range that are within easy walking distance of the car.  There are also a few opportunities to try leading a 5.6 or 5.7 climb.  And, a special highlight!, Ron Morgan will use one of the climbs to set up a demonstration of tying off and rescuing a fallen leader.

Let's meet at the Sullivan Field parking lot across from the High School at 8:45 AM to sign the Club trip waiver, then depart by 9 AM.  Bring your climbing harnesses, helmets, shoes, lunch, and raingear.  If you already have a rope, bring that also so that we can set up more climbs for everyone.  Please e-mail Norbert at norbert.ensslin@gmail.com if you would like to come on this trip.  That way we will know how many graduates are coming and how many climbing leaders should be invited to help set climbs.
 

Mountain Bike South of Taos

Leader: 
Annette Weyrauch
Leader Email: 
aweyrauch18@gmail.com
Date: 
Sun, 2014-05-04
Difficulty: 
Easy
Technicality: 
Beginner

 

Los Alamos folks - meet at LA High School Sullivan Field parking lot at 9 am on Sunday.

 

Join Annette for a easy bike ride south of Taos. We will start at the Taos Valley Overlook Trailhead and bicycle to the rim of the Rio Grande del Rancho River.  From there, we descend into the gorge, catch the avalanche barricade mountain bike trail and bicycle up the Rio Grande del Rancho Gorge to the Rio Grande Junction Bridge (this portion of the ride will be moderate in technicality). Here we will turn around and go back to the overlook trail and continue the 10 mile loop up on top back to the car.

 

Bring helmet, lunch, water, and spare tube, etc ..

 

Email aweyrauch18@gmail.com to sign up.  Los Alamos folks meet at 9:00 at LA High School Sullvian field parking lot.   Others - email Annette for carpooling organization.  

 

Hall’s Creek Narrows, Horse Pack, May 3-11, 2014

Leader: 
Bill Priedhorsky
Leader Email: 
bill@priedhorsky.net
Date: 
Sat, 2014-05-03
Difficulty: 
Moderate
Technicality: 
Moderate

Update Feb 27: This trip is full but no one is yet on the waiting list.
I am pleased to announce a 2014 canyon country adventure. I've been wanting for years to return to Hall's Creek Narrows, a very special place in Capitol Reef National Park at the base of the Waterpocket Fold. This is a fabulous destination that offers both a slot canyon explore and numerous possibilities in the nooks and crannies of the Fold. My last visit was 1995, so a return trip is way overdue. A nice photo trip report can be found here. I’ve arranged a horse drop camp for this trip, along the lines of our many llama trips – we hike, the horses carry in our gear, making possible a very comfortable camp. The National Park only allows horses to this destination, so we cannot use our regular llama packers. We can hike into camp over a 7-8 mile distance, but the trail is too steep for horses, so they have to take a route that is 20 miles one way, requiring the packer to overnight both on the way in and the way out. So it won't be a cheap trip. The packer Cody has offered the trip for $550 per person for a party of 12. While this is more expensive than our typical trip, it is a very special place – in the opinion of the packer, the best place in the national park – and the only alternative would be a fairly long backpack, which is no longer my favorite. As usual, I share the costs equally with the other participants, and imho, this trip will be worth it.
We would leave Los Alamos on the morning of Saturday, May 3rd, overnight in Bullfrog, Utah, meet the packer at the trailhead the next morning then drive ourselves to the hiking trailhead, then spend 6 nights in the canyon before hiking out on Saturday May 10th. We would overnight somewhere interesting and drive back to Los Alamos on the 11th. The 12 slots will be available first-come first-serve to those who pay an initial deposit of $150, followed by a second deposit of another $200 by February 3 (a deadline for paying the packer), and settling in full at the end of the trip. Please contact bill (at) priedhorsky (dot) net to register your interest and arrange a deposit.

Wheeler Peak Snowshoe Ascent

Leader: 
Kelly Gallagher and Don Krier
Leader Email: 
kegallag@cybermesa.com
Date: 
Sun, 2014-04-27
Difficulty: 
Hard
Technicality: 
Moderate

Still haven't made it to the highest point in New Mexico? Join us for a hike to Wheeler Peak!  The Williams Lake trail to the summit is approximately 7 miles round trip and is a steep switchback class 2 trail. Total elevation gain of 2,970 ft; highest elevation 13,161 ft. Moderate pace. We expect to start out on snowshoes, and will finish the peak hiking (with microspikes/yak-traks).

Limit of 12 hikers. One or two dogs ok, must have leash. If there's interest, microbrew & dinner stop before heading home. To sign up, please send an email to Kelly - we'll make carpooling arrangements as the date nears.

Swim-Run to Santa Fe

Leader: 
Zack Baker
Leader Email: 
zackbaker@gmail.com
Date: 
Sat, 2014-04-19
Difficulty: 
Hard
Technicality: 
Moderate

Join Zack and friends on the annual run to Santa Fe.   We'll start at the Blue Dot trail, running down the trail then up to Buckman road.  We'll zip lock anything you are fond of, put shoes in garbage bag, and swim across the Rio Grande, then continue up Buckman road to the railyard/REI for lunch.   It's about 20 miles.   The water will be very cold, the road will be very hot.   You'll mostly be responsible for your own ride back, but there may be some carpool space.    Email me at zackbaker@gmail.com. 
 
 

Ojito Wilderness - GPS hike

Leader: 
Jean Dewart
Leader Email: 
jdewart@q.com
Date: 
Sat, 2014-04-19
Difficulty: 
Moderate
Technicality: 
Moderate

Hi all - it was too windy, with blowing dust last weekend, so we rescheduled!
This 6 mile hike is #42 in the Sierra Club book on Day Hikes in the Santa Fe area.
The Ojito Wilderness was established in 2005 and is just west of San Ysidro.  The area has beatiful high desert scenery with views of Cabezon and the Red Mesa cliffs.  
This is an off-trail hike, estimated to take 6 hours to complete.  There is no trail - it is a cross country hike over rough terrain.  The guidebook provides 20 waypoints for the round trip hike.  I'll send out the waypoints prior to the hike, so that participants can load them into their GPS ahead of time.
Email Jean to sign up for the hike; I'll send out the meeting place to participants.  We will leave Los Alamos at 7 am, returning about 6 pm.  It is an equal distance drive for folks who live in Santa Fe - we'll help organize carpools from SF also.  Bring water, lunch, sun hat, and hiking gloves might be useful.  (If the weather forecast is for a strong spring wind storm, we might consider postponing, as this area would be exposed to the wind)

Wheeler Peak Snowshoe Ascent

Leader: 
Kelly Gallagher and Don Krier
Leader Email: 
kegallag@cybermesa.com
Date: 
Sun, 2014-04-06
Difficulty: 
Hard
Technicality: 
Moderate

Still haven't made it to the highest point in New Mexico? Join us for a
hike to Wheeler Peak!

The Williams Lake trail to the summit is approximately 7 miles round
trip and is a steep switchback class 2 trail. Total elevation gain of 2,970
ft; highest elevation 13,161 ft. Moderate pace. We expect to start out on
snowshoes, and will finish the peak hiking (with microspikes/yak-traks).
Limit of 12 hikers. One or two dogs ok, must have leash.

If there's interest, microbrew & dinner stop before heading home. To sign up,
please send an email to Kelly - we'll make carpooling arrangements as the date
nears.

 

Stone Lions hike (Bandelier Nat'l Monument)

Leader: 
Jean Dewart
Leader Email: 
jdewart@q.com
Date: 
Sun, 2014-03-30
Difficulty: 
Moderate
Technicality: 
Moderate

Let's hike to the Stone Lions in Bandelier Nat'l Monument. 
 
This hike is number 34 in Craig Martin’s 100 Hikes in New Mexico. This is a 12 mile one-way hike with elevation ranging from 5,670 to 7,580 feet. The hike begins at the Ponderosa camp ground near the intersection of state road 501 and 4. It goes through upper Frijoles Canyon, upper Alamo Canyon, then proceeds to the Shrine of the Stone Lions and the ruins of Yapashi Pueblo. The hike continues through middle Alamo Canyon, through Lummis Canyon, and down into Frijoles Canyon to the visitors center.
 
We'll leave Los Alamos at 7 am.  
 
Bring hiking poles and a daypack with 2 quarts of water, lunch, sunscreen, and appropriate clothing. Email Jean to be included on the hike, and we will work out carpooling details.  

Cancelled: Day hiking, based at The Wilderness Lodge, Gila Hot Springs, March 18-23, 2014

Leader: 
Bill Priedhorsky
Leader Email: 
bill@priedhorsky.net
Date: 
Tue, 2014-03-18
Difficulty: 
Moderate
Technicality: 
Moderate

Cancelled: not quite enough interest to make this go
I have reserved The Wilderness Lodge at Gila Hot Springs for 5 nights, Tuesday through Saturday, departing on Sunday morning. The lodge will sleep a maximum of 16 people, and is an excellent base to explore a place I have never been - the Gila Cliff dwellings and many trails in the heart of the Gila Wilderness. This area is well to the east of the giant fire of 2012, although there is some local fire damage from earlier fires. The lodge is 4 miles from Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, and has easy access to trails in the Gila Wilderness and Gila National Forest like EE Canyon Loop, 8 miles, Moderate; Little Bear Canyon, 8 miles round trip, Moderate; TJ Corral Stock Loop, 4.5 miles, Easy; and West Fork Loop, 11 miles, Moderate (details here).

There are hot springs on the premise so we can soak morning and evening if we like. Breakfast is included in the price; we can do our own cooking, or have them do sack lunches ($7) or dinner ($12 each for ten or more), and save our energy for adventuring. The food sounds good - "three-cheese lasagne, green chile enchiladas, pasta with homemade pesto, chipotle chicken and green chile burgers. Vegetarian meals are no problem. All dinners include an entree, salad, side dish and/or bread, beverage and dessert."

There are 7 bedrooms in the lodge, although just 3 bathrooms, and extra room to squeeze in others if we like. I expect that the lodging will cost in the range of $200 per person for all or part of the 5 nights. The lodge is about 350 miles and 6 1/2 hours driving from Los Alamos.

To reserve a slot, please contact Bill Priedhorsky and make a deposit of $100 per person.

Ski Wolf Creek March 15

Leader: 
Bill Priedhorsky
Leader Email: 
bill@priedhorsky.net
Date: 
Sat, 2014-03-15
Difficulty: 
Moderate
Technicality: 
Moderate

Who's up for a quick trip to Wolf Creek this weekend? Drive up Friday leaving Los Alamos late afternoon, stay at a motel and hit the hot springs, ski on Saturday and drive back home. What's not to like about a 110" base? Colorado has all of our snow, so let's go make us of it. If interested, contact Bill at bill@priedhorsky.net.

Ojito Wilderness - GPS hike

Leader: 
Jean Dewart
Leader Email: 
jdewart@q.com
Date: 
Sat, 2014-03-15
Difficulty: 
Moderate
Technicality: 
Moderate

This 6 mile hike is #42 in the Sierra Club book on Day Hikes in the Santa Fe area.
The Ojito Wilderness was established in 2005 and is just west of San Ysidro.  The area has beatiful high desert scenery with views of Cabezon and the Red Mesa cliffs.  
This is an off-trail hike, estimated to take 6 hours to complete.  There is no trail - it is a cross country hike over rough terrain.  The guidebook provides 20 waypoints for the round trip hike.  I'll send out the waypoints prior to the hike, so that participants can load them into their GPS ahead of time.
Email Jean to sign up for the hike; I'll send out the meeting place to participants.  We will leave Los Alamos at 7 am, returning about 6 pm.  It is an equal distance drive for folks who live in Santa Fe - we'll help organize carpools from SF also.  Bring water, lunch, sun hat, and hiking gloves might be useful.  (If the weather forecast is for a strong spring wind storm, we might consider postponing, as this area would be exposed to the wind)
 

Pajarito Mountain to La Cueva Ski Tour

Leader: 
Scott Baily and Norbert Ensslin
Leader Email: 
scottb1234@gmail.com; norbert.ensslin@gmail.com
Date: 
Sat, 2014-03-01
Difficulty: 
Hard
Technicality: 
Advanced

NOTE: Sign up for this trip is via email to the trip leaders, NOT via the Mountaineers website.  Advanced signup is required with a deadline of Thursday night, February 6th.
 
This ski tour will start from the west end of the Pajarito Mountain ski area parking lot at 6 AM sharp.  The tour will be led by Scott Baily, with Norbert providing logistical support.  All skiers must sign a Valles Preserve waiver and a Los Alamos Mountaineers Club trip waiver before departing, and we’ll also collect the $10 Valles Preserve access fee (in cash).  We also need to work out car pools or car shuttles so that we can leave some cars at Pajarito Mountain and some at La Cueva.
 
The ski tour route will go through the Valle de los Posos on Valles Caldera Road VC09, then utilize that road to cross the Valle Toledo and enter the Valle San Antonio, a very beautiful and remote valle.  Then skiers will take VC08 to VC10, exit the Preserve at San Antonio Creek, and ski down San Antonio Canyon to the highway near La Cueva. The ski tour is roughly 25 miles. If possible, there will be a stop at the San Antonio Hot Springs at mile 20 to rest for an hour and soak aching muscles.
Because of the length and the initial steep descent on a jeep road into the Valle de los Posos, this trip requires an advanced level of cross-country ski touring experience and is strenuous.
 
The route taken by this trip is the classic route taken many years ago by Mountaineers trips from Pajarito Mt. to La Cueva when the ranch owners gave permission to do the trip.  This was the Mountaineers' most popular winter excursion for those fit enough to go.  We are grateful to the Valles Preserve for the opportunity to repeat this adventuresome trip.  Late winter can provide very good skiing conditions on a hard surface with just a thin layer of soft snow.  But if there is not enough snow on February 8th, or if there is a snowstorm, or too much snow for the party to break trail for that distance, we will postpone to February 22 or later.
 
This trip is open to members of the Los Alamos Mountaineers and guests who are in good enough shape to ski 25 miles.  Doing a long classic ski tour in such beautiful country is a great adventure, and provides a sense of accomplishment and some wonderful memories.  But skiers will need to maintain an average speed of 2 to 2.5 mph to reach the highway by dark.  The last few miles of this trip are always an exercise in will power!   If you are unsure of your conditioning, a good rule of thumb is to get in at least 50 miles worth of shorter trips beforehand to build up the leg muscles.  And it's especially helpful to include a couple of 12 to 15 mile-long trips.  These really help build endurance and make the long trip much more enjoyable.

La Cueva to San Antonio Hot Springs Ski Tour

Leader: 
Norbert Ensslin and Scott Baily
Leader Email: 
norbert.ensslin@gmail.com; scottb1234@gmail.com
Date: 
Sat, 2014-03-01
Difficulty: 
Easy
Technicality: 
Moderate

NOTE: Sign up for this trip is via email to the trip leaders, NOT via the Mountaineers website.  Advanced signup is required by Thursday night, February 6th 
 
We will start from the highway near La Cueva and go to the San Antonio Hot Springs.  The tour will be led by Norbert Ensslin and is intended to meet up at the hot springs with the ski party coming from Pajarito Mountain, led by Scott Baily. Our goal is to have a fun, relaxed day of skiing, and hopefully provide some support (in the way of drinks, goodies, broken track, car switches, etc.) for tired skiers coming all the way from Pajarito.
 
This ski tour is roughly 10 miles round trip, but skiers can also go part way and turn back whenever they want, without having to go all the way to the hot springs.  So this trip is appropriate for a beginner or intermediate level of cross-country ski touring experience and is easy to moderate. The trip is open to members of the Los Alamos Mountaineers, the Southwest Nordic Ski Club, and their guests.  All skiers must sign a Los Alamos Mountaineers Club trip waiver before departing.  We will try to bring enough cars so that we can take the skiers that are coming from Pajarito Mountain back to Los Alamos with us. 
 
Let's depart from the Sullivan Field parking lot at 10 AM on Saturday, Feb. 8th.  We will have a late lunch at the San Antonio Hot Springs, then either wait for Scott's party to arrive or ski slowly back to the cars and wait for them there.  For those going all the way to the hot springs, you may wish to bring a small towel and perhaps a small pad to sit on while changing clothes.  If there is not enough snow on February 8th, or if there is a snowstorm, or too much snow for Scott Baily's party to do the trip from Pajarito Mountain, we will postpone to February 22 or later.
 

Pajarito Mountain to Valle Grande Ski Tour

Leader: 
Norbert Ensslin
Leader Email: 
norbert.ensslin@gmail.com
Date: 
Sun, 2014-02-23
Difficulty: 
Moderate
Technicality: 
Advanced

NOTE: Sign up for this trip is via email (norbert.ensslin@gmail.com) or phone (662-1408)  NOT via the Mountaineers website.
 
This ski tour is open to members of the Mountaineers, the Southwest Nordic Ski Club, the New Mexico Cross Country Ski Club, and guests of LAMC members.  The tour will start from the west end of the Pajarito Mountain ski area parking lot, and skiers can depart anytime between 8 AM and 9 AM.  (If the ski area is open, you may be able to take a bus to the parking lot.)  Before departing, all skiers must sign a Valles Preserve waiver and a Los Alamos Mountaineers Club trip waiver. We’ll also collect the $10 Valles Preserve access fee (in cash) from everyone, so please bring change.
 
This tour will descend into the Valle de los Posos on Valles Caldera Road VC09, like we have done in past years.  But then we will take VC05 through Obsidian Valley, then VC02 to History Grove, and then following existing winter ski tracks to the Valle Grande Visitor Center. In past years, this popular trip has gone around the south side of Cerro Medio, making for an 11-mile-long trip.  This year, for the first time, we will go around the north side of Cerro Medio, a length of 13 miles.  Most of the route will be on North-facing slopes, which should have good snow cover.  We will get to see some new areas like Obsidian Valley, the Valle Jaramillo, and the Buffalo Girls Movie Set.  Also there is usually a packed snowmobile track for the last 3 miles from Buffalo Girls to the Visitor Center.  So this route should be different, fun, and interesting, with better snow conditions.
 
We appreciate that the Valles Caldera staff are allowing us to do this trip, and we are asking all participants to take responsibility for assuring their own abilities to complete the trip. This ski tour is roughly 13 miles, with an estimated 6 to 7 hours of skiing time.  It requires at least an intermediate level of cross-country ski touring experience, and includes a DIFFICULT or MODERATE (depending on snow cover) one-mile-long descent on a narrow jeep road. Skiers should be able to maintain an average speed of 2 miles per hour in order to arrive at the Valle Grande staging area with some margin of safety before closing time.  Specifically, skiers should turn back at the gate where we descend into the Valle de los Posos

  • if they cannot cover those first two miles in about an hour, or
  • if they have too much trouble with the descent to the gate, or
  • if they arrive at the gate after 10 AM.

