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Hershberger Ridge, NM

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Rated  Favorite Wish List NM > Southeast
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Canyons are inherently risky. Flash floods occur without notice on sunny days. Technical skills & surrounding topography knowledge required yet does not eliminate risk.
Statistics
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Difficulty 4 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance One Way 3.6 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,627 feet
Elevation Gain 3,053 feet
Accumulated Gain 3,200 feet
Avg Time One Way 3 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 14.26
Interest Off Trail Hiking & Peak
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
Post the 1st photoset!
Author imike
author avatar Guides 253
Routes 0
Photos 6,930
Trips 2,467 map ( 21,513 miles )
Age 69 Male Gender
Location Cloudcroft, NM
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Preferred   Feb, Mar, Oct, Nov → Early
Seasons   Late Autumn to Late Spring
Sun  5:51am - 6:02pm
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Water
It's all Up!!
by imike

Hershberger Peak is the highest point in the frontal range adjacent to the Marble Canyon drainages, yet all traditional routes to reach that high point are accomplished through connecting on trails running near the mountain, or climbing one of the canyons, or crossing The Mesa and hiking the upper Mesa ridge.


Yet there is a direct route, right up the western ridge system that divides the Northern and Southern Marble Canyon drainages. The nicest route begins by moving up the southern Middle Marble canyon, exiting that drainage nearly immediately on to the ridge on the left (the dividing ridge between the northern and southern Middle Marble Canyons. Following that ridge up to the upper basin of the northern Middle Marble Canyon, then traversing over to the ridge line to the north (the upper portion of the southern Middle Marble Canyon.) From that point it is simply a steady uphill, shifting back and forth on the ridge line to enjoy views to the north of Marble Canyon north drainages, and to the south, the middle and southern Marble Canyon areas. The ridge line hiking shifts from moderate steep grades, to very steep areas, but both can be cross angled, creating effective switchbacks to soften the climb.

Hershberger Peak is reached on it's western side, avoiding all the traditional trails and the other ridge and canyon approaches.

Once on the ridges, it is simply a matter now of moving steadily up, choosing your route based on what canyon views you desire.

To reach the ridges, from the mouth of the main canyon hike a mile into the southern drainage, and just before the "narrows", turn left into the small boulder filled drainage and enjoy the steep but easy bouldering for about 100 yards, glancing to your left for access up and through the deeply eroded cliffs... move out of the drainage to that ridge line on your left, then enjoy the easy trekking up along that mostly open ridge.

An alternative beginning route: instead of following the main southern Canyon, at the split between the North and South canyon drainages, head up towards the left of the small shiprock formation... the drainage on the left of that will carry you up and around and into the northern Middle Canyon. It looks like that is just a small side wash that will end in a few hundred yards, but in fact that drainage continues on for over a mile, forming the very nice northern Middle Canyon cut, ending on the ridgeline where this route traverses to the north.

There is work underway to convert this route into the Hershberger Peak Trail, making it the primary route to access the peak. Once the trail is developed, this route will provide the shortest route to the Peak, though also the steepest!

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your canyon trip to support this local community.

2010-03-11 imike
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Most recent Triplog Reviews
    Hershberger Ridge
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    exploratory for ridge route to the peak... much nicer ascending west end of ridge, cutting across middle north canyon... climbing the north ridge... we descended potential spur trail along Hershberger Ridge South to the Narrows in Marble South...

    spotted yet another canyon in Marble North (Shadow?)...

    Very nice loop... Ross enjoying all of this?
    Hershberger Ridge
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Just a fun, meandering day. Terri's first time up Goat Springs Canyon... and the Mesa Ridge route... and Hershberger Peak. We approached along the edge of Alamo/Caballero Canyons... checking out a variety of spur canyon exploratory potentials.

    Hershberger a bit nicer than in years past; plant growth dying off the peak, opening the vista views.

    God littered T109 with multiple deadfalls! Must be an ATV hating female God; I like it.

    Ortega breezy.

    Couple of newby hikers on the "A" trail... we encouraged them to turn back and live to hike another day... with water and food along.

    Jim heading up as we exited the trail.

    I called it a day without heading back up for the needed AEG... massive leg cramps last night have me wanting to focus on eating/drinking to correct whatever the deficiency may have been; I'll make it up tomorrow?

    Good day.
    Hershberger Ridge
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    This log will be amended later in the day... to what degree I'm not sure, but in it's own way this early morning portion is possibly as pertinent as what might follow over the course of the hike.

    Yesterday, for some odd reason I logged three hikes... and all without really eating. The day prior to that, I scored a nearly over the top hiking day with two hikes, the second one a really substantial outing.

    the following log entry (from my journal) sets up what is to happen today:

    Okay... it's just a tad before 1am... and I am up working on the computer. Yet... I'm up as in woke up, got out of bed... not still up from the day before.

    I laid down around 8:30-9 pm.

    Now, back some years ago, my pattern, once trained up, was about 4 hours of sleep. I had to be careful not to go to sleep too early or I'd pop awake in the middle of the night... ready to get up and go. This might be one of those days?

    I had wanted to get up early. I'd hoped to juice a pineapple/blueberry mix for today's hike. Now, that is out. The other reason I'm up this early...