 
Within the above constraints, skiers can travel at their own pace, staying between the lead group that breaks trail and the sweep group that brings up the rear.  We do ask that no one skis alone, and that each group of skiers carries a cell phone with them.  (Reception in the Valle Grande is pretty good, but with some missing coverage on the north side of Cerro Medio.)
 
Each group of skiers should work out their own arrangements for getting picked up at the Visitor Center at the end of the tour.  But let me know if I can help you by sharing information about possible drivers or riders.  PLEASE NOTE that if you leave a car in the Valle on Saturday, you must sign in with the staff and leave a note in your car saying that it will be left there overnight.
 
Advanced signup for this trip is required with a deadline of Friday night, January 24th.  This way we will know who to expect at the trailhead and what transportation arrangements you've made.  Please e-mail Norbert at norbert.ensslin@gmail.com or phone at 662-1408 to sign up so that we can communicate back and forth about weather conditions, car-pooling options, skiing experience, etc.

Cumbres Pass X-C/Snowshoe

Leader: 
Jean Dewart
Leader Email: 
jdewart@q.com
Date: 
Sun, 2014-02-23
Difficulty: 
Moderate
Technicality: 
Moderate

Let's go find some snow at Cumbres Pass on Sunday February 23rd.  X-C skiers and snowshoers invited. 
We'll pick a location for skiing/snowshoeing, depending upon the interest of the participants - send me an email with your ideas!
We'll leave Los Alamos at 7 am, returning by 6 pm.  Sign up by sending me an email at jdewart@q.com.  Meeting location for carpooling will be emailed to participants.
 
 
 

Tenth Mountain Hut Ski and Snowshoe Trip Feb. 14-18 - Skinner Hut

Leader: 
Kathleen Gruetzmacher
Leader Email: 
gkathleen1048@msn.com
Date: 
Fri, 2014-02-14
Difficulty: 
Hard
Technicality: 
Moderate


We are planning a ski/snowshoe trip to the Tenth Mountain Hut Division – Skinner Hut for February 14-18, 2014.  Sixteen people can be accommodated in the hut.

Skinner Hut is owned by the 10th Mountain organization. Skinner Hut breaks from common design by having only one story. The Continental Divide is close by, as are plenty of other options for high routes and ski descents. A superb view from the hut's east windows includes the 14,036-foot summit of Mount Sherman in the Mosquito Mountains east of Leadville. Skinner Hut is named in honor of William Wood Skinner, 10th Mountain Division veteran. Funding was donated by Skinner's sister Elizabeth Guenzel, with construction completed in 1990.
 
Because of steep terrain and possible avalanche danger, no route to the Skinner Hut is moderate. Indeed, more than one party has realized that the hut's name comes close to that of an essential piece of equipment for every route to the hut: climbing skins. The Glacier Creek route is the most popular ascent to the Skinner Hut, but involves an extremely steep climb and descent. Busk Creek has easier skiing, but involves more route-finding and distance. Skiing from the Skinner Hut to Betty Bear Hut via Hagerman Pass is relatively benign, but does involve plenty of travel above treeline where wind and whiteouts can foil the best mountaineers.  Details can be found here. The deposit/preliminary cost estimate is $120 for hut accommodations.  Send deposit to me at address above.  Make your own hotel reservations for the night of the 14th in Leadville.   I recommend the Columbine Inn.
 
We do group breakfasts and dinners on this trip.  If you have special dietary requirements, please let me know when you sign up.  The rest of us will accommodate as practical, but, depending on the meal planning and your restrictions, you may have to prepare your own food for some of the meals.

Itinerary as follows:
Friday, February 14, dinner and hotel room in Leadville, CO, approx. a 5 hour drive from Los Alamos, Saturday-Monday nights, February 15-17, Skinner Hut, Tuesday, February 18, ski or snowshoe out and drive home.
Please contact the trip leader by e-mail, rather than signing up on this website.

Cancelled: Leadville/Copper/Cooper/Breckenridge Snowshoe/Ski Feb. 13-17

Leader: 
Bill Priedhorsky
Leader Email: 
bill@priedhorsky.net
Date: 
Thu, 2014-02-13
Difficulty: 
Moderate
Technicality: 
Moderate

CANCELLED FOR LACK OF TIMELY COMMITMENTS - better luck next year
President's Day Weekend - the long weekend in February - is one of the best times of the year for winter adventures. As we have done in past years, we will rent a house in Leadville and use that town - the highest city in the U.S. - as a base for snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and downhill skiing. The downhill can be done at funky old Ski Cooper (3 free days with a Pajarito pass), or world class Copper Mountain, just 25 miles and 40 minutes away. I'd like to venture to Breckenridge one day, also. If we can assemble a good-sized party, we are likely to have options each day for downhill, snowshoeing, and even perhaps mountaineering - our crew climbed a 14er during last year's trip. We considered staying in Breck, but Leadville is so much cheaper that I think it is worth the drive. We will travel the afternoon/evening of Thursday February 13, spend 4 nights in Leadville, giving us 3 days for adventures, then return to Los Alamos on Monday the 17th, which is the President's Day holiday. With a house as a base, we can prepare dinners together and socialize in the evenings. The house is a former B&B (details at http://vrbo.com/478825), and we can take as many rooms as we like, up to 9. Each room has a private bath. I'm hoping for a price of $200 per person for the whole weekend, depending on how big a party we can assemble. Please write Bill at bill@priedhorsky.net to sign up. A $100 deposit will hold your spot.

El Cajete Ski Tour

Leader: 
Norbert Ensslin
Leader Email: 
norbert.ensslin@gmail.com
Date: 
Sat, 2014-02-01
Difficulty: 
Moderate
Technicality: 
Moderate

This ski tour is being postponed until Saturday, February 1st while we wait for more snow in the Jemez.  If there is no snow by that date, let's consider doing the trip as a hike instead.  This will give us a chance to see this new area without delaying other ski trips that are scheduled later in February.
 
This trip will start from the Valle Grande Visitor Center at 9:30 AM, and is open to members of the Mountaineers, the Southwest Nordic Ski Club, the New Mexico Cross Country Ski Club, and guests of LAMC members. Before departing, all skiers must pay the $10 access fee and sign the Valles Preserve waiver in the Visitor Center, and also sign a Los Alamos Mountaineers Club trip waiver.  A few of us should try to arrive early so we can take one or more cars to the end of the route for a car switch.
 
The route utilizes existing winter ski tracks up to Valles Caldera Road VC02.  Then we will ski west on VC02 through El Cajete to the end of VC02 at State Highway 4 just east of La Cueva.  The trip is a new one for the Mountaineers, and will give us an opportunity to see the El Cajete volcanic basin, the south side of Redondo Peak up close, and Redondo Meadows.  We appreciate that the Valles Caldera staff are allowing us to do this new trip, and we are asking all participants to take responsibility for assuring their own abilities to complete the trip. Part of the route goes through areas that were burned in last summer's forest fire.  The VC02 road is still in good shape for ski touring, but the road does pass through some areas with burned trees, which skiers enter at their own risk. This trip is roughly 10 miles, with an estimated 5 hours of skiing time.  It requires an intermediate level of cross-country ski touring experience, and MODERATE fitness. 
 
Advanced signup for this trip is required so we will know who to expect at the trailhead and what transportation arrangements we need to make.  Please e-mail Norbert at norbert.ensslin@gmail.com or phone at 662-1408 to sign up so that we can communicate back and forth about weather conditions, car-pooling options, skiing experience, etc.
 
 
 

Brazos Overlook Ski Tour

Leader: 
Norbert Ensslin
Leader Email: 
norbert.ensslin@gmail.com
Date: 
Sun, 2014-01-26
Difficulty: 
Moderate
Technicality: 
Moderate

This ski tour to the Brazos Overlook is a replacement for the El Cajete ski tour in the the Valle Grande, which has been postponed to Saturday, Feb. 1st while we wait for more snow in the Jemez.
 
The Brazos tour starts at the second picnic area along the highway between Tierra Amarilla and Tres Piedras and goes out to a scenic overlook of the Brazos Cliffs. This is a very beautiful, popular area that the Mountaineers have visited in past years.  There is usually good snow because of the 10,000 foot elevation and the more northerly location.  However, this year we may encounter some windslab and a short rocky area to navigate through. 
 
It is about a 2-hour drive from Los Alamos followed by a moderate 7-mile-roundtrip ski tour.  The tour is suitable for an intermediate level of cross-country ski touring experience, and is rated easy to moderate. Skiers who want to just go in a short way and then turn back are also welcome.
 
Let's meet at the Los Alamos National Bank parking lot at 7:30 AM Sunday and depart by 7:45 AM.  We can put together some carpools as needed.  Also we can meet up with any skiers from Santa Fe at the Northern New Mexico Community College parking lot in Espanola at about 8:15 AM.  You can sign up for this tour by e-mailing Norbert at norbert.ensslin@gmail.com, or just showing up at the LANB parking lot before we depart.
 

El Cajete Ski Tour - postponed to Feb 1

Leader: 
Norbert Ensslin
Leader Email: 
norbert.ensslin@gmail.com
Date: 
Sun, 2014-01-26
Difficulty: 
Moderate
Technicality: 
Moderate

Postponed until Feb 1, due to lack of snow.   
 
This ski tour is open to members of the Mountaineers, the Southwest Nordic Ski Club, the New Mexico Cross Country Ski Club, and guests of LAMC members.   The ski tour will start from the Valles Caldera Visitor Center at 9:30 AM on Sunday, January 12th, provided that there is enough snow for the Valle to be open for skiing.  Before departing, all skiers must sign pay the $10 access fee and sign the Valles Preserve waiver in the Visitor Center, and also sign a Los Alamos Mountaineers Club trip waiver.  Some of us should plan to arrive early so we can take one or more cars to the end of the route for a car switch.
 
This trip will start at the Visitor Center and utilize existing winter ski tracks up to Valles Caldera Road VC02.  Then we will ski west on VC02 through El Cajete to the end of VC02 at State Highway 4 just east of La Cueva.  The trip is a new one for the Mountaineers, and will give us an opportunity to see the El Cajete volcanic basin, the south side of Redondo Peak up close, and Redondo Meadows. 
 
We appreciate that the Valles Caldera staff are allowing us to do this new trip, and we are asking all participants to take responsibility for assuring their own abilities to complete the trip. Part of the route goes through areas that were burned in last summer's forest fire.  The VC02 road is still in good shape for ski touring, but the road does pass through some areas with burned trees, which skiers enter at their own risk. This trip is roughly 10 miles, with an estimated 4 to 5 hours of skiing time.  It requires an intermediate level of cross-country ski touring experience, and MODERATE fitness.
 
Advanced signup for this trip is required with a deadline of Saturday, January 10th.  This way we will know who to expect at the trailhead and what transportation arrangements we need to make.  Please e-mail Norbert at norbert.ensslin@gmail.com or phone at 662-1408 to sign up so that we can communicate back and forth about weather conditions, car-pooling options, skiing experience, etc.
 
 

Chama Chile Ski Classic - Instruction & Races

Leader: 
Rotary Club of Chama
Leader Email: 
info@chamaski.com
Date: 
Sat, 2014-01-18
Difficulty: 
Easy
Technicality: 
Beginner

The 41st Chama Chile Ski Classic will be held on Martin Luther King weekend, Jan 18-19, 2014.  There will be clinics for X-C skiing and telemark skiing as well as races.
See the website http://www.chamaski.com/index.htm  for information on signing up.

Salida/Monarch winter sports Jan. 16-20

Leader: 
Bill Priedhorsky
Leader Email: 
bill@priedhorsky.net
Date: 
Thu, 2014-01-16
Difficulty: 
Moderate
Technicality: 
Moderate

Dear Mountaineers,
Kathleen G. and I are discussing an outing over the long weekend in mid-January. We would rent a house in Salida, or on the road up to Monarch, and spend the days doing winter sports - downhill skiing/snowboarding at Monarch Ski Area (3 free days with a Pajarito pass), or snowshoeing in the high country. We would drive to Salida Thursday afternoon or evening and stay for 4 nights, traveling back home on Monday the 20th, which is a Lab holiday. Please write Bill at bill@priedhorsky.net if you would like to join in.

Enchanted Forest X-C Ski Day

Leader: 
Jean Dewart
Leader Email: 
jdewart@q.com
Date: 
Sun, 2014-01-12
Difficulty: 
Easy
Technicality: 
Beginner

Have you wanted to try cross country (X-C) skiing?  Let's go up to the Enchanted Forest X-C Ski Area, just west of Red River, NM, for an introduction to X-C.  Enchanted Forest has rental gear and lessons, as well as miles of groomed trails.  http://enchantedforestxc.com/
 
Enchanted Forest offers a package for rentals, lessons, and trail pass for $45.  
 
The trip is also suitable for folks who want to get out and ski - a trail pass is $18.
 
To sign up, email Jean at jdewart@q.com.  We'll meet at 6:45 am and leave Los Alamos at 7 am.  (meeting place will be emailed to participants).  We'll be back to Los Alamos between 6-7 pm .   
 
 

Grand Teton Adventure

Leader: 
Michael Altherr
Leader Email: 
mraltherr1@gmail.com
Date: 
Mon, 2014-01-06
Difficulty: 
Moderate
Technicality: 
Advanced

Garnet Canyon
I am looking for interest in a Grand Teton Climbing Adventure. For a number of reasons I am limiting the number of participants on this trip to 12. For some activities we may need to limit our numbers to groups of six or fewer. I am interested in targeting one of several weeks: July 20-26, July 27-Aug. 2, or Aug. 3-9. Setting up group campground reservations is an interesting logistical undertaking. If six or fewer are interested, we will not qualify as a group and can apply as a "non-group" for available campsites within the park.
NP campground reservatons open on January 8, 2014. If you are interested I would like put toether coordinated plan to attempt to get campsites within the park across those dates. All lottery and campground registration fees will be divided by the identified participants.
Please email me at mraltherr1@gmail.com by 5:00 PM Monday January 6, 2014. Please only respond if you are really interested and willing to submit requests to the system on Wednesday morning (starting at 12:00 AM) January 8, 2014. I will set up a coordinated group of submissions for the previously indicated dates and distribute them to the group by Tuesday.
The Grand Tetons NP is a jewel in the park system. There are numerous activities that can be enjoyed within its environs. One of my principal objectives is to climb the Grand. However, not all participants need be interested in climbing. Please indicate your interests in climbing, backpacking or other activities, and I will do my best to accommodate all interests in the reservation paradigm. Teams with compatible interests will be formed after we determine if we are able to acquire appropriate reservations.
 

Cumbres Pass Weekend

Leader: 
Jean Dewart
Leader Email: 
jdewart@q.com
Date: 
Sat, 2014-01-04
Difficulty: 
Hard
Technicality: 
Moderate

This is a 2 day (Saturday & Sunday) X-C ski trip to Cumbres Pass.  The Saturday ski is designed to set up a longer tour on Sunday.  We'll stay at a motel in Chama on Saturday night.  Participants are welcome for one or both days.  This trip is weather dependant - if there were to be a blizzard on Sunday, we might decide to postpone until a later date.  
The Saturday tour will start from the Neff Mountain yurt trailhead parking lot, We will ski down to the Cumbres & Toltec railroad tracks and ski to Osier and back, snow permitting.  (the tracks are on a south facing slope, so it is not certain if there will be sufficient snow coverage.  In addition, there is a railroad tressel to cross)  The round trip distance is approximately 12 miles.  
The Sunday tour is approximatley 17 miles.  We will drop cars at the Neff Mountain yurt trailhead parking lot, and then drive to La Manga Pass (the Spruce Hole Yurt trailhead) to begin skiing.  We will ski up past the Spruce Hole Yurt, up onto Pinorealosa Peak and south to Osier.  Then we will return to the Neff Mountain yurt trailhead parking lot via the Cumbres & Toltec railroad tracks - on our tracks that we make on Saturday.  (if the Saturday ski is not successful, we will probably do an out/back tour from La Manga Pass).
We will meet at 7:15 and leave Los Alamos by 7:30 am on Saturday.  Participants are welcome for one or both tours.  The Sunday tour will leave Chama at ~6:00 am.  To sign up, email Jean at jdewart@q.com

X-C Ski at Cumbres Pass

Leader: 
Jean Dewart
Leader Email: 
jdewart@q.com
Date: 
Sun, 2013-12-22
Difficulty: 
Moderate
Technicality: 
Moderate

Let's get some fresh air poisoning before the holidays!
Let's ski the Dixie Creek out/back trip or the Spruce Hole Yurt/Pinarealosa Peak Loop.  Both are about 8 miles.
Meet in Los Alamos at 6:45 am, leave at 7 am.  Ski from 10:30 am thru 3:30 pm.  Back to LA by 6 pm.
Email jdewart@q.com to sign up.  Meeting location will be sent to participants.

Neff Mountain Ski Tour

Leader: 
Michael Altherr
Leader Email: 
mraltherr1@gmail.com
Date: 
Sun, 2013-12-15
Difficulty: 
Moderate
Technicality: 
Moderate

It looks like the San Juans North of Chama have been getting the lion's share of these recent storms. Let's go play! We'll plan to leave the Bank parking lot at 7:30. Drive to the Chama Visitor's Center Bldg. and put on our boots. We'll ski the track (or make one) to the Neff Mtn. yurt, have lunch, look to catch some turns nearby, and return the way we came. We should be back in Los Alamos around 6:00. It's been a couple of years since I've done this trip, but my recollection is that the trail to the yurt is a modest climb and, by itself, is accommodating for advanced beginners on appropriate equipment (not skinny track skis). I also recall some slopes in the area that can be entertaining for advanced intermediate skiiers. If you have a an avalanche kit (transceiver, probe and shovel) bring it with.
Send me an email to sign up - mraltherr1@gmail.com  

Wolf Creek Ski - Dec. 13-15

Leader: 
Bill Priedhorsky
Leader Email: 
bill@priedhorsky.net
Date: 
Fri, 2013-12-13
Difficulty: 
Moderate
Technicality: 
Moderate

Hi, I'm looking for folks interested in a weekend run up to Pagosa with a Saturday outing to ski Wolf Creek (80" on the ground there already). We would leave Friday noon-ish, rent a little house in Pagosa to stay Friday and Saturday nights, and go up to the pass to downhill ski on Saturday. And we certainly wouldn't miss the hot springs apres ski. I'm flexible as regards Sunday - ski, do a little snowshoe outing, or head for home. Let me know soon if you are interested. Sincerely, Bill (bill@priedhorsky.net).

Enchanted Forest X-C Ski Day

Leader: 
Jean Dewart
Leader Email: 
jdewart@q.com
Date: 
Sat, 2013-12-07
Difficulty: 
Easy
Technicality: 
Beginner

Have you wanted to try cross country (X-C) skiing?  Let's go up to the Enchanted Forest X-C Ski Area, just west of Red River, NM, for an introduction to X-C.  Enchanted Forest has rental gear and lessons, as well as miles of groomed trails.  http://enchantedforestxc.com/
 
Enchanted Forest offers a package for rentals, lessons, and trail pass for $45.  
 
The trip is also suitable for folks who want to get out and ski - a trail pass is $18.
 
To sign up, email Jean at jdewart@q.com.  We'll meet at 6:45 am and leave Los Alamos at 7 am.  (meeting place will be emailed to participants).  We'll be back to Los Alamos between 6-7 pm .   
 
If there is not sufficient snow, we will postpone until a later date.  

Pilar to Rio Grande Gorge bridge mountain bike ride

Leader: 
Jean dewart
Leader Email: 
jdewart@q.com
Date: 
Sun, 2013-11-03
Difficulty: 
Moderate
Technicality: 
Beginner

Let's do the out/back mountain bike ride, along the Rio Grande gorge.   Start above the Taos Junction bridge, near Pilar, NM.  Bike ride is on a dirt road, along the rim of the gorge.  Some sand on the road.  Very nice views of the gorge and of the Sangres.  It is 8-9 miles to the Rio Grande Gorge bridge - return to cars for a total ride length of 16-18 miles.
Each rider will need a spare tube, patch kit, pump, water, and lunch.  (a fair number of goat heads on this ride).
Leave Los Alamos at 9 am (note - this is the first day of daylight savings time), return about 4 pm.  Email Jean - jdewart@q.com to sign up.  We'll arrange carpooling.  If there is a big snowstorm - we'll go snowshoeing instead!

Wilderness Navigation

Leader: 
Ross Lemons
Leader Email: 
lemonsra@gmail.com
Date: 
Sat, 2013-10-26
Difficulty: 
Easy
Technicality: 
Beginner

Los Alamos Mountaineers is offering a 1-day short-course on Wilderness Navigation to Club Members on Saturday, October 26, 2013.  The course will emphasize navigation with a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver, but will also cover the use of USGS topographic maps and compass navigation.  The short-course will include classroom instruction by Ross Lemons and practical exercises in navigating with a GPS and with a map and compass.
 
If you would like to participate please contact Ross Lemons (email – lemonsra@gmail.com phone – 672-1586) by Saturday October 19, 2013.  The class is limited to 12 participants.  The class will be held at 143 Piedra Loop in White Rock with the practical exercises in the county land between La Senda and White Rock.  Participants should plan to bring a GPS and compass or team-up with someone to share these items.  Maps will be supplied.  Sturdy walking shoes/boots are recommended.  Please bring your own lunch.  Ross will provide ice tea, lemonade, coffee, and water to drink.
 
The agenda for the class is shown below.
 
8:30           Maps and How to Use Them
9:30           GPS and How to Use It
10:30         GPS Practical – starting at 143 Piedra Loop,
 
Each participant marks their starting waypoint and then uses GPS to find two randomly selected targets
·         Use GPS map presentation to find first target (NAD27 – UTM format)
·         Use GoTo-compass to find second target (WGS84 – dd mm.mmm format)
·         Use “bread crumb” track in map presentation to return to the first target
·         Use compass-Trackback or (if Trackback is not available on the GPS unit)    
          GoTo-compass to return to the start.
 
12:00         Lunch
1:30           Using a Compass with a USGS Topo Map
2:30           Map/Compass Practical – starting at 143 Piedra Loop
 
Group is divided into teams of three.  Each member of the team leads a leg of a hike to a designated target, with the assistance of the other team members.
·         Use compass to orient map
·         Determine bearing and distance to target
·         Select initial bearing marker
·         Go to target using intermediate bearing markers
 
4:00           End
 
 

Cortez Mountain Biking

Leader: 
Annette Weyrauch
Leader Email: 
aweyrauch18@gmail.com
Date: 
Fri, 2013-10-25
Difficulty: 
Moderate
Technicality: 
Moderate

The weather is nice so why not go to Cortez, CO to bicycle/hike.

I am thinking to leave Friday(10/25/13 ) after work, drive to Cortez stay there overnight at a hotel then ride Phil's World on Saturday.

On Sunday either go to Farmington or Durango and ride there some more, we can decide as a group what people are interested in. The rides are for advanced beginners or intermediate ride with easier sections and some technical parts.

For the hikers there are enough hikes to choose from high desert to forested trails and Mesa Verde.

We will stay probably at the Econolodge in Cortez ($61). 

Send me an e-mail (aweyrauch18@gmail.com) if you want to join us with tel # for faster communication

Llama trip to Fish Creek October 9-14

Leader: 
Bill Priedhorsky
Leader Email: 
bill@priedhorsky.net
Date: 
Wed, 2013-10-09
Difficulty: 
Moderate
Technicality: 
Moderate

This trip is a go and there are 1-2 slots remaining. This trip is one day shorter than originally advertised, leaving Los Alamos on October 9th rather than the 8th.
Fish Creek is an archeology-rich canyon, below Cedar Mesa, with several tributaries. It has an exciting collection of slickrock scrambles and explores, and is marked by layered slickrock and hoodoo terrain. The highly ambitious could spend a day doing the 18-mile Fish Creek/Owl Creek loop (some details here); if so, I advise a very early start and headlamps for the return. For the less intrepid, there are hikes up Fish, up Owl, up McCloyd canyon, and scrambling up the canyon walls to the mesa tops. For example, just 2 miles up Owl Canyon one finds an impressive geologic formation known as Nevills Arch. In the words of author David Day, "The reddish colored Cedar Mesa Sandstone has been carved into an eye-catching display of pinnacles and spires..." Our camp will be about a mile below the Fish Creek/Owl Creek confluence, and 6 miles from the trailhead. Options for day hikes will include both easy/non-technical and moderate/strenuous with low-angle scrambling.

A deposit of $150 will reserve your spot on the trip. I expect that the total cost for the llama packer, if we have an 8-person trip, will run about $250 per person.

The itinerary is arranged to require just two days of vacation for someone on an "B" schedule at the lab, or someone who can trade. It will run as follows:

Wednesday, October 9: Leave Los Alamos in the afternoon, drive through to Bluff, brown-bagging dinner in the cars on the way. Stay in town in Bluff (make your own reservation). The drive takes about 5 1/2 hours if we drive expeditiously.

Thursday, October 10: Leave Bluff in the morning, driving about an hour to the trailhead where we will load llamas and hike 6 miles into camp.

Friday-Sunday, October 11-13: Day hikes from base camp, good company in the evenings.

Monday, October 14: Hike out and drive back to Los Alamos, arriving in the evening.

Expenses will include lodging at Bluff, which will be paid individually; driving expenses, arranged by car; and the llama packer, which I will arrange.

All participants should be paid-up members of the Los Alamos Mountaineers with waivers on file. If you are not yet a member, it is easy to do so - see the Mountaineers web page here.

To hold a spot, please contact Bill Priedhorsky and make a $150 deposit.

Trampas lakes and Truchas ridge

Leader: 
Momo Vuyisich
Leader Email: 
vuyisich@hotmail.com
Date: 
Sat, 2013-10-05
Difficulty: 
Moderate
Technicality: 
Moderate

Let's enjoy fall colors and beautiful New Mexico mountain scenery on this two day backpacking trip near our home. This weekend is supposed to provide peak fall colors in the mountains.
The plan:
- Leave Los Alamos at 7AM on Saturday, October 5, and arrive at the trailhead around 8:30.
- Hike 6 miles (2,500 vertical feet) to Trampas lakes and set up camp around lunch time.
- (optional) In the afternoon/evening, we will hike to the north ridge of Truchas peaks and enjoy spectacular views. This adds a couple of miles and 1,000 feet. We plan to watch the sunset from the ridge, which should be very photogenic. The views include the rugged North Truchas peak.
- If the weather does not let us do the ridge hike on Saturday, we will do it on Sunday morning. Otherwise, we will pack the camp and go home.
- Please do not bring dogs on this trip.
 
Please do not sign up for the trip on this website. E-mail the trip leader directly. Thanks.

Rappel Pajarito Gorge

Leader: 
Dan Creveling
Leader Email: 
dancrev@gmail.com
Date: 
Sun, 2013-09-29
Difficulty: 
Moderate
Technicality: 
Moderate

With all of the rain lately, our local canyoneering spots have likely changed a bit. I'd like to go down Pajarito Gorge in White Rock to check out what is new (like the large tree branch in the first pothole). We will start at 9am and I expect we will be back at the parking area around noon-1pm (depends on the number of people). If there is time and interest, we can head over to Potrillo Canyon when we are finished in Pajarito. Potrillo may have some new anchor building challenges at the second and third rappels.
 
Prerequisite: Recent rappelling experience.
 
When: Sunday, September 29th, 9am.
 
Where: Meet at the trailhead parking area. The cul-de-sac at the end of Kimberly Lane in White Rock.
 
What: Rappelling down Pajarito Gorge. Four rappels, longest is about 120'. Very likely that you will get wet at least covering your feet, so bring proper footwear. If entering the potholes, you may want a farmer john wetsuit or some other type of neo. The hike out will involve some 3rd class scrambling.
 
Minimum technical gear: Helmet, climbing harness, rappel device, gloves, safety tether, a few locking carabiners, footwear that can get wet, neo if entering the pothole and you get cold easily, a whistle is you have one.
 
Other: Of course, bring water, snacks, etc. that you would normally bring for a ~3 hour long hike.
 

La Luz Trail hike

Leader: 
Jean Dewart
Leader Email: 
jdewart@q.com
Date: 
Sat, 2013-09-28
Difficulty: 
Moderate
Technicality: 
Moderate

Let's hike up to the top of the Sandia Mountains via La Luz trail (note - change of date to Saturday).  Begin hike at base of tram.  Hike 2 miles to the north along the base of the mountains to La Luz trail.  Hike up La Luz trail to the Crest and then over to the top of the tram.  Return to parking lot via tram ($12 per person).  Total distance = 9 miles.  Elevation gain =4200 ft.  The hike will take about 6 hours.  We will meet in Los Alamos at 6:45 am to carpool.  Email jdewart@q.com to sign up.  We'll work out car pool arrangements with participants.  

LIFT ASSISTED HIKE into the Valles Caldera Preserve

Leader: 
Patti Walls
Leader Email: 
Patwalls47@gmail.com
Date: 
Sat, 2013-09-28
Difficulty: 
Moderate
Technicality: 
Beginner

This will be a fun day hike starting at the bottom of the Aspen lift and continuing down the back of Pajarito Mountain. We will traverse the edge of the valley floor along the base of Cerro Grande and then hike one mile up the Valle Grande trail to the cars on Hwy. 4. From there we will shuttle back to Ullrfest and enjoy the music and beer.
When: September 28, 2013
Meeting point: Bottom of Aspen lift
Time: 10 am
Cost: $15. $5 for a lift pass (or free with your ski pass) $10 for the Preserve.
The trip may be limited to the first 20 people who sign up (via e-mail to Patwalls47@gmail.com)
Bring: Lunch, rain gear, and hiking poles.

View from Valle Grande to the descent saddle and Pajarito Mountain (left). Hike will continue along the treeline to the right.

Hike up the Ski Hill doing some work on the way

Leader: 
Bill Priedhorsky
Leader Email: 
bill@priedhorsky.net
Date: 
Sat, 2013-09-21
Difficulty: 
Easy
Technicality: 
Beginner

Let's pull together a Mountaineer party to help the Ski Club on their work day, and get in some exercise while doing it. We'll hike up one of the runs side by side, lopping aspen shoots as we head towards the top, then hike down to the barbeque on the deck. Meet at Sullivan Field at 12 noon, and bring a long-handled pruning lopper if you have one. Please RSVP to Bill Priedhorsky at bill@priedhorsky.net.

Llama trip in Tsegi Canyon, near Navajo National Monument, Sept. 7-15

Leader: 
Bill Priedhorsky
Leader Email: 
bill@priedhorsky.net
Date: 
Sat, 2013-09-07
Difficulty: 
Moderate
Technicality: 
Moderate

Trip is full.  Email Bill to be put on the wait list.  In early September, we will explore a new piece of the canyon country: Tsegi Canyon, tributaries of which hold Betatakin and Keet Seel ruins. This area is located just west of Monument Valley, and is full of small, medium and large cliff dwellings. The canyons are scenic, but the main attraction are the sites. With an elevation of about 6300 feet, we can go earlier in the fall than our regular canyon trips. The two photos below show some of the scenery and ruins.

Llamas will be provided by Bevin McCabe of Red Rock and Llamas, who has restarted her business, now based in Sedona. Bevin writes "you could spend easily 5 days or more in that canyon. It’s a large canyon system and the cliff dwellings and surface sites are Numerous! Also, the cliff dwellings tend to be off the canyon floor and up in the alcoves, many of which are hundreds of feet off the floor of the canyon. Most of them are accessible however. In a week you won’t feel as if you’ve seen it all."

The relevant topo quads are Keet Seel Ruin and Marsh Pass. The canyon in which we will camp is called Dowozshiebito  (ask a Navajo to pronounce it!).  FYI, legally one would not be able to visit Keet Seel on one's own. The map below gives some of the lay of the land. Bevin writes: "the side canyon that we hike in on from Kayenta is the canyon that the K in Skeleton covers, also near the 2328 demarcation on the map, and the base camp is opposite where that side confluences with the main canyon, actually in the mouth of a canyon opposite and downstream from that side."

This will be a week-long trip. We will leave Los Alamos on Saturday Sept. 7, and drive to Kayenta where we will overnight. We then into the canyon on Sunday Sept. 8, hiking a strenuous 8 miles to camp. This will give us 6 nights to explore, hiking out on Saturday Sept. 14, staying in Kayenta or somewhere along the drive back home, and completing the drive back to Los Alamos on Sept. 15 (Sunday). I expect the usual wonderful canyon adventure.

I expect that the cost will be $2000 for the packer, or $250 per person if we fill the trip with 8 participants, plus gratituity. We will have a guide (Leonard) who lives locally, and will stay with us for the whole trip. If you would like to join in, please send me a deposit of $150 to hold your slot, with full payment by July 1.

Three day boat trip to the Channel Islands National Park, California

Leader: 
Dick Opsahl
Leader Email: 
opsahlr@mac.com
Date: 
Wed, 2013-09-04
Difficulty: 
Easy
Technicality: 
Beginner

Join the Opsahls for a 3 day trip exploring the Channel Islands off Santa Barbara, California on a 68 foot 30 passenger motor boat. The trip boards in Santa Barbara at 8 PM, Wednesday, Sept 4 and returns at 5 PM Saturday, Sept 7. All meals are included, and special diets can be accomodated. Activities include naturalist led hikes on uninhabited islands with unique fauna and flora, bird watching, frolicking with sea lions, sea kayaking and snorkeling, even stand up paddling (equipment can be rented). Sleeping in curtained off single or double bunks. For those coming from Los Alamos, the Opsahls can help arrange additional activities before and/or after the boat trip, such as camping/hiking in Pinnacles National Monument and along the Big Sur Coast. Cost is approximately $500 per person.  A You Tube video is attached highlighting prior expeditions in the same boat. Although SCUBA is shown we will not offer SCUBA on this trip. Initial deposit to be $100. After the trip fills we will maintain a stand by list.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ahb6KEjHjyI&feature=plcp

 

 

 

La Vega Loop Hike

Leader: 
Mary Thompson
Leader Email: 
mary14er@gmail.com
Date: 
Mon, 2013-09-02
Difficulty: 
Hard
Technicality: 
Moderate

Monday, Sept 2, Labor Day.  Strenuous hike of La Vega Loop including The Elevator.  Hike begins at the Santa Fe Ski Basin, on the Winsor Trail.  About eight miles, 3,000 foot gain.  The Elevator is a two mile, 2,000 foot gain section near the end of the hike.  Parts of our trail will go through the Pacheco burn area, some rough terrain, stream crossings and downed trees.  One or two dogs OK, must be leashed at lunch stops and if we run into cows.  To sign up, contact Mary Thompson at  mary14er@gmail.com.

Summit Hut Trip, August 29-September 2, 2013

Leader: 
Felicia Orth and Evan Rose
Leader Email: 
orthf@yahoo.com
Date: 
Thu, 2013-08-29
Difficulty: 
Easy
Technicality: 
Beginner

Note: trip difficult will be between beginner and advanced, depending on the day trips one chooses.
 
The seventh annual summer weekend trip to a Mountain Hut will be to Francie’s Cabin, August 30- September 2, 2013 (Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights).  We will pack up and return to Los Alamos on Monday, the 2nd of September (Labor Day holiday).  This Summit Association Hut, at 11,264 ft, is near timberline in the Arapaho National Forest, in central Colorado, 5 miles southwest of Breckenridge. The area offers many opportunities to hike at various difficulty levels.  We are near Burro and Spruce Creek Trailheads.  Nearby climbs include a 14er, Quandary Peak, and 2 high 13ers, Crystal Peak and Pacific Peak. Bring fishing equipment if you like trout.  This will be the first summer visit by the Mountaineers to this Hut.
 
As in previous years, we will drive up the day before, on August 29, and stay overnight.  It is TBD whether we will stay in Breckenridge or Leadville.  A group dinner is planned for those who are in town by dinner time on August 29.  Participants meet at the appointed location at 9:00 AM on August 30, and carpool to the trailhead parking lot, on the road up to the Hut.  One or more 4x4 cars/trucks will drive to the Hut with the coolers and heavy items. The rest of us will hike to the hut with daypacks.  
 
Francie’s Cabin sleeps 20 in several different bedrooms, has a wood-burning sauna, and is fully equipped with propane cooking stoves, cooking and eating equipment, photovoltaic lighting, etc.  Participants cook communal breakfasts and dinners, and provide their own lunches.  Felicia and Evan will have a planning dinner meeting in mid-August to finalize details of the trip.
 