    I've had a molar bothering me. I have held off making a dental appointment. I'm not entirely sure why, but part of the reasoning was a throwback to 2011. That year of studying poverty did not include any serious illness issues... now, here in 2014 I was looking at an issue, albeit minor, that for that $580 year might have consumed six months or more of my budget!

    Just after midnight I addressed the problem; I extracted the tooth.

    Now, I assume I need to stick with simple liquids for a couple of days.. all of those seeds and pulp from the berries/apple might cause problems. I'll drink orange juice for the hike and milk for recovery at the end of the day.

    So... the economics: research suggests (note below) that without insurance, I'd likely be out of pocket for $250? I could buy two Fixie bikes for those dollars... and have enough left over for a new heart rate monitor! In 2011, with an annual budget of only twice the cost of the dental procedure, there would have been a substantial incentive to avoid the dentist.

    The non-economics... did I just step beyond that realm of "normal" once again...?... into aspects of daily actions that fall beyond the average... beyond what most might consider a bit odd? Would/could the economic perspective re-balance some of that oddity?

    So... 1:30am now... I guess I could get set and go out for a pre-hike hike. I know it is close to the New Moon... that is not ideal. Perhaps house cleaning... washing clothes... shopping? I should go gargle with some nicely alcoholic mouthwash; that may pose some interesting moments!

    2014... a most interesting year!


    Should this triplog include photos of the hike and the tooth... shopping at Walmart?

    2pm: not the day I had planned, in so many ways!

    Other hiker cancelled... I started to head out on the off trail route, then the lanyard to one of my trekking poles got stuck in the locked door. This struck me as a sign; I opted to hike more on trail, but augmented the day with a heavier pack, including the pickax to drop off up with the stashed tools.

    It was lots of very slow walking.

    There was an interesting off trail section wherein I encountered another Forest Service boundary marker. In this area that typically means old private lands mining claims. Sure enough, just out of site there was a substantial diggings.

    Also found an odd bottle bottom. Green, with broken bits of what appeared to be a Sprite labeling... but the intact bottom embossed: Platt National Park????

    So... the day progresses. I might go out for an end of day hike; maybe finish the one I meant to do yesterday?

    mj



    Research:

    Tooth extractions may be performed by a dentist or a specialist known as an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. Often the cost of pulling a tooth includes a follow-up office visit to check healing or remove sutures.
    Normally a tooth is firmly encased in a bony socket and attached by a ligament. To extract the tooth, the socket needs to be gently widened. Sometimes a tooth is so firmly anchored that it must be removed in sections.
    Swelling and discomfort are common for the first 24-48 hours after a tooth extraction, and should subside completely in four to seven days. Complete healing typically takes three to four weeks for the gum tissue and six to eight months for bone.

    Typical costs:
    A non-surgical extraction for a tooth that is fully erupted from the gum can cost $175-$300 depending on the tooth, the type of anesthesia, the dentist and the local cost of living. If the appointment is on an emergency basis (evenings, weekends, or same-day or next-day scheduling) the total cost can be $300-$450 or more.

    Dental insurance typically covers 70%-80% of standard costs if the extraction is considered medically necessary and not done just for cosmetic reasons. For example, CostHelper readers with dental insurance report paying $90-$465 for a simple extraction, at an average cost of $230. CostHelper readers with insurance report out-of-pocket expenses of $26-$145 for a simple extraction, with an average cost of $87.

    6:30am... at the trailhead. Hike Scheduled for 8am, but I've got a feeling the other hiker might show early...? I did manage to rest a bit... maybe not a lot more sleep. Drank a quart of milk and laid down around 3:30am. Great sunrise glow right before 6am... now, cooler breeze with hints of moisture in the air. Parka in the pack today.
    --
    Hershberger Ridge
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Started the hike from the house, walked over to Marble Canyon and hiked in, turning up the Middle Fork, south branch. I'd forgotten how nice this one is. Energy was not great but I plodded on up to the top of the canyon, and found some nice little falls to climb, then exited onto the Ridge... checking out more options for a potential new peak trail. Found some nice areas to wind a trail around and through. Was not paying attention heading down and followed the wrong meadow... my intent was to loop to the Mesa, and instead I was heading down into Marble Canyon south... had to reverse back up and move on around the mountain.

    Energy never did come up, but it was an nice outing. Looking over and down into Marble Canyon South got me anxious to get to that canyon hike... just a couple weeks away!

    Found a large elk rack... carried it down off the mountain...not sure why.
    Hershberger Ridge
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Explored the Middle Cut drainages in Marble Canyon, and reviewed the potential entry points for the Hershberger Peak ridge trail. Snow storm turned me around shy of the peak, but made it to top of both mid canyons... then, hit Goat Springs trail on way home... shorter day than planned, but did not feel like fighting the cold and wet up higher..

    Permit $$
    None


    Directions
    Map Drive
    or
    Road
    Paved - Car Okay

    To canyon trip
    In Alamogordo, follow Tenth Street to it's far eastern end, and park at the small city park next to the fire station. Hike south and slightly east over to the mouth of the canyon. You can drive from the park over to the canyon mouth, but the car will likely be more secure at the park.
    page created by imike on Mar 11 2010 2:54 pm
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