Six places for next September's trip have already been spoken for, so fourteen places remain. You may e-mail your interest in joining us next year to Felicia (see above) with a cc to Bill (bill@priedhorsky.net).  The cost this year is $115/person to cover the cabin.  Checks can be sent to Bill Priedhorsky at 380 Rim Road, Los Alamos, NM 87544, made out to Bill Priedhorsky/Canyon Adventures. Your reservation is made when your check is in Bill’s hand.  After filling the trip we will maintain a standby list to accommodate cancellations. In case of cancellation, refunds will be made when the spot is filled.  Let us know if you would like to join us next Labor Day weekend. We're looking forward to another great Hut trip!
 
Sincerely, Felicia, Evan, and Bill

Sunday morning hike-Slot canyon to raven drop point

Leader: 
Don Gettemy
Leader Email: 
dongettemy1946@gmail.com
Date: 
Sun, 2013-08-25
Difficulty: 
Easy
Technicality: 
Moderate

Sunday morning hike-Slot canyon to raven drop point - from the end of North Mesa in Los Alamos
9:00 till about 12:00
About 3 miles
Minor exposure on section of trail
Easy bouldering
bushwhacking  possible water pockets
500 ft vertical
 
Pot luck lunch
I will supply hamburgers, bratwurst, and buns.
Bring a side dish or beverage to share.  BYOB
Please RSVP for meeting location and pot luck.   dongettemy1946@gmail.com

Penitente-Lake Peak Loop

Leader: 
Jean Dewart
Leader Email: 
jdewart@q.com
Date: 
Sun, 2013-08-18
Difficulty: 
Moderate
Technicality: 
Moderate

Let's hike the Penitente - Lake Peak loop from the Santa Fe Ski Basin.  Leave Los Alamos Sunday at 6:30 am, to avoid thundershowers, begin hiking at 8 am from the SF Ski Basin.  The hike is approximately 12-13 miles long with ~2800 vertical rise.  Hike up the Windsor Trail to Puerto Nambe, then up Penitente Peak and across to Lake Peak.  Almost all of the hike is on a well used trail, but there is a bit of 3rd class scrambling between the 2 peaks.   Return to the SF Ski Basin parking lot through the Ski Area.   Total hiking time ~ 5-6 hours.   To  sign up (and set up carpooling), email Jean at jdewart@q.com.  Bring rain gear, lunch, and water. 

After-work Natural Arch hike

Leader: 
Kei Davis
Leader Email: 
keidavis00@gmail.com
Date: 
Wed, 2013-08-07
Difficulty: 
Easy
Technicality: 
Beginner

Back once more by popular demand.  This is an evening after work to visit our remarkable natural arch.  Besides the arch are big views of Los Alamos and well beyond, and an introduction to the first part of Mitchell Trail that starts any number of much longer hikes.

This short hike is nominally for summer students and visitors, but all are welcome, particularly if you've never been to our local natural arch.

Car-to-car (round-trip) would be about 50 minutes at a moderately brisk pace with no breaks, so we'll plan on it taking no more than 1.5 hours to include breaks, sight-seeing, and photos, and to allow for a more leisurely pace for those unaccustomed to the altitude as the latter part entails a moderate ascent.

Normally a local area hike practically requires carrying water and having a hat and/or sunscreen, but given the length of this hike and the time of the day these are still suggested but are optional.  Depending on the weather, though, a rain jacket might be a good idea.  This hike won't be canceled for light or intermittent rain, but will be canceled for torrential rain or lightning danger.

Some of us will depart from the TA-3, building 2011 parking lot at 6:10pm Wednesday July 24, arriving at the Mitchell trailhead about five minutes later (see attached two maps).  We'll start hiking from the trailhead at 6:20 sharp, so for those meeting at the trailhead (most, I would expect), plan to be there no later than 6:15pm.

There's no sign up--just show up at the trailhead!

Conejos alternative Aug. 2-4

Leader: 
Bill Priedhorsky
Leader Email: 
bill
Date: 
Fri, 2013-08-02
Difficulty: 
Moderate
Technicality: 
Beginner

Dear Mountaineers,
The trip below will not go due to lack of interest. However, some of us are renting a cabin in Horca (where the gravel road to Platoro turns off from the blacktop). This can be a base of operations for day hiking in the Conejos/Platoro area, and we might squeeze one or two more into the cabin. Let me know if you are interested. Bill
-----------------
TRIP BELOW WILL NOT GO - MAYBE ANOTHER TIME,
I have heard of a summer hut near Telluride that might make for a great long weekend. Details of the hut can be found here. It appears to be a great base for day hikes, and shelter should we be getting our long-sought summer rains. Their web site shows availability for the first weekend of August, so I would propose to drive up on the morning of Thursday Aug. 1 (or partway the evening before), spent 3 nights at the hut and two days exploring, and hike out on Sunday the 4th for our drive home. The hut is just 2.5 miles from the highway, and we can arrange for our gear to be hauled. With gear hauling, I would expect a cost of about $125 per person for the 3 nights if we can get 10 participants (the hut will hold 14). Let me know if you are interested ASAP at bill@priedhorsky.net.
Sincerely, Bill

Needle Mountains Wilderness Adventure

Leader: 
Barry Smith (667-1585) and Paul Bradley
Leader Email: 
667-1585
Date: 
Wed, 2013-07-31
Difficulty: 
Hard
Technicality: 
Moderate

Needle Mountains Wilderness Adventure:  Trip Leader:  Barry Smith (667-1585)
 
July 31 - Aug 4, 2013
 
Leave Durango Wednesday 31 July on the DSNGR, get off the train at Needleton and grunt up the trail to Ruby Lake Basin (11,600), which is surrounded by peaks to climb. 
 
First priority, Day 1: Peak Fifteen (13,700), which requires 4th- and 5th-class leading and climbing. On following days, other possibilities include Pigeon Peak (13,972), Turret Peak (13,835), Monitor Peak (13,695), and Animas Mountain (13,786). Pigeon and Turret can be climbed together and are two of Colorado's Highest Hundred Peaks. The other three are in the Highest Two Hundred Peaks. Monitor and Animas can also be climbed together on one day.
 
The trip leader has climbed all but Peak Fifteen. Attached is a photo of Peak Fifteen that he took from the summit of Monitor. It is the peak sloping upward to the right, and the route comes up from the far side to the Peak Sixteen-Fifteen saddle, left of photo's center. From the saddle it is about 300 feet to the Peak Fifteen summit, with an average angle of about 45 degrees but some steep and hard-to-protect sections. There is also a 5th-class section in the approach couloir that some say can be bypassed.
 
A lead climber with experience on weathered granite, the rock on Peak Fifteen that is similar to Yosemite granite, would be very welcome. The best route information may be Darin Baker's trip report on 13ers.com.
 
This trip could be extended to Upper Noname Basin if participants want that. There is a rough trail from RLB over a pass beside Monitor's precipitous east face and down into Noname. Once camped there, Jagged Mountain and Peak Six are accessible. The challenging route on Jagged Mountain is 5th class with high exposure, and its ascent would require more equipment: two full length ropes, more pro, and an expert lead climber. Peak Six is straightforward and is on Barry's to-do list. From Noname Basin there is a trail down to the Animas River, and a rugged trail back to Needleton
 
In either case, we will hike out on Sunday, Aug 4, and take the train back to Durango. Space on the trains is available.
 
To sign up, call Barry.

Santa Fe Baldy hike

Leader: 
Mary Thompson
Leader Email: 
mary14er@gmail.com
Date: 
Sat, 2013-07-27
Difficulty: 
Hard
Technicality: 
Moderate

 
Saturday, July 27 Strenuous hike to Santa Fe Baldy, joint trip with the Sierra Club.  14 miles, 3600’ gain.  Early start, moderately fast pace.  Limit of 8 hikers, one or two dogs.  Dogs must be on leash at lunchtime.  Mary Thompson mary14er@gmail.com
 

After-work Natural Arch hike

Leader: 
Kei Davis
Leader Email: 
keidavis00@gmail.com
Date: 
Wed, 2013-07-24
Difficulty: 
Easy
Technicality: 
Beginner

Join Kei and Lisa for an evening after work to visit our remarkable natural arch!  Besides the arch are big views of Los Alamos and well beyond, and an introduction to the first part of Mitchell Trail that starts any number of much longer hikes.

This short hike is nominally for summer students and visitors, but all are welcome, particularly if you've never been to our local natural arch.

Car-to-car (round-trip) would be about 50 minutes at a moderately brisk pace with no breaks, so we'll plan on it taking no more than 1.5 hours to include breaks, sight-seeing, and photos, and to allow for a more leisurely pace for those unaccustomed to the altitude as the latter part entails a moderate ascent.

Normally a local area hike practically requires carrying water and having a hat and/or sunscreen, but given the length of this hike and the time of the day these are still suggested but are optional.  Depending on the weather, though, a rain jacket might be a good idea.  This hike won't be canceled for light or intermittent rain, but will be canceled for torrential rain or lightning danger.

Some of us will depart from the TA-3, building 2011 parking lot at 6:10pm Wednesday July 24, arriving at the Mitchell trailhead about five minutes later (see attached two maps).  We'll start hiking from the trailhead at 6:20 sharp, so for those meeting at the trailhead (most, I would expect), plan to be there no later than 6:15pm.

There's no sign up--just show up at the trailhead!

An overnight backpacking trip in Jemez mountains - CANCELLED

Leader: 
Momo Vuyisich, Rick Light, and Jean Dewart
Leader Email: 
vuyisich@hotmail.com
Date: 
Sat, 2013-07-20
Difficulty: 
Easy
Technicality: 
Beginner

THIS TRIP IS CANCELLED AND REPLACED BY A MORE ADVANCED TRIP
This is a good opportunity for beginner backpackers. We will hike to and camp on the Rabbit Ears mountain, which overlooks the Valles Caldera National Preserve. The hike will start from the St. Peter's Dome road in early PM on Saturday, July 20. We will reach the summit in less than two hours (~2 miles, 1,300 ft vertical gain), set up camp, eat dinner, and enjoy great views of Valle Grande. The next morning, we will eat breakfast, break camp, and hike back to the cars.
There will be three trip leaders plus a Bandelier Ranger available to help you pack your backpack, navigate to the campsite, and answer any other questions you may have. The trip is also the practical piece of a three-part "intro to backpacking" course. For more information about the other two parts, visit this page:
http://wildwestluxurytours.com/Blog/Backpacking_2013.html
 Attending the classes is not required to participate in the backpacking trip. However, please register for them if you need a bit of advice on gear choices and other aspects of backpacking.
This trip will cost $10 per person. All proceeds will go to Bandelier to supprt their community cooperative programs.

A backpacking trip in San Juan Mountains of Colorado - Island and Ice Lakes basins

Leader: 
Momo Vuyisich
Leader Email: 
vuyisich@hotmail.com
Date: 
Fri, 2013-07-19
Difficulty: 
Moderate
Technicality: 
Beginner

Let's explore the beautiful Island and Ice Lakes basins next weekend. They will be filled with carpets of wild flowers and offer beautiful views. Photography opportunities will be excellent.
Here are some photos from this area:
http://im9.eu/picture/island-lake-in-ice-lake-basin-san-juan-mountains-c...
http://www.bigbendchat.com/portal/forum/non-bibe-trip-reports/ice-lake-s...
http://www.wildwestgallery.com/Colorado/CO-007.html
 
The trail is only a few miles long (~5), but the altitude gain is either 2,100 or 2,600 ft, depending on which trailhead we start from. Don't worry if you are not in the best shape. We will take it slowly, as we will have plenty of time to get to the campsite.
 
Trip schedule: We will leave Los Alamos in the early afternoon on Friday, July 19, and drive to the trailhead (~5.5 hours). We will car camp there and start backpacking on Saturday morning. We will arrive at the campsite in the Island Lake basin around lunch time, set up camp and have a free afternoon for hiking or relaxation. There are a couple of beautiful hiking options.
On Sunday morning, we will hike back to the cars and drive home.
TO SIGN UP, PLEASE E-MAIL THE TRIP LEADER.
PLEASE DO NOT BRING DOGS ON THIS TRIP.

Canyoneering in Zion National Park [trip is full]

Leader: 
Daniel Creveling
Leader Email: 
dancrev@gmail.com
Date: 
Thu, 2013-07-11
Difficulty: 
Moderate
Technicality: 
Moderate

!!! THIS TRIP IS FULL !!!
 
Canyoneering in Zion National Park
(A 2013 trip of the Los Alamos Mountaineers)

Pre-Trip Training: June 22nd and June 29th
Trip to Zion National Park: July 11th - 16th
Trip Leader: Dan Creveling (plus many people helping!)
 
Have you been to Zion? I mean, have you REALLY been to Zion?? This is your chance to discover all of Zion's hidden gems that most people who visit the park never get to see. We will be hiking, rappelling, climbing, scrambling, and swimming to some of the best that the park has to offer. Prerequisites are good rappelling skills (or a willingness to learn) and a spirit of adventure.
 
2013 LAM Climbing School students encouraged to attend!
 
*** SIGNING UP ***
 

!!! THIS TRIP IS FULL !!!
 
If I don't already know you, a short introduction and description of your current technical rope experience would be helpful.
 
As you will see below, permit reservations become available in April for our trip in July. Therefore, it would be good to have a rough idea of how many people are going by the beginning of April. Permits are often still available even weeks before a trip (depending on the canyon of course), but please sign up as soon as you can to help ensure we have enough permit space for everyone.
 
!!DISCLAIMER!!
This is NOT a guided canyoneering trip! Although the intent is to be playing on the ropes, this is by no means a guided trip. In fact, guided trips are not allowed within Zion National Park. We will have pre-trip training to allow everyone to become familiar with canyoneering specific techniques and gear. Ultimately though, you are responsible for knowing your own skill level and sticking to it! Having said that, there will be some very knowledgeable people on this trip who will do their best to ensure everyone has a wonderful time and NO ONE gets hurt. The canyons in Zion fill the spectrum from beginner to advanced, so there will be a fabulous canyon for everyone.
 
*** Pre-Trip Training ***
 
!! Pre-trip training is a requirement for participation on this trip !! (with some exceptions*)
 
Pre-requisite skills:
We will not be teaching rappelling in the pre-trip training. We will be teaching the particular rappelling techniques that canyoneers have adopted that are different from what climbers normally do. It is assumed that you have rappelled 'climbing style' before and are already comfortable with going over the edge of a cliff. Have you been rappelling before? If not, the LAM Climbing School (registration is currently open until March 17th) is a good way to get the basic skills needed.

Keep in mind that there is usually no turning back once entering a canyon. Ropes are pulled as we move down the canyon, so returning back up the canyon is not possible. Once the group does the first rappel, everyone is committed to finishing all of the rappels.
 
June 22nd (9am-noon) : Rappelling practice at “The Y” climbing area.
Canyoneering specific rope rigging, rappelling single strand on 8mm-9mm ropes, adding friction and locking off, guided rappels, self-rescue. Also discussions on the ACA canyon rating system and canyoneering gear/clothing that will be required for the trip.
 
June 29th (9am-3pm) : Anchor training and descent of Pajarito Gorge
At the top of Pajarito Gorge: discussion and demonstration of common anchors seen in canyoning including bolts, trees, boulders, rock and knot chocks, dead-man anchors, meat anchors. Also discussion of rope management and sequencing. Pajarito Gorge is a short, fun canyon in White Rock. Trailhead parking is located at the end of Kimberly Lane. We will do the canyon in four rappels. The longest rappel is about 120 feet. We will also demonstrate an application of a guided rappel over a deep pothole full of water.
 
(*) An exception to the training requirement may be granted (ultimately up to the trip leader) if one of the following apply:
You fully participated in the LAM Canyoneering Mini-Course in 2011 or 2012
You participated in the LAM Zion trip in 2011 and descended Birch Hollow
You have descended Pajarito Gorge with me or Brett Kettering
You have other canyoneering experience that can be validated by the community
 
*** GENERAL DAILY ROUTINE ***
July 11th and 16th are driving days. July 12th-15th are canyoneering days.
 
Permits issued by the park limit group size to as low as 6 people in some canyons, other canyons have a limit of 12. Depending on the canyon, we may choose to set our limit even lower (for safety and time considerations). Because of these group size limitations, we will not be able to stay together as an entire group – we will be splitting up each day. This is a common routine for canyoneering in Zion, and we will have plenty of experienced volunteers to help lead groups through the canyons each day. I will be making sure that each group on each day has a leader who knows how to get in and out of their canyon safely. I would like us to meet as a group in the evenings to talk about the day, count heads, and prepare for the next day of canyoning. People who have permits in their name are committed to that canyon, but others are able to join in anywhere there is permit space. It is not a very rigorous system, and flexibility is built in on purpose. It will make more sense when we are there :o)
 
*** LODGING ***
Plenty of lodging options in the Springdale area and several out past the east entrance of the park too. Since I want people to have the option of camping for free on BLM land or spending big at the Desert Pearl Inn, I will not be organizing any large scale lodging for everyone. I will be camping at the Ponderosa (east side of the park, see below). Many canyons start on the east side and end on the Springdale side, requiring a car shuttle. Other canyons are entered and exited by trailheads serviced by the Zion Canyon shuttle bus on the Springdale side. Still others are entered and exited on the east side alone. The point is, don't try to optimize your location based on car shuttling. We will likely be doing car shuttles no matter what. It's a very common thing in Zion.
 
Hotels:
For lodging information near Springdale, Utah (main entrance to the park) a good place to start is:
http://www.utah.com/lodging/zion.htm
 
Camping & Cabins:
My preference is to stay at the Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort. They have campsites, Cowboy Cabins that fit up to six, and larger structures as well. The campsites cost about the same (or maybe less) than the Watchman and South campgrounds, but offer nice bathrooms/showers and two pools and hot tubs :o)
http://www.zionponderosa.com/index.htm
 
The Watchman campground is a good place to camp in Springdale.
http://www.nps.gov/zion/planyourvisit/watchman-campground.htm
 
Zion has a park campground located at the Springdale entrance/visitor center. It is first come first served, so it's good to have a backup option planned out.
http://www.nps.gov/zion/planyourvisit/south-campground.htm

*** PERMITS ***
Permits will be hard to get (as expected), some of them are given on a lottery basis (Subway, Mystery). Online permit reservations and online lottery applications for trips in July will become available in April. I encourage anyone interested in Subway or Mystery canyon to apply for a permit on their own. You don't need to be the leader of a trip to have the permit, and the more people who enter the lottery the better our chances of getting one. Permits are not transferable, so people who have a permit and then decide to drop out of the trip will cause problems for the whole group – please don't do that! There are also a small number of "walk in" permits available. If all else fails we can find someone to stand in front of the backcountry ranger office at 3am until it opens :o) Seriously though, I'm not too worried about the permits. There are plenty of hikes that don't require them, and several canyons just outside the park that don't require them either. Having said that, I will try to get my hands on as many permits as I can... and you should too!
 
For lottery (Subway & Mystery) applications:
https://zionpermits.nps.gov/lotteryapply.cfm
 
For non-lottery technical canyoneering permits:
https://zionpermits.nps.gov/wilderness.cfm?TripTypeID=3
 
*** CANYONS ***
Here are short descriptions (with links to more info) of some of the technical canyons on the menu.

Birch Hollow
Description:
4-7 Hours depending on group size and if a shuttle is arranged in Orderville Gulch
10-12 rappels depending on what is down climbed. Longest rappel is 120'.
Dry. Possibly some mud puddles depending on recent weather.

If you only do one canyon on this trip, and want to stay dry, this is it! Birch Hollow is a fantastic introduction to technical canyoneering, with beautiful fluted rappels that are very beginner friendly. This trip starts with a 45 minute hike down Birch Hollow until the first obstacle is encountered. This drop, about 120', can be avoided on the right with a 40' rappel, or on the left with a steep down climb (but where is the fun in that!?). Several down climbs and one 45' rappel later brings you to the 100' fluted rappel which marks the beginning of a long sequence of fun rappels, ultimately ending in Orderville Canyon. A 15 minute hike up Orderville Canyon brings you to a steep trail exiting the canyon on the right. After about 30 minutes along this trail you arrive at a small parking area for 4WD vehicles. If you arrange for a pick-up from Zion Adventure Company or the Ponderosa Ranch Resort, this is where they will be. Otherwise, plan for another 90 minutes or so following a steep uphill 4WD road to another parking area where cars will be staged.

For more information see the links below.

Web Links:
http://www.canyoneeringusa.com/utah/zion/technical/birch-hollow
http://www.zionnational-park.com/zion-birch-hollow.htm
 

ORDERVILLE
Description:
10-12 Hours. We will plan to start as early as possible.
2 rappels. Longest about 20 feet.
First half of the canyon will be dry, second half will be walking through water with a couple short mandatory swims.
Wetsuit recommended. At least a 3/2 farmer john.

This is a nice introduction to easy canyoneering with water obstacles. This trip starts hiking down the 4WD road mentioned above in the exit of Birch Hollow. The first half of the canyon is hot and dry hiking. The second half involves hiking through potholes and running water, some short swims, and down climbing in the watercourse along small waterfalls. Several log jams to climb over are evidence of the power of recent flash floods. This canyon is very deep and narrow in sections. In some places the walls are close to 1000' high and the canyon is only about 10' wide. Lots of beautiful photo opportunities here, so waterproof your camera and bring it along!! As a bonus, Orderville pours into the one-and-only Virgin River Narrows! The last few miles of hiking is in the Virgin River, which tends to have large rocks hidden underwater. Hiking poles might be useful for this portion of the hike. The hike ends at the Temple of Sinawava shuttle stop in Zion NP.

For more information see the links below.

Web Links:
http://www.canyoneeringusa.com/utah/zion/technical/orderville-canyon
http://www.zionnational-park.com/zion-orderville-canyon.htm
 

KEYHOLE
Description:
2 Hours
2-3 Rappels, longest is about 50' (actually two raps done in a combo)
Wetsuit recommended!! At least a 3/2 farmer john.

This is a great canyon for a fun, half-day adventure to escape the heat! Lots of water, many swims with one potentially 100' long swim in a "slanted corridor." This is a car-to-car hike, so no shuttle arrangements required. The trip begins with a short but steep hike on slick rock to a saddle, then a quick sandy descent into Keyhole. The first section of Keyhole involves hiking and down climbing in a slot. The canyon then opens up for a moment to a sandy area and a nice place for a break. Then, the canyon narrows up again offering its first rappel. From this point on it is rappelling or down climbing into pools of water. The last section is a slanted corridor about 100' long and may require swimming the entire distance. It is narrow, so the walls are available to help keep you afloat and propel you forward. After this section, there is a short, sandy hike to the cars. The slanted corridor is accessible from the bottom and may be checked out beforehand if there is any concern about swimming or water temperature.

For more information see the links below.

Web Links:
http://www.canyoneeringusa.com/utah/zion/technical/keyhole-canyon
http://www.zionnational-park.com/zion-keyhole.htm
 

PINE CREEK
Description:
5-7 hours
5-6 rappels, some with awkward starts. Longest is a free hanging 100' rappel with some exposure clipping in to the anchor.
Wetsuit recommended!! At least a 3/2 farmer john.

This is a very scenic and wet canyon with lots of down climbs, fun rappels (including a 100' free hanger!), and several pools of water to swim. The hike starts at a parking area immediately after exiting the long Zion Tunnel heading east. Right away you find the first rappel/down-climb which marks the beginning of a short series of pools to wade/swim through. There is the possibility of a "wet disconnect" here, so the first person down should help set the rope length for the rest of the group. The next series of rappels drops into two pools, the last of which is the famous "cathedral rappel." This may also require setting the rope length to avoid a swimming disconnect. More hiking and down climbing through beautiful narrows and then the canyon opens up to some great views of Zion. The last rappel is 100' and free hanging. While on rappel, don't forget to look into the beautiful cave that you just rappelled off. The hike out is boulder hopping and scrambling down the watercourse, and then a final short hike up to a parking area along the road.

For more information see the links below.

Web Links:
http://www.canyoneeringusa.com/utah/zion/technical/pine-creek-canyon
http://www.zionnational-park.com/zion-pine-creek.htm
 

MYSTERY
Description:
8-10 Hours
11 rappels, longest is about 135'
Small pools of water, but no swimming expected. Last rappel drops into the Virgin River Narrows for about 1/4 mile long hike in the river with tourists.

This is a very beautiful canyon that requires winning a lottery drawing to obtain a permit reservation. The hike starts on the property of the Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort. The trail quickly enters Zion NP, and after about 40 minutes you arrive at "The Death Gully." This is a steep and loose hiking descent into Mystery Canyon. Take your time and be careful. Once in the canyon you encounter many rappels and down climbs, and even a section of nice narrows. The canyon opens up again to what is sometimes a small lake formed by a landslide several years ago. It will likely be dry for our trip. Hike up and over the landslide dam back into a beautiful green section of the canyon. You will eventually come to the rappel into Mystery Springs. The rappel starts after traversing a large slab overlooking the remaining section of the canyon. This is a very beautiful spot, so don't forget to stop and take in the view! The rappel will land you into Mystery Springs, which will probably be at least waist deep and the first water encountered during the hike (unless the lake is not dry). Continue down canyon following a small stream down climbing several obstacles. The last rappel is along a waterfall into the Virgin River. Tourists will likely be pointing and taking your picture. This rappel is very slippery, so be careful... you will likely be on camera after all! A short hike down the Virgin River brings you to a sidewalk trail, which ends at the Temple of Sinawava shuttle stop.

For more information see the links below.

Web Links:
http://www.canyoneeringusa.com/utah/zion/technical/mystery-canyon
http://www.zionnational-park.com/zion-mystery-canyon.htm

BEHUNIN
Description:
About 9-10 hours
10 Rappels mostly in the 100' range. Longest rappel is 165' and mostly free hanging
Generally dry, but could hold some water depending on recent weather conditions. Plan for some knee deep sections, and possibly a dip into one pothole near the end.

This canyon is more advanced than the others on this list. The hike begins along the Angel's Landing trail located at 'The Grotto' shuttle stop, and returns along the Emerald Pools trail ending at the 'Zion Lodge' shuttle stop. It has a very long and steep entry hike, followed by a complex series of long entry rappels to get to the canyon floor. Several sections of hiking are exposed to tall cliffs. Not recommended for anyone fearful of heights or not 100% confident in their rappelling skills. Prior canyoneering or climbing experience is required.

For more information see the links below.

Web Links:
http://www.canyoneeringusa.com/utah/zion/technical/behunin-canyon
http://www.zionnational-park.com/zion-behunin-canyon.htm

Rubber Ducky Float Trip

Leader: 
Zack Baker
Leader Email: 
zackbaker@gmail.com
Date: 
Sun, 2013-06-30
Difficulty: 
Easy
Technicality: 
Beginner

Join Zack for a Rio Grande floating adventure. We will start at 11am on Sunday June 30 at the Red Dot trailhead, hike down to the river, continue up the river trail to the bottom of the Blue Dot. There, we will stop and enjoy lunch and inflate our floating toys/mattresses/water wings. We will then float back down to the Red Dot, wash off in the clean springs, and hike back to our cars.
The $3 vinyl inner tube toys at Smiths are suitable for this trip, and/or a life vest or wetsuit. Please invite summer students and postdocs.
Please email Zack if you would like to sign up, or call 505-412-5961 for more information.
 

Gold Hill from the Taos Ski Valley

Leader: 
Bart Olinger and Mary Thompson
Leader Email: 
bart.olinger@gmail.com
Date: 
Sat, 2013-06-29
Difficulty: 
Moderate
Technicality: 
Moderate

For a thorough description of the hike, see Craig Martin's book, 100 Hikes in New Mexico, (#17). Starting at 8:00, we will carpool to the Taos Ski Valley and park by the Bull-of-Woods trailhead (9,430 ft). We will hike to Bull-of-the-Woods pasture and turn north to Gold Hill (12,711 ft). Only at the beginning of the hike, on the way to Bull-of-the-Woods, is the trail moderately steep on a heavily used trail. The view from the top is wonderful, looking at Fraser, Wheeler, Katchina, and the Truchas peaks to the south and as far as southern Colorado, the Blanca peaks, to the north. We will return to the trailhead by way of Long Canyon. Total distance is about 10 miles with a 3,300 ft elevation gain. Count on a 2 hour drive to the trailhead, 5 hours on the trail, and 2 hours to return, not including a refreshment break on the way home.  Email Bart at bart.olinger@gmail.com to sign up; information on carpooling location will be sent to you. 

Introduction to Backpacking - Classroom (Santa Fe)

Leader: 
Rick LIght
Leader Email: 
ricklight.rxl@gmail.com
Date: 
Thu, 2013-06-27
Difficulty: 
Easy
Technicality: 
Beginner

 
For adult hikers who want to experience the backcountry beyond day hikes. Both beginner backpackers and those with experience will benefit from the presentations (either June 18 presentation or this class) and guided backpacking trip (July 20/21). Participants can choose to participate in any of the three courses independently. Beginners are highly encouraged to attend one of the two classes before buying gear for the actual trip.
Schedule:
 Thursday, June 27, from 6 - 7:30PM at REI in Santa Fe. Instructor: Rick Light
For adult hikers who want to experience multi-night trips into the backcountry, these clinics benefit both beginner backpackers and those with experience. Emphasis is on the following topics:
- Backpacker thinking and "Leave No Trace" principles
- Equipment lists based on the 10 Essentials
- Gear selection and modular packing methods
- Staying healthy
- Responsible camping
PowerPoint slides from the class are available on the web (e-mail Rick for the link).
Class is free, but you must register at REI's website.

Northside Taos Ski Valley day hike

Leader: 
Bill Priedhorsky
Leader Email: 
bill@priedhorsky.net
Date: 
Sun, 2013-06-23
Difficulty: 
Hard
Technicality: 
Beginner

While we wait for summer rains, the forests are closing one by one. But that doesn't mean we cannot go hiking. Northside across from Taos Ski Valley is a private piece of land that rises from the Ski Valley parking lot to the summit of Frazer Mountain at 12,163 feet, with 2,800 feet of vertical gain. There is an admission fee of $5 - please bring exact change.
We will leave Los Alamos at 8 AM, drive to the ski valley, and hike up the roads and trails to as high as our little legs will carry us. Bring the usual day trip gear - lunch, water, rain gear, clothes suitable for whatever the weather. Interested participants may stop for dinner in Taos or TSV on the way back home. We will decide on carpooling plans and the return schedule at our meeting point. Contact Bill by e-mail to join this outing.

Introduction to Backpacking - Classroom

Leader: 
Momo Vuyisich
Leader Email: 
info@wildwestgallery.com
Date: 
Tue, 2013-06-18
Difficulty: 
Easy
Technicality: 
Beginner

Tuesday, June 18, from 7-8PM in Los Alamos. Instructor: Momo Vuyisich
One hour presentation, focused mostly on backpacking gear. After attending this class, you will be able to easily select the most appropriate gear for your backpacking needs.
Class is free, but each participant must register by e-mailing Momo Vuyisich (info@wildwestgallery.com). The class location will be e-mailed to you.
A backpacking weekend in the Jemez Mountains is offered on the weekend of July 20, 21, as a follow on to this course.  

Santa Fe Baldy

Leader: 
Mary Thompson
Leader Email: 
mary14er@gmail.com
Date: 
Sat, 2013-06-15
Difficulty: 
Hard
Technicality: 
Moderate

TRIP IS NOW ON HOLD (6/5/13) DUE TO FIRE CLOSURES IN THE PECOS WILDERNESS.  Mary will be in touch with participants.
TRIP IS NOW FULL.  Contact Mary to be put on a wait list.  
Strenuous hike to Santa Fe Baldy, joint trip with the Sierra Club.  14 miles round-trip, 3500' gain, moderately fast pace.  Limit of eight hikers.  One or two dogs ok, must have leash for lunch stops .  Mary Thompson mary14er@gmail.com 

South San Juan Wilderness Backpack

Leader: 
Evan Rose
Leader Email: 
evan_rose@msn.com
Date: 
Fri, 2013-06-14
Difficulty: 
Moderate
Technicality: 
Moderate

Some folks had to drop out - Contact Evan to join the trip! 
Let's take a 3 day backpack trip up the Adams Fork of the Conejos River in the South San Juan Wilderness in southern Colorado.  Leave Friday morning and begin hiking by 1 pm near the western end of Platoro Reservoir.  Hike about 5 miles (1200 ft elevation gain) up the Adams Fork drainage to timberline and camp at about 11,000 ft.  Saturday - day hike to Summit Peak (13,300 ft)  - early start required.  Other day hikes possible.  Hike out Sunday morning & drive home.  
Limit - 12 people
Gear list and carpooling arrangements to be sent out to participants.  Full rain gear (jacket and pants) and a pack cover are a must in the South San Juan!  Participants will be responsible for their own food, stoves, and tents - but we'll help people connect with others who would like to share.  
Send an email to evan_rose@msn.com to sign up!

Climbing School Graduates Tres Piedras Trip

Leader: 
Norbert Ensslin and John Pianezze
Leader Email: 
norbert.ensslin@gmail.com
Date: 
Sat, 2013-06-08
Difficulty: 
Easy
Technicality: 
Moderate

The two trips to Penitente and Tres Piedras will continue John Pianezze's series of trips for climbing school graduates from this year or other recent years. These are intended to be fun, moderate outings to some of our favorite climbing areas so that graduates can continue to improve their climbing skills and get a reward for their hard work during the school! Both areas provide opportunities to toprope climbs in the 5.6 to 5.10 range, and Penitente also provides opportunities to do easy leads in the 5.6 to 5.8 range.
 
Please e-mail back to Norbert at norbert.ensslin@gmail.com if you would like to come on either of these trips. (John will be out of town) This way we will know how many graduates are coming and how many climbing leaders should be invited to join us. Also, these trips can be done in either order, so please let us know if you prefer the two-day trip to Penitente to be over Memorial Day weekend or over the June 8-9 weekend, and vice-versa for the one-day trip to Tres Piedras. Until we hear back from some of you, we have tentatively penciled in the Penitente trip first and the Tres Piedras trip second.
 
Sunday-Monday, May 26-27th: Penitente Canyon is known for hard climbs, but also has a nice selection of easy and moderate bolt climbs. Penitente Canyon is located about 3 ½ hours drive north of Los Alamos near Saguache, Colorado. We will drive up Sunday morning, climb Sunday afternoon and Monday morning, and drive home Monday afternoon. So bring overnight camping gear and camping food along with rain gear and your personal climbing gear. Let's depart from the Sullivan Field parking lot across from the High School at 8 AM Sunday.

 
Saturday, June 8: One-day trip to Tres Piedras, which is located about 90 minutes north of Los Alamos. Tres Piedras has low-angle slab and friction climbing on beautiful granite knobs and slopers, mostly bolt-protected with some gear placements. Let's depart from the Sullivan Field parking lot across from the High School at 8:30 AM. Climbers from Santa Fe can join us at the Northern New Mexico Community College in Espanola at 9 AM. Bring lunch, rain gear, and your personal climbing gear.
 
 

Canoe/kayak on the Rio Grande - cancelled

Leader: 
Mary Thompson and Jean Dewart
Leader Email: 
mary14er@gmail.com; jdewart@q.com
Date: 
Sat, 2013-06-01
Difficulty: 
Easy
Technicality: 
Beginner

 May 29, 2013 - trip now cancelled due to closure of river access due to fire danger. 
 
Canoe/kayak the Rio Grande, joint trip with the Sierra Club.  We will paddle the section from Algodones to Alameda, about 5 hours and Class I, suitable for intrepid beginners as well as (possibly rusty?) veterans.  

 

Boat owners will arrange their own shuttling.  

 

Non-owners will independently arrange to rent canoes or kayaks from Quiet Waters Paddling Adventures http://www.quietwaterspaddling.com/ QWPA will provide shuttle service for boat renters and rental boats.  Neither the Sierra Club nor the Los Alamos Mountaineers will be involved in the rental arraingements beyond coordinating a meeting time and place for all participants.  QWPA requests that boat renters reserve a boat a couple weeks ahead.  Contact QWPA directly for boat rental information and reservations.
We will all meet at the put-in at Algodones, paddle more or less together, and will stop for a picnic lunch mid-way down the river.  Bring a picnic item to share.  Details on meeting time, what to bring, etc., will be sent to participants closer to the date.
Please sign up with Mary or Jean by May 16.  Tell us if you have a boat or will rent a boat and if you are looking for a paddling partner.  
Mary Thompson, mary14er@gmail.com; Jean Dewart, jdewart@q.com

 

  
 

Climbing School Graduates Penitente and Tres Piedras Trips (May 26/27 and/or June 8/9)

Leader: 
Norbert Ensslin and John Pianezze
Leader Email: 
norbert.ensslin@gmail.com
Date: 
Sun, 2013-05-26
Difficulty: 
Easy
Technicality: 
Moderate

The two trips to Penitente and Tres Piedras will continue John Pianezze's series of trips for climbing school graduates from this year or other recent years.  These are intended to be fun, moderate outings to some of our favorite climbing areas so that graduates can continue to improve their climbing skills and get a reward for their hard work during the school!  Both areas provide opportunities to toprope climbs in the 5.6 to 5.10 range, and Penitente also provides opportunities to do easy leads in the 5.6 to 5.8 range.
 
Please e-mail back to Norbert at norbert.ensslin@gmail.com if you would like to come on either of these trips.  (John will be out of town) This way we will know how many graduates are coming and how many climbing leaders should be invited to join us.  Also, these trips can be done in either order, so please let us know if you prefer the two-day trip to Penitente to be over Memorial Day weekend or over the June 8-9 weekend, and vice-versa for the one-day trip to Tres Piedras.  Until we hear back from some of you, we have tentatively penciled in the Penitente trip first and the Tres Piedras trip second.
 
Sunday-Monday, May 26-27th:  Penitente Canyon is known for hard climbs, but also has a nice selection of easy and moderate bolt climbs.    Penitente Canyon is located about 3 ½ hours drive north of Los Alamos near Saguache, Colorado.  We will drive up Sunday morning, climb Sunday afternoon and Monday morning, and drive home Monday afternoon.  So bring overnight camping gear and camping food along with rain gear and your personal climbing gear.  Let's depart from the Sullivan Field parking lot across from the High School at 8 AM Sunday.

 
Saturday, June 8:  One-day trip to Tres Piedras, which is located about 90 minutes north of Los Alamos.  Tres Piedras has low-angle slab and friction climbing on beautiful granite knobs and slopers, mostly bolt-protected with some gear placements.  Let's depart from the Sullivan Field parking lot across from the High School at 8:30 AM.  Climbers from Santa Fe can join us at the Northern New Mexico Community College in Espanola at 9 AM.  Bring lunch, rain gear, and your personal climbing gear.
 
 
 
 
 

Cruces Basin 2-night backpack

Leader: 
Bill Priedhorsky
Leader Email: 
bill@priedhorsky.net
Date: 
Sat, 2013-05-25
Difficulty: 
Easy
Technicality: 
Beginner

I would like to announce a backpacking trip into Cruces Basin for Memorial Day weekend (May 25-27).  Cruces Basin is pristine wilderness located west of San Antonio mountain near the New Mexico/ Colorado border.  This trip will be a mellow and family-friendly adventure with a short hike to our camp followed by  hikes to explore the Basin.  We can break into groups for day hiking, for those that want to adventure out further and those that want to do shorter day hikes.  There have been previous trips into Cruces Basin by the Mountaineers, all of which have been a great time.  Please see the trip archive (see here) on the website for pictures and details. This is a trip that offers options for all ages. Day outings can range from a splash in the nearby stream to an ambitious hiking loop that connects the valleys and cruises the ridgetops, with big views to the high points of northern New Mexico and southern Colorado.

As in previous years, we will make a short hike (~2 miles) into the Basin and set up camp.  I am hoping to camp a mile or so upstream from our previous camp, at a little meadow under a rock wall that looks like something out of Lord of the Rings. From our base camp, we'll spend the afternoon, Sunday, and Monday morning heading out for day hikes to explore the canyons, streams, and meadows of the Basin.  We will set out from Los Alamos on the morning of May 25 (Saturday), carpooling as much as possible, and hope to return by early evening on Monday. Please e-mail Bill to express interest or learn more.

Spanish Peaks Climb and Exploration

Leader: 
Michael Altherr
Leader Email: 
mraltherr1@gmail.com
Date: 
Fri, 2013-05-24
Difficulty: 
Moderate
Technicality: 
Moderate

 
Both an Objective Oriented and Exploratory Trip to the Spanish Peaks Widerness.
Overview: As long as I have traveled South along I-25, the Spanish Peaks have callled to me like the sirens of Greek mythology. This has been going on for over 35 years. It is time to answer the sirens call. Attractions: Interesting geologic formations, and stunning views being the eastern most prominences rising to over 10,000’ above the great prairie.
My objective is to complete a circuit that includes the summits of both West (13,500’) and East (12,650’) Spanish Peaks. The difficulty arises in that this circuit is approximately 15 mi in length with 7,000 feet of total vertical gain. We will leave Los Alamos around noon on Friday May 24 and drive approximately 5 h to Cordova Pass Campground. At 11,250 feet, Cordova Pass is an alpine camping experience.
Although objective oriented there are options for those interested in something a bit less strenuous.
Options: The dual summit party will get an alpine start, and plan to summit West Peak in time to view the sunrise. Others could depart later and follow the primary objective group up the West Peak Trail to the summit of West Peak and return the same way (a round trip of approximately 5.5 mi with only about 2500’ of vertical gain). This would be a great opportunity for a new leader to get some independent experience by leading the second party. Those interested in continuing to East Peak will descend 3,000’ toward the East to the saddle and reclaim a little over 2,000’ in 5 miles to reach the East Peak summit. For a real time view of the objectives look at (http://www.discoverbachman.com/webcam1280.html) We will then return to the saddle and traverse on the South side of West Peak on the Wahatoya Trail to return to our camp. Our return will involve some orienteering as the trail exists on only a few (old) maps. Upon return, we will enjoy a leisurely communal dinner to celebrate our success.
I plan to break camp Sunday morning. I am planning to return via Raton with a reconnaissance stop at Sugarite Canyon State Park. It is (was) a jewel in the NM State Parks system. Unfortunately, much of it was burned in a fire two years ago and I am interested in how it is recovering for consideration of a future trip. I will bring climbing gear as there are some beautiful top ropes in the area that we could play on before pushing back to Los Alamos. There is a small lake and there used to be a number of nice trails in the area as well. FYI – there were showers available at Sugarite.
Gear Recommendations:
Sleeping bag, pad, and tarp or tent.
Appropriate clothing and foot wear for alpine conditions (Camp is at 11,250’)
Food for two days of camping. I’ll have a grill and one small stove.
Climbing gear for top roping (if we go on to Sugarite)

Climbing School - Graduates' fun day

Leader: 
John Pianezze
Leader Email: 
john.pianezze@gmail.com
Date: 
Sun, 2013-05-19
Difficulty: 
Moderate
Technicality: 
Moderate

The end of Climbing School has left a hole to fill: what’s next? With the help of our instructors I got a few ideas on some good places outside the White Rock area, where students can improve their skills, learn more about leading, and enjoy the great vertical outdoors.

The first of these trips will be at Las Conchas.

This trip is only for this year's Climbing School Graduates, as well as recent graduates. If you graduated within the past few years, and you didn't get much of a chance to practice - now is the time!

I'm looking for volunteer leaders. Experieced leaders, who would like to help graduates learn to sport lead, please contact Norbert. I hope to have one leader available for every two graduates.

Meeting details:

  • Crag Info: http://mountainproject.com/v/las-conchas/105845941
  • Parking at the trailhead is limited so please carpool. Meet at Sullivan Field parking lot across from the High School at 8:30am.
  • We’ll start at Gateway Rock, which gets the morning sun, and then we'll migrate to other areas such as Cattle Call Wall and Chilly WIlly Wall.

What to Bring:

  • Basics including helmet, water, food, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, first aid kit, tape, extra clothing…
  • Your usual climbing gear for top-rope climbing
  • A double-legth sling and/or "personal anchor" for belaying and for setting a top-rope anchor
  • Optional: About 6 Quickdraws
  • Optional: Climbing Rope with rope a bag
  • Optional: Small cam for building belay anchor at the base of the crag

About Las Conchas Sport Climbing

  • The two main areas are within 2 minutes walk from the parking area on flat ground
  • All the routes are single-pitch bolted routes, with double-anchors at the top
  • Most routes range from 5.6 to 5.9. There are a few 5.10 and 5.11 possibilities
  • The base of the crags have grass and dirt, with few natural anchors like boulders and trees. For belaying a leader, place a nut or cam on the wall for an upwards pull.
  • Most top achors are either chain links or quick links - which means you should install two locking carabiners if you want to set a top-rope

If you don't own all the equipment yet, don't worry. I'll ensure that there will be enough ropes and quickdraws to go around. Still, I hope we don't have to bring Club Gear at this event, so consider investing in a rope and a few draws. Side note: REI has a sale on from May 17 to 27. They have climbing gear on sale, including a Bluewater 10.2mm 60m non-dry climbing rope on sale for $145, which is a good choice for top-roping and sport climbing. mountaingear.com also has lots of gear on sale too.
 
Also, I will have a first aid kit available, although it's wise to always keep a small first aid kit in the bottom of your pack.
 
When you sign-up for this trip, please indicate if you have any of the optional items.
 
We hope to see you out there. I'll organize more events like this in June, at places like El Rito, Tres Piedras and more.
 

Twelve-mile hike to Yapashi Pueblo and the Shrine of the Stone Lions

Leader: 
Bart Olinger
Leader Email: 
bart.olinger@gmail.com
Date: 
Sat, 2013-05-04
Difficulty: 
Hard
Technicality: 
Moderate

 
 
This hike is number 34 in Craig Martin’s 100 Hikes in New Mexico. This is a 12 mile one-way hike with elevation ranging from 5,670 to 7,580 feet. The hike begins at the Ponderosa camp ground near the intersection of state road 501 and 4. It goes through upper Frijoles Canyon, upper Alamo Canyon, then proceeds to the Shrine of the Stone Lions and the ruins of Yapashi Pueblo. The prehistory of Pajarito Plateau in relation to that of the Southwest will be discussed. Pottery shards will be examined and used to explain the occupation of the Plateau. The hike continues through middle Alamo Canyon, through Lummis Canyon, and down into Frijoles Canyon to the visitors center.
We will meet at the Bandelier National Monument visitors center at 8:30 am, Saturday, May 4, pay our registration fees, and then proceed to the Ponderosa camp ground in half the vehicles. We should finish the hike in 7 hours or by 4:00 pm. Bring hiking poles and a daypack with 2 quarts of water, lunch, sunscreen, and appropriate clothing. Email or phone Bart Olinger at bart.olinger@gmail.com or 500-6901 to be included on the hike. We will restrict the number of participants to 10.

South Fork Ticaboo Llama Expedition May 4-12, 2013

Leader: 
Bill Priedhorsky
Leader Email: 
bill@priedhorsky.net
Date: 
Sat, 2013-05-04
Difficulty: 
Moderate
Technicality: 
Moderate

Trip is full.  Once again we return to the Canyon Country, in what, according to my best reckoning, is my 100th lifetime trip. Our goal is the South Fork of Ticaboo Creek, accessible by trail from its south rim by people and llamas. Our previous trips to this country have targeted the nearby main fork, and we spent little time in the South Fork (see the 2009 trip report). The upstream terrain in the South Fork offers a new range of adventures - we can expect the usual domes, slickrock, and slot canyons. And a hike a couple miles downstream from camp, to the confluence, takes us to the best swimming hole I've ever found in the canyons (photo in the trip report). In the words of an online report written by Backpacker Magazine, "Among the 2,000 miles of winding shoreline and 96 side canyons, nowhere in Glen Canyon are there more hidden treasures than in the Ticaboo Creek-Fourmile Canyon region north of Bullfrog Marina. Here, a web of canyons cuts deeply into Navajo sandstone, creating well-watered gorges, slots, slickrock bowls, and soaring sandstone domes tucked between the Little Rockies and the lake's cliffy rim." Clearly, a return visit to a new corner of this country is in order.
 
We will once again employ the services of our llama packer BJ Orozco, who will provide 8 llamas to ferry our gear to a base camp in the South Fork. We will leave Los Alamos on Saturday, 4 May, overnight at the Recapture Lodge in Bluff, Utah (make your own reservations), arriving early enough for a late afternoon hike. The next day we drive to Bullfrog, where I will arrange lodging in one or two of the family units (translation: house trailers), and on Monday May 6 we will meet the packer and hike into the canyon. We will have 6 nights and 5 days to explore the South Fork and tributaries, and will move out early on Sunday, May 12 to hike out of the canyon, load into cars, catch the ferry across Lake Powell, and return to normal existence.
 
The packer will cost approximately $300 per person plus tip. There are eight places on this trip. In order to secure a spot, please send a $150 deposit to Bill at 380 Rim Road, Los Alamos NM 87544. In case of cancellation, we will attempt to fill your spot, but if this is not possible, your deposit is likely forfeit.
 

Wheeler Peak Snowshoe

Leader: 
Kelly Gallagher and Jean Dewart
Leader Email: 
kegallag@cybermesa.com; jdewart@q.com
Date: 
Sun, 2013-04-28
Difficulty: 
Hard
Technicality: 
Moderate

Still haven't made it to the highest point in New Mexico?  Join us for a hike to Wheeler Peak.

The Williams Lake trail to the summit is approximately 7 miles round trip
and is a steep switchback class 2 trail.  Total elevation gain of 2,970 ft; highest elevation 13,161 ft.  Moderate pace. We expect to start out on snow, and will finish the peak hiking.  Limit of 12 hikers.  One or two dogs ok, must have leash.

If there's interest, microbrew & dinner stop before heading home.
Send an email to Kelly and Jean to sign up - we'll make carpooling arrangements as the date nears.  
 

Guaje Ridge Shakedown

Leader: 
Bart Olinger
Leader Email: 
bart.olinger@gmail.com
Date: 
Sat, 2013-04-27
Difficulty: 
Hard
Technicality: 
Moderate

This hike is number 36 in Craig Martin's 100 hikes in New Mexico. Craig says the elevations are from 7,025 to 8,790 ft with 2,200 ft of elevation gain. We will start at Guaje Pine(s) Cemetery, the lowest point, taking the Perimeter trail to the Mitchell trail, then hike up to the Guaje Ridge trail, then east to the Cabra trail, and finally hike down to Rendija Canyon and back to the cemetery. This is the route of the Jemez Trail Run 1/2 marathon, minus the Posse Shack spur.The distance is about 10 miles and is an excellent shakedown hike for the upcoming hiking season. Bring your daypack, clothes for the weather, a liter or two of water, lunch, and walking sticks. We will meet just beyond the entrance to the Guaje Pines Cemetery at 8:30am and we should be back by 3:00pm. Contact Bart at bart.olinger@gmail.com to sign up.  Let's limit this group to 14. Hope to see you Saturday morning.

Two day yurt trip near Cumbres pass

Leader: 
Momo Vuyisich
Leader Email: 
vuyisich@hotmail.com
Date: 
Fri, 2013-04-19
Difficulty: 
Easy
Technicality: 
Beginner

AS OF MARCH 26, THERE IS ONE SLOT AVAILABLE FOR THIS TRIP
Please join us on an overnight yurt trip in southern Colorado. You can either snowshoe or ski to the yurt. This is a very easy trip, requiring only 2.5 miles of hiking and 400 ft of elevation gain to the yurt.
We will drive to Cumbres pass on Friday, April 19, hike to the yurt, and enjoy great views at sunset. In the morning, we will go on a short hike to the nearby ridge for some more great views. We will then return to our cars and drive home.
The yurt can sleep 6, and the cost is $25 per person.
You will need to bring your sleeping bag, but beds and cooking gear are provided.
Sign up by e-mailing the trip leader, and NOT by signing up on this website.

Zuni-Acoma Trail hike in the El Malpais Nat'l Monument (near Grants, NM)

Leader: 
Jean Dewart and Mary Thompson
Leader Email: 
jdewart@q.com; mary14er@gmail.com
Date: 
Fri, 2013-04-19
Difficulty: 
Moderate
Technicality: 
Moderate

 

  • THIS TRIP IS NOW FULL - SEND US AN EMAIL IF YOU'D LIKE TO BE ON THE WAIT LIST.
  • Join us for a car camping weekend at the El Malpais National Monument, to hike the historic Zuni-Acoma trail.   http://www.nps.gov/elma/index.htm
    The trip is a joint trip with the Northern Group of the Sierra Club.  We will limit the trip to 20 participants.  
  • We will drive to the Monument on Friday.  There are a number of sites to see, depending upon participant interest - tour Acoma Pueblo ($20), the NM Mining Museum ($3) in Grants, and El Moro Nat'l Monument ($3) 42 miles west of Grants. 
  • Saturday we will hike the historic Zuni-Acoma trail.  We may have a National Park Service Guide.  The trail is 7.5 miles one way, takes 6-7 hours, and will require a car shuttle.  The car shuttle may involve a "car key swap" - depening upon participant interest.  More details are found at:  http://www.nps.gov/elma/planyourvisit/upload/zuni%20acoma.pd
  • Sunday will include a shorter hike to archeological sites or volcanos within the El Malpais.  This may also be a ranger led hike.  One goal will be to return to Los Alamos/Santa Fe by 6 pm. 
  • There is camping at the BLM Joe Skeen campground on the eastern side of the El Malpais.  There are 10 primitive sites for up to 2 cars & 8 people each at the Joe Skeen campground.  Each site has an awning over a picnic table and is within strolling distance of 1 of 2 vault toilets.  Cell service is with Verizon whose tower is to the north.  There are clean rest rooms and limited potable water available between 8:30 AM and 4 PM at the BLM ranger station 2 miles south of the campground.   
  • It is also possible to join this trip and stay in a motel in Grants.  There is also dispersed camping in the El Malpais.  
  • Sign up via email to Jean Dewart, jdewart@q.com or Mary Thompson, mary14er@gmail.com.  As the trip nears, we will have more information on the hike, car shuttle, and camping details. 

 

Buckman Mesa and Otowi Peak

Leader: 
Bill Priedhorsky
Leader Email: 
bill@priedhorsky.net
Date: 
Sun, 2013-04-14
Difficulty: 
Moderate
Technicality: 
Moderate

We will explore the top of Buckman Mesa and its summit, Otowi Peak. Buckman guards the entrance to White Rock Canyon, with huge views of the Rio Grande, the Pajarito Plateau, and the Jemez. The trip description can be found in the Sierra Club's "Day Hikes in the Santa Fe Area", 7th edition, hike #30.
We will leave Los Alamos at 9:30 AM, driving past La Tierra to Buckman Road and the trailhead. We expect to be out until 4-5 PM, and folks interested can stop for dinner in Santa Fe before heading back to Los Alamos. Contact Bill P. regarding meeting locations.

CANCELLED: Llama trip to Fish Creek April 9-14

Leader: 
Bill Priedhorsky
Leader Email: 
bill@priedhorsky.net
Date: 
Tue, 2013-04-09
Difficulty: 
Moderate
Technicality: 
Moderate

Unfortunately, we did not have enough participants for this trip to go. Bill P. 02/10/13
_______
Dear Mountaineers,

This llama trip is scheduled over Los Alamos Schools spring break to make it possible to include students and teachers connected with the Los Alamos Schools. I expect options for day activities to include all levels of difficulty, from low-level technical scrambling down to easy, and am sure that we can meet the desires of all who take part.

Fish Creek is an archeology-rich canyon, below Cedar Mesa, with several tributaries. It has an exciting collection of slickrock scrambles and explores, and is marked by layered slickrock and hoodoo terrain. The highly ambitious could spend a day doing the 18-mile Fish Creek/Owl Creek loop (some details here); if so, I advise a very early start and headlamps for the return. For the less intrepid, there are hikes up Fish, up Owl, up McCloyd canyon, and scrambling up the canyon walls to the mesa tops.  For example, just 2 miles up Owl Canyon one finds an impressive geologic formation known as Nevills Arch. In the words of author David Day, "The reddish colored Cedar Mesa Sandstone has been carved into an eye-catching display of pinnacles and spires..." Our camp will be about a mile below the Fish Creek/Owl Creek confluence, and 6 miles from the trailhead.

The itinerary is arranged to require just two days of vacation for someone on an "B" schedule at the lab, or someone who can trade. It will run as follows:

Tuesday, April 9: Leave Los Alamos at about 4 PM, drive through to Bluff, brown-bagging dinner in the cars on the way. Stay at Recapture Lodge (make your own reservation). The drive takes about 5 1/2 hours if we drive expeditiously.

Wednesday, April 10: Leave Bluff in the morning, driving about an hour to the trailhead where we will load llamas and hike 6 miles into camp.

Thursday-Saturday, April 11-13: Day hikes from base camp, good company in the evenings.

Sunday, April 14: Hike out and drive back to Los Alamos, arriving in the evening.

Expenses will include lodging at Bluff, which will be paid individually; driving expenses, arranged by car; and the llama packer, which I will arrange.

All participants should be paid-up members of the Los Alamos Mountaineers with waivers on file. If you are not yet a member, it is easy to do so - see the Mountaineers web page here.
If you would like to go, please contact me and send me a deposit of $100. There are 2 or 3 slots left as of Jan. 25.

Sincerely, Bill

Red Wash Canyon day hike (Abiquiu)

Leader: 
Bill Priedhorsky
Leader Email: 
bill@priedhorsky.net
Date: 
Sun, 2013-03-31
Difficulty: 
Moderate
Technicality: 
Moderate

One of the classic cool season hikes in our neighborhood is Red Wash Canyon near Abiquiu, which straddles the boundary between the Colorado Plateau and the Santa Fe formation that fills the Rio Grande rift. It is surrounded by colorful rock formations, includes a slot canyon of sorts, and, at the top, opens into the Arroyo del Cobre (Copper Canyon), home for even more spectacular formations. Photos of Red Wash itself can be found here and here. This is an exploration of moderate difficulty that will be 6 to 9 miles round trip, depending on how ambitious we feel. Despite its classic standing, this will be a new trip for me, but I'm sure we can find our way to an interesting adventure.
This time of year, our plans are a function of weather. Things look promising for Sunday, with a prediction of mostly sunny and a high of 66 degrees. We will meet in Los Alamos at 11 AM, carpool to Abiquiu with a stop at Bode's (if you like) for a snack or to pick up lunch stuff, and spend the afternoon exploring Red Wash. Bring lunch, water, hat, sunscreen, and clothing suitable for whatever weather arises. On the way back, dinner at the Abiquiu Inn or in Espanola is an option for those interested.
If you are interested but find Easter to be an awkward day to go, let me know, and we can look at other possibilities. But I'd like to go if we can assemble a party.

Muleshoe Ranch hiking March 12-17, 2013

Leader: 
Bill Priedhorsky
Leader Email: 
bill@priedhorsky.net
Date: 
Tue, 2013-03-12
Difficulty: 
Moderate

Melissa and I recently had an excellent trip to the Muleshoe Ranch near Willcox, Arizona.
It is a lovely place of wild desert and oases, with many opportunities for hiking, as well as
hot springs on the facility. Our trip report and some photos can be found here.

I'd like to organize a return trip, one large enough that we can rent the whole set of casitas,
which gives us a large kitchen and the place more or less to ourselves, and would allow
us to take kids or grandkids under 17. An good time to go would be in mid-March
weekend, with flowers blooming and temperatures in the high 60's. We could make
our dinners in the lovely common room, watching evening settle in across the Hot Springs
Wash. We had hoped to book for Thanksgiving, but the date was unavailable, and we
should move reasonable quickly because much of March 2013 is already taken also.

I would propose the following schedule:

Tuesday, March 12, 2013: Drive partway, perhaps Socorro
Wednesday, March 13: Complete the drive (500 miles, 8 hours behind the wheel) and check in
Thursday-Saturday: Explore (4 nights at Muleshoe)
Sunday, March 17: drive home

Details on the lodgings can be found here. There are 5 casitas, and we should block
at least the central 4. Costs per person per night range from $62 to $98, depending on how
full we fill the facility. The 4 units at minimal occupancy (8) would cost $680 per night, rising
to $890 if we put 4 people in the largest 3 units, for a total of 14 participants. The separate
Stone Cabin could hold 2-4 more.

In order to secure the whole facility, I would like make a single reservation (I'll be the
banker). Reservations require a 50% deposit, with the rest payable upon arrival. If this
is as great a trip as I think it will be, there will likely be folks on a waiting list, willing to buy
out your spot if something comes up in the next 18 months.

There are a couple of casitas left at this point.

Please let me (Bill) know if you are interested, by e-mail to bill@priedhorsky.net, and indicate
your preference for lodgings - which unit and whether you would like to share.

Cumbres Pass X-C Ski

Leader: 
Jean Dewart
Leader Email: 
jdewart@q.com
Date: 
Sun, 2013-03-10
Difficulty: 
Moderate
Technicality: 
Moderate

Let's go skiing at Cumbres Pass on Sunday March 10.  Out and back X-C ski up the Dixie Creek drainage from Cumbres Pass.  8 miles round trip.  New snow Friday night/Saturday am, so the roads should be OK by Sunday and the snow should be good. 
Meet on the Trinity Drive side of LANB at 7:45.  Leave Los Alamos at 8 am.  (Note:  Daylight savings time starts Sunday March 10!).  Return 6-6:30 pm Sunday evening.  Bring layers of clothing, lunch, water.
Please email me if you'd like to come - jdewart@q.com  When you sign up, I'll contact you with carpooling arrangements.  

Valle Ski Tour re-scheduled to Feb. 24th

Leader: 
Norbert Ensslin
Leader Email: 
norbert.ensslin@gmail.com
Date: 
Sun, 2013-02-24
Difficulty: 
Hard
Technicality: 
Moderate

After the snowstorm this Wednesday, there are about 5 inches of new snow on the route.  The ski track through Canada Bonito is in very good condition, and trail-breaking in the meadow is easy because the new snow is pretty heavy and a little wind-packed.  Also, the extra snow should make the descent into the Valle de los Posos much easier.  So conditions are now MODERATE rather than difficult, and we can expect fairly fast skiing on good snow.

 

The Valles Caldera recreational staff have NOT given us permission to ski around the North side of Cerro Medio because they require more advanced notice to get approvals from their cultural department.  So this year we will again be doing the 11-mile route that we have done before rather than the 13-mile route.  But with the new snow it should not be hard to ski around the South side of Cerro Medio and across the Valle Grande.

 

This ski tour is a re-schedule of the trip from Pajarito Mountain to the Valle Grande staging area that was postponed two weeks ago because of poor snow conditions. I would like to thank the roughly 20 skiers who signed up for that trip, and I hope that most of you will be able to come this Sunday instead. This trip is also still open to other members of the Mountaineers, the Southwest Nordic Ski Club, the New Mexico Cross Country Ski Club, and other guests who are known to the trip participants from these clubs.

After the snowstorm this Wednesday, there are about 5 inches of new snow on the route. The ski track through Canada Bonito is in very good condition, and the extra snow should make the descent into the Valle de los Posos much easier. So conditions are now moderate rather than difficult. The Valles Caldera recreational staff have not given us permission to ski around the North side of Cerro Medio because they require more advanced notice to get approvals from their cultural department. So we will be doing the 11-mile route that we have done before.

The ski tour will start from the west end of the ski area parking lot, and skiers can depart anytime between 8 AM and 9 AM. (If the ski area is open, you can take a bus that arrives at that location at 8:33 AM.) Before departing, all skiers must sign a Valles Preserve waiver and a Los Alamos Mountaineers Club trip waiver. We’ll also collect the $10 Valles Preserve access fee (in cash) from everyone, so please bring change.

We appreciate that the Valles Caldera staff are again allowing us to do this trip as a "sanctioned group event."  We are asking trip participants to take responsibility for assuring their own abilities to complete the trip. This ski tour is roughly 11 miles, with an estimated 5 to 6 hours of skiing time. It requires at least an intermediate level of cross-country ski touring experience, and includes a moderate one-mile-long descent on a narrow jeep road under the current good snow conditions. Skiers should be able to maintain an average speed of 2 miles per hour in order to arrive at the Valle Grande staging area with some margin of safety before closing time. Specifically, skiers should turn back at the gate where we descend into the Valle de los Posos
if they cannot cover those first two miles in about an hour, or
if they have too much trouble with the descent to the gate, or
if they arrive at the gate after 10 AM.

Within the above constraints, skiers can travel at their own pace, staying between the lead group that breaks trail and the sweep group that brings up the rear. We do ask that no one skis alone, and that each group of skiers carries a cell phone with them.

Each group of skiers should work out their own arrangements for getting picked up at the visitor center at the end of the tour. But let me know if I can help you by sharing information about possible drivers or riders. PLEASE NOTE that if you leave a car in the Valle on Saturday, you must sign in with the staff and leave a note in your car saying that it will be left there overnight.

Advanced signup for this trip is required with a deadline of Friday night, February 22th. This way we will know who to expect at the trailhead and what transportation arrangements you've made. Please e-mail Norbert at norbert.ensslin@gmail.com or phone at 662-1408 to sign up so that we can communicate back and forth about weather conditions, car-pooling options, skiing experience, etc.

Avalanche Standard Level 1 Course at Pajarito Mountain

Leader: 
Bart Daly
Leader Email: 
bdaly77@msn.com
Date: 
Thu, 2013-02-21
Difficulty: 
Moderate
Technicality: 
Moderate

Avalanche Standard Level 1 Course at Pajarito Mountain, NM February 21-24, 2013 Taught by
Pajarito Mountain Ski Patrol
Are you a backcountry traveler that wishes to learn how to navigate avalanche terrain, or to rescue your partner should they be caught in an avalanche?  Are you a ski patroller desiring avalanche education, whether for application in the line of duty or for personal recreation in the backcountry?  If so, then this course is for you.
Some of the best winter recreational locales in northern NM are situated amidst avalanche terrain.  If you venture into the backcountry during snow seasons, it is a very good idea to take an avalanche course.
This National Ski Patrol (NSP) Avalanche Level 1 course conforms to the curriculum of the American Avalanche Association (AAA), and includes both classroom lectures and on-the-snow field exercises, including the following topics:

  • Avalanche triangle:  terrain, snowpack, weather
  • Beacon search, shoveling, and probing
  • Safe travel in avalanche terrain
  • Practical in-the-field snowpack stability evaluation methods
  • Immediate search for buried victims
  • Human factor

The class will be taught by Bart Daly, an NSP Alpine Senior Patroller and certified Avalanche Level 1 instructor, with help from several other Level 1 and Level 2 avalanche-trained patrollers who have extensive backcountry ski/travel experience.
Course schedule (all to be held at Pajarito Mountain Ski Area, NM):
Thu., Feb. 21, 6-9:30pm:  classroom
Fri., Feb. 22, 6-9:30pm:  classroom
Sat., Feb. 23, 8:30-3:30pm:  field sessions (outdoors all day)
Sun., Feb. 24, 8:30-3:00pm:  field sessions (outdoors all day)
Course requirements:  A good level of fitness and the ability to ski and move around in deep snow and steep terrain.  You should show up to the field sessions booted up and ready to ski.  You will need to bring a beacon, shovel, and probe, and be prepared to be outdoors (snow or shine) the entire day.  Lift rides to field exercise locations will be included as part of the course registration.  If you do not own beacon/shovel/probe, please acquire or borrow them from friends ahead of time.  As a last resort, we have a few loaners on hand, but their availability cannot be guaranteed.
“Pre-work”:  Upon enrollment, we will make arrangements to get you a copy of Snow Sense 5th edition by Fredston & Fesler (included in the course fee), which you will use to complete a written assignment.  The assignment must be completed and brought to the first classroom session.
Enrollment instructions:  The course slots will be allotted to roughly 50-50% between patrollers and members of the community, first-come first-served according to the date of receipt of the $50 course enrollment fee, which includes the Snow Sense book, lift privileges on the field session days, and an NSP certificate of course completion.
Please contact Bart Daly at: bdaly77@msn.com  to enroll and with any additional questions.
 

Leadville Snowshoe/Ski Feb. 14-18

Leader: 
Bill Priedhorsky
Leader Email: 
bill@priedhorsky.net
Date: 
Thu, 2013-02-14
Difficulty: 
Moderate
Technicality: 
Moderate

As we have done in past years, we will rent a house in Leadville and use that town - the highest city in the U.S. - as a base for snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and alpine skiing. The latter can be done at funky old Ski Cooper (3 free days with a Pajarito pass), or world class Copper Mountain, just 25 miles and 40 minutes away. We will drive up the afternoon/evening of Thursday February 14, spend 4 nights in Leadville, giving us 3 days for adventures, then return to Los Alamos on Monday the 18th, which is the President's Day holiday. With a house as a base, we can prepare dinners together and socialize in the evenings. Please write Bill at bill@priedhorsky.net to sign up. A $100 deposit will hold your spot.
Regards, Bill

Valle Crossing Ski Trip (delayed)

Leader: 
Norbert Ensslin
Leader Email: 
norbert.ensslin@gmail.com
Date: 
Sun, 2013-02-10
Difficulty: 
Moderate
Technicality: 
Moderate

 Ski Tour from Pajarito Mt. to the Valle Grande, Sunday, February 10, 2013

 

NOTE: Sign up for this trip is via email (norbert.ensslin@gmail.com) or phone (662-1408) NOT via the Mountaineers website.

 

This ski tour is a repeat of the popular trip from Pajarito Mountain to the Valle Grande visitor center that the Mountaineers have done for the past few years. This is a Los Alamos Mountaineers trip, but is also open to members of the Southwest Nordic Ski Club, the New Mexico Cross Country Ski Club, and other guests who are known to the trip participants from these clubs. 

 

Advanced signup for this trip is required, with a deadline of Thursday, February 7th.  This way we will know who to expect at the trailhead and what transportation arrangements you've made. Please e-mail Norbert at norbert.ensslin@gmail.com or phone at 662-1408 to sign up so that we can communicate back and forth about weather conditions, snow conditions, car-pooling options, skiing experience, etc. If it does look as though there might not be enough snow to do the trip, we have the option of postponing the trip for two weeks to Sunday, February 24. If so, I will notify participants via e-mail by Friday, Feb. 8th.

 

 

The ski tour will start from the west end of the ski area parking lot, and skiers can depart anytime between 8 AM and 9 AM. Before departing from that location, all skiers must sign a Valles Preserve waiver and (if not on file already) a Los Alamos Mountaineers Club trip waiver. At the parking lot, we’ll also collect the $10 Valles Preserve access fee (in cash) from everyone, so please bring the appropriate change.

 

We appreciate that the Valles Caldera staff are again allowing us to do this trip as a "sanctioned group event." We are asking trip participants to take responsibility for assuring their own abilities to complete the trip. The ski tour is roughly 11 miles, with an estimated 6 hours of skiing time. It requires at least an intermediate level of cross-country ski touring experience, and includes a difficult descent on a narrow jeep road. So the trip is not for beginners. Skiers should be able to maintain an average speed of 2 miles per hour in order to arrive at the visitor center with some margin of safety before closing time. Specifically, skiers should turn back at the gate where we descend into the Valle de los Posos

 

if they cannot cover those first two miles in about an hour, or 

if they have too much trouble with the descent to the gate, or

if they arrive at the gate into the Valle de los Posos after 10 AM. 

 

Within the above constraints, skiers can travel at their own pace, staying between the lead group that breaks trail and the sweep group that brings up the rear. We do ask that no one skis alone, and that each group of skiers carries a cell phone with them.  (Reception in the Valle Grande is pretty good.)

 

Each group of skiers should work out their own arrangements for getting picked up at the visitor center at the end of the tour.  There are several options for doing this, including arranging a car shuttle with other skiers, getting someone to come and pick you up, or leaving a car at the visitor center on Saturday, the day before the trip. Let me know if I can help you by sharing information about possible drivers or riders.  PLEASE NOTE that if you leave a car at the visitor center on Saturday, you must sign in with the staff when you get there, and also leave a note in your car saying that it will be left there overnight. If the Valle staff do not know whose car is in the lot at closing time, they are obliged to start a search and rescue effort. This almost happened once, so please help us prevent this!

 

 

Brazos Overlook SkiTour

Leader: 
Norbert Ensslin
Leader Email: 
norbert.ensslin@gmail.com
Date: 
Sun, 2013-02-10
Difficulty: 
Moderate
Technicality: 
Moderate

 
This ski tour to the Brazos Overlook is a replacement for the tour from Pajarito Mt. to the Valle Grande, which has been postponed to Feb. 24th or later in the hope of getting better snow conditions in the Jemez.  The Brazos tour starts at the second picnic area along the highway between Tierra Amarilla and Tres Piedras and goes out to a scenic overlook of the Brazos Cliffs.  It is about a 2-hour drive from Los Alamos followed by a moderate 7-mile-roundtrip ski tour.  This is a very beautiful, popular area that the Mountaineers have visited in past years.  There is usually good snow because of the 10,000 foot elevation and the more northerly location.  However, this year we may encounter some windslab and a short rocky area to navigate through.  It may also be snowing or windy on Sunday.
Let's meet at the Los Alamos National Bank parking lot at 7:30 AM Sunday to depart for this trip.  We can put together some carpools as needed.  Also we can meet up with any skiers from Santa Fe at the Northern New Mexico Community College parking lot in Espanola at 8 AM.  If you did not already sign up for this trip via the announcement postponing the previously-scheduled Valle ski tour, please sign up for this alternate tour by e-mailing Norbert at norbert.ensslin@gmail.com.
NOTE: Sign up for this trip is via email (norbert.ensslin@gmail.com) or phone (662-1408) NOT via the Mountaineers website.
 
 

IT'S A GO! Wilderness First Responder 5-day course

Leader: 
Lorrie Bonds Lopez, Carl Gilmore, April Grisitti
Leader Email: 
bondslopez@comcast.net
Date: 
Fri, 2013-02-08
Difficulty: 
Hard
Technicality: 
Beginner

WE HAVE 9 OPEN SLOTS LEFT.
Wilderness First Responder (WFR) is the definitive course in medical training for outdoor educators, guides, SAR team members, and others who work or play in remote areas. The curriculum is comprehensive and practical, including all of the essential principles and skills required to assess and manage medical problems in isolated and extreme environments. The 5-day format is for individuals and sponsors with less time available for on-site training and requires 25 hours of pre-course preparation.
Students must register at least 2 weeks before the course date. All students must complete all pre-course work prior to arrival on course.
Description
25 Hours Pre-Course Preparation and 45 Hours On-Site Training
Dates

  • Friday, February 8, 2013, 4 hours
  • Saturday, February 9, 2013,  9 hours
  • Sunday, February 10, 2013, 9 hours
  • Friday, February 22, 2013, 4 hours
  • Saturday, February 23, 2013,9 hours
  • Sunday,  February 24, 2013,10 hours

Cost: $625, a deposit of $200 due upon registration
Class size limit: 21
Registration: email or call Carl Gilmore (carl@taosnet.com/ 575-758-2719) then mail deposit to Carl Gilmore, 209 State Rd 240, Taos, NM 87571
Information: email bondslopez@comcast.net or call Lorrie at 505-670-5359
Location: TBD based on registrations; probably White Rock Town Hall
Class Format
This course covers the same material and meets the same criteria as our standard Wilderness First Responder. It is designed for students and professionals who have tight schedules and the self-discipline to complete approximately 25 hours of pre-course preparation.
Students will have access to the WFR Study Guide two to four weeks before the course starts. They are required to complete the assigned reading, case studies, study guide, and tests. The on-site instruction that follows reinforces and expands on the knowledge already acquired. Because students arrive familiar with the didactic material, on-site daytime training can focus on wilderness and rescue scenarios and practical skills. Evenings are reserved for study and assignments. Expect rescue scenarios with made-up victims and simulated wounds to prepare you for backcountry emergencies. Sessions may be videotaped for enhanced learning.
The 5-Day WFR course has been through five years of development and testing. Conscientious preparation, studying, and time prior to the course is essential for success. This is not a short-cut version of our standard course. Established WMA International clients and other groups who are interested in this new format are encouraged to contact us about this offering.
Textbooks
The following teaching materials are provided by WMA International at no additional cost:

More info on the course at; Wilderness First Responder 5-Day - 5-Day

It's Groundhog Day: Pinorealosa Peak Ski Trip

Leader: 
Michael Altherr
Leader Email: 
mraltherr1@gmail.com
Date: 
Sat, 2013-02-02
Difficulty: 
Moderate
Technicality: 
Moderate

I so enjoyed Jean's last ski trip to Spruce Hole/Pinorealosa Peak area North of Chama that I thought that it would make an excellent deja vu moment for Groundhog day. Leave Los Alamos at 7 am, return about 5-6 pm.  Let me know if you'd like to come, at mraltherr1@gmail.com - and we'll arrange car pooling. Additional details can be found in the trip archive (12/23/2012)

11th Annual Sandia Mountain Snowshoe Race

Leader: 
Jean Payne
Leader Email: 
jean.payne505@gmail.com
Date: 
Sat, 2013-01-19
Difficulty: 
Hard
Technicality: 
Beginner

 

11th Annual Sandia Mountain Snowshoe Race

 

The 11th Annual Sandia Mountain Snowshoe Race, presented by Friends of the Sandia Mountains, is scheduled for Saturday, January 19, 2013. The race begins at 10:00 a.m. at the lower level parking lot at Sandia Crest and is a 5-km trek through the Cibola National Forest.

 

Register at REI or by mail. Registration forms and more information are available online at www.sandiasnowshoe.com. The registration fee of $30 ($45 after January 5, 2013) includes a long-sleeved T-shirt, pre- and post-race refreshments, and prizes in several categories.

 

The race is limited to 150 participants, and racers of all levels are invited to participate. The race filled up early the last years, so don’t delay and miss out on the fun.

 

 

Jean Payne

Chiapas, Mexico Jan 17-31, 2013

Leader: 
Dick Opsahl / Sherry Hardage
Leader Email: 
hardagesa@aol.com
Date: 
Thu, 2013-01-17
Difficulty: 
Easy
Technicality: 
Beginner

2 Week trip to Chiapas Mexico with the Los Alamos Mountaineers.

Dick Opsahl will be the official leader for this Mountaineers trip to Chiapas from Jan 17-31, 2013.  I, Sherry Hardage, am organizing it. I lived in San Cristobal de las Casas for 7 months and know the state reasonably well.

Attached you will find the itinerary for this 2 week excursion in the state of Chiapas, Mexico. It is the farthest state south and shares a border with Guatemala. It is semi-tropical with a lot of the state above 6,000 feet and therefore more temperate. We will spend much of our time based in San Cristobal de las Casas, exploring this colonial city and its surroundings using local tour companies. In addition we'll visit some well-known and not so well-known Mayan city ruins and waterfalls.

Cost for this trip will be $1500 based on double occupancy of hotel rooms. That does not include food or airfare. It does include tours, bus fares, tickets for activities, entrance fees to ruins and museums, etc. We will use three local tour companies for day tours and one longer tour of some remote Mayan ruins. We will use public transportation for most of our activities, all of which serves to keep the costs down. We're planning to spend one night at a Lacondon Mayan village in the jungle, but I'm not sure yet what those accommodations will look like, whether it will be in cabanas with beds or hammocks, or just what. It's all part of the adventure!!

I opted not to cover food for the participants because there are so many wonderful restaurants in San Cristobal that vary in cuisine and price. It's easier on pocketbooks and diets if we make our own food choices. On a few occasions we will all be at the same restaurant, but we'll purchase our meals separately. Meals in Mexico are very reasonable, even at expensive restaurants. A steak dinner with wine will be less than $20 at most of the Argentinian restaurants. $15 buys a large pizza, salad (and probably beer) for two people.

I just checked a few airline tickets. The cost is under $1000 R/T from Albuquerque. Flights typically arrive in Tuxtla Gutierrez airport from Mexico City in the afternoon and evening. As far as I know, there are no direct flights from the US to Tuxtla Gutierrez. Arrangements will be made to get people from the airport to San Cristobal on January 17th even if you arrive quite late in the evening.

There will only be 8 people on this tour, I will make nine. Nine is the maximum number that most of the tour vans can take. The hotels that I've booked are for double occupancy, so if you are a single person, please find someone to share the room with you. To hold your place on this trip,  contact me first at hardagesa@aol.com.  A deposit of $400 will be required to hold your place on the trip.   

The balance will be due Dec 15. If you decide you can't go and you let me know before Dec 15, I can refund the $400, but after Dec 15, I can't refund anything. So please think about buying trip insurance to cover the loss of money in the event that you can't come after that date. Also, check with your medical insurance to see if they will cover you for an emergency in Mexico, or consider getting travel medical insurance as well. Most of the travel websites offer both kinds of insurance at the time you purchase your ticket.

Attached is an itinerary for the trip. I've gotten the tour companies to reserve our dates and will make hotel down payments as soon as I get deposits. There is so much to see and do in San Cristobal and Chiapas. I think we'll have a great time together!

Sherry Hardage
______
Chiapas Tour Itinerary (not set in stone, subject to possible changes....)
 
Jan 17, Thursday
·      All arrive in Tuxtla Gutierrez Airport in afternoon.  Depending on the schedules, we will have a van for all of us, or arrange a car for pickup
·      Night in San Cristobal at hotel near plaza or on the Guadalupe Andador (a walking street)
·      Explore the nightlife, bars on the Andador, music scene
 
Jan 18, Friday
·      10:30am go to Chiapa de Corzo on public bus. See the ParaChico Festival all day, return in the evening.   
·      8 pm till midnight: the night market in front of the Cathedral
·      Lots of night life, live music, everything is open late
·      Possible arranged dinner/entertainment
 
 
Jan 19, Saturday
·      Tour in the morning of Zinacantan and Chamula, probably the market will be open in Chamula too.
·      Afternoon: Amber and Customs museums, climb to top of the Mirador for vistas of the valley.
·      If it’s showing: the Palenque Rojo theater production in the eve.
 
Jan 20, Sunday
·      Free exploration day in San Cristobal. Sundays are the days when families are out and about, lots of music in the Centro, and all the stores and churches are open
·      Museums to visit:  Jade Museum, Chocolate Museum, Coffee Museum
·      Artisan’s market where local Mayans sell crafts. Lots of imported clothing from Guatemala and India. Around the market are local co-ops where Mayan women sell their needlecrafts & beautiful embroidery
·      Tour of Na Balom, history museum of the Lacondon Maya, their lives and crafts in the Lacondon jungle. Good to see this one, as we will later be staying in a Lacondon village.
·      Meals at excellent local restaurants: Argentinean steaks, artisanal pizzas, and cuisines of India, Japan, Thailand, or sample a large variety of street foods.

 
Jan 21, Monday
·      Private tour with Cisco Dietz, founder of the Orquideas Moxviquil Orchid and Bromiliad preserve. Public transport to the preserve, spend 2-3 hours there.
·      Walk to the Mayan Museum of Medicine. 1+ hour visit, walk or bus back to Centro
·      Optional hike to top of Guadalupe Church for panoramic views of Jovel Valley
 
 
Jan 22, Tuesday
·      We will check out of our hotel in San Cristobal.
·      Meet at 9:00am; go on public transportation to Ocosingo, where we will check into a hotel. Then we will take combis to Tonina. Spend the day at Tonina, a Mayan ruin, and the tallest pyramid in Mexico. You can climb to the very top for panoramic views of the valley. On-site museum is quite good. A small restaurant is open for lunch or snacks.
·      Dinner in Ocosingo
 
Jan 23, Wednesday
·      In the morning we will check out of the hotels, and take public transport to the town of Palenque.
·      Check into hotel there
·      We will visit the ruins & museum in the afternoon
·      Dinner in town of Palenque
 
Jan 24, Thursday
·      Early morning, Jovel Tours will pick us up. We’ll go again to see Palenque in the morning light, then in the afternoon, we’ll go to Agua Azul and Misol Ha.
·      We will spend one more night in Palenque
 
Jan 25, Friday
·      Jovel Tours will take us to Bonampak, the best murals of the Mayan ruins, then on the river launch to Yachilan, another Mayan city
·      After Yachilan they will take us to a Lacondan Mayan jungle village where we will spend the night.
 
 
Jan 26, Saturday
·      Jovel tour’s guide will take us around in the village and then they will take us by van to San Cristobal where we will check into hotels
·      Evening back in San Cristobal, possible Sak Tsevul (Mexican-Mayan-Japanese rock band) concert and dinner at Casa del Pan.
 
 
Jan 27, Sunday
·      Cave exploration and hiking with Arnulf Wirth, several public and some hidden caves. Public transport there and back, picnic lunch in the mountains
·      Afternoon tour of a unique paper making factory
·      Some free time to continue seeing the city and enjoying Sunday on the Plaza
 
Jan 28, Monday
·      Alex Aranda tour: Explore the lakes at Lagunas de Montebello. Hiking, boat rentals, photography, local foods at the tiendas
·      Included is a stop at the ruins of Chinkultik
 
Jan 29, Tuesday
·      Check out of the San Cristobal hotel
·      Alex Aranda tour of Miradors above Sumidero River, lunch at an excellent restaurant in Tuxtla, he will leave us in Chiapa de Corzo at a hotel for the night
 
 
Jan 30, Wednesday
·      Boat trip: Canyon del Sumidero tour up the Grijalva River in the morning, the best light!
·      Tour of a lacquer artist’s studio in the afternoon
·      Climb the church bell tower for views, see the ancient cieba tree in the plaza, lots of artesanias shopping. Town is very old, was a Mayan town long before the Spanish arrived.
·      Dinner together in Chiapa de Corzo.
 
 
Jan 31, Thursday
·      Everyone flies home today. Taxis from Chiapa de Corzo hotel to the airport.
 

Pagosa/Wolf Creek Winter Sports Jan. 17-21

Leader: 
Bill Priedhorsky
Leader Email: 
bill@priedhorsky.net
Date: 
Thu, 2013-01-17
Difficulty: 
Moderate
Technicality: 
Beginner

Let's return to Pagosa for a weekend of winter sports - snowshoe, cross country, and downhill at Wolf Creek, as your tastes may take you. In the evenings we can relax at the hot springs. Snow conditions are epochal. Wolf Creek has received 6 feet of snow in the last week, and is boasting a 60-inch base already, which bodes well for excellent conditions for the next few weeks. Our plan will be to drive up to Pagosa in the afternoon or after work on Thursday, January 17, and drive back sometime on the MLK holiday, Monday Janaury 21, which gives us 3 full days for winter sports. I'll rent a house based on the number of participants, which gives fairly low cost housing, when we share out the cost, and a place to share dinners and lies in the evenings. Please e-mail Bill at the address above to register your interest. Your spot will be secured with a deposit of $75. Past experience is that lodging for the whole 4 nights might be in the range of $150 per person, but we won't know the details until we assemble the part and make a reservatoion.

East Fork Snow Shoe

Leader: 
Michael Altherr
Leader Email: 
mraltherr1@gmail.com
Date: 
Sun, 2013-01-13
Difficulty: 
Easy
Technicality: 
Beginner

Meet at PEEC at 9:15 for a 9:30 departure. Return around 3:00 p.m.  Bring a lunch. We will start at the Las Conchas trailhead and finish at the Eastfork trailhead, a total distance of about 5 miles with an anticipated travel time of 3 hours. The trail follows the meandering East Fork of the Jemez River for approximately two miles before climbing up to the top of the mesa. The trail then descends almost imperceptibly through quiet woodland for about 3 miles to the Eastfork trailhead. Car pools and shulttles will be set up to facilitate the trek in one direction.  Children and well behaved, friendly dogs are welcome (but please be prepared to remove their waste, dogs too ;-) ) .  If there isn't enough snow for snowshoeing, this will be a winter hike.

Cross Country Skiing at Cumbres Pass

Leader: 
Jean Dewart
Leader Email: 
jdewart@q.com
Date: 
Sun, 2012-12-23
Difficulty: 
Moderate
Technicality: 
Moderate

Hello all!  There is 18" of snow at Cumbres Pass and another foot on the way Tues/Wed.  Let's go X-C skiing!  The trip will be to Spruce Hole/Pinorealosa Peak area - and out/back ski tour from La Manga Pass (5 miles past Cumbres Pass on Highway 17).  The tour will be approximately 8 miles - we'll start on the Spruce Hole Road, and then climb up onto Pinorealosa Peak for some great views.  Sunday will be in between snow storms.  Bring layered clothing, lunch, water.   And, if you have them, bring climbing skins - we probably won't need them, but they are always useful to have.  Leave Los Alamos at 7 am, return about 5-6 pm.  Let me know if you'd like to come, at jdewart@q.com - and we'll arrange car pooling. 

Cancelled due to wretched weather prediction: Red Wash Canyon day hike (Abiquiu)

Leader: 
Bill Priedhorsky
Leader Email: 
bill@priedhorsky.net
Date: 
Sun, 2012-12-09
Difficulty: 
Moderate
Technicality: 
Moderate

The weather outlook is very bad for hiking (perhaps good at least for skiing) and I am cancelling. Bill P., AM Dec. 8
_______
One of the classic winter hikes in our neighborhood is Red Wash Canyon near Abiquiu, which straddles the boundary between the Colorado Plateau and the Santa Fe formation that fills the Rio Grande rift. It is surrounded by colorful rock formations, includes a slot canyon of sorts, and, at the top, opens into the Arroyo del Cobre (Copper Canyon), home for even more spectacular formations. Photos of Red Wash itself can be found here and here. This is an exploration of moderate difficulty that will be 6 to 9 miles round trip, depending on how ambitious we feel. Despite its classic standing, this will be a new trip for me, but I'm sure we can find our way to an interesting adventure.
This time of year, our plans are a function of weather. With any luck, we will have a last day of cool but hikable weather on Sunday before the snows come in. We will meet in Los Alamos at 9 AM, carpool to Abiquiu with the obligatory stop at Bode's for breakfast burritos, and spend much of the day exploring Red Wash. If we have time at the end of the day, we will explore the Posthuouinge pueblo ruins 2.5 miles southeast of Abiquiu. This is a huge pueblo, the largest that I know of, and its outline can be seen from above by continuing along the Forest Service trail to the hilltop.
Bring lunch, water, hat, sunscreen, and clothing suitable for whatever weather arises. On the way back, dinner at the Abiquiu Inn or in Espanola is an option for those interested.

Exploratory hike: Velarde badlands

Leader: 
Bill Priedhorsky
Leader Email: 
bill@priedhorsky.net
Date: 
Sat, 2012-12-01
Difficulty: 
Moderate
Technicality: 
Beginner

While we wait for snow, I'd like to try a trip that is completely exploratory. I've found no mention of the area in any hiking guide. The area in question is the badland country east of State highway 68 that is visible on the drive from Espanola to Velarde, the little settlement just before one enters the Rio Grande gorge. This country shows up on contour maps as heavily corrugated and complex. A typical satellite view of the terrain can be seen here. It is accessed via dirt roads that leave highway 68 in several places. The maps clearly show this as BLM land, all the way from the highway to Truchas in the east, so access shouldn't be a problem.
The plan is to meet in Los Alamos at 9:00 AM on Saturday morning, drive down to the area in vehicles that are good on dirt roads, head up one of the access roads, perhaps the one up Canada Ancha, and set out into the badlands to see what we can see. We can rendezvous in Espanola with anyone who doesn't live in Los Alamos. I'll have an alternative destination in mind if we don't find a reasonable hike, but my experience is that one can often find something interesting with a little patience and poking around. I hope to spend the whole day exploring. If folks are interested, we can stop for dinner in Espanola on the way back.
Please send an e-mail if you would like to join us.