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Whitewater Baldy
5 Photosets

2022-10-30  
2015-05-20  
2011-05-10  
2008-06-27  
2007-07-13  
mini location map2022-10-30
12 by photographer avatarDixieFlyer
photographer avatar
 
Whitewater BaldySouthwest, NM
Southwest, NM
Hiking11.46 Miles 2,255 AEG
Hiking11.46 Miles   6 Hrs   16 Mns   1.94 mph
2,255 ft AEG      21 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout | Pop | Map | Popup | MapDEX
This was a hike to Whitewater Baldy (elevation of 10,895 feet and prominence of 3,535 feet), the highpoint of Catron County.

I started and ended the hike at the Sandy Point TH. The TH was 17 miles off of Highway 180, and the drive was slower than I expected. It was narrow in many places with lots of blind curves, so I had to be cautious of any oncoming vehicles -- fortunately there were none. If the road is dry you don't necessarily need 4WD, although there was some snow on the road in the last couple of miles so I was happy that I had 4WD. There is a gate on the road about 5 miles before the TH; the gate is still open but I imagine that it will be shut for the winter before too long.

I had read on corporate social media that the forest service had recently cleared 2,300 dead trees on the Crest Trail, from the TH to Mogollon Baldy. The trail was in fine shape on the portion that I hiked. Once I got to Hummingbird Saddle I made the off-trail ascent up to Whitewater Baldy. Unfortunately, there was downfall everywhere once I got off the trail. That and 3 inches or so of snow turned the ascent of Whitewater Baldy into a real suckfest. This was one of the tougher ascents that I ever made. It was time consuming and energy-sapping finding ways over, under, around, and through all of the fallen down trees. I finally made it up there though. The descent was about as bad.

Once I got back down to Hummingbird Saddle I sat down to take a break, looked down at my shoes, and discovered that I had lost one of my microspikes somewhere on the ascent or descent; but I sure as heck wasn't going to go back up there to find it. So I wore one microspike on the way back (there were some sections of the trail with a bit of snow on it).

Synopsis
Nice trail; brutal bushwhack.
 Culture
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[ checklist ]  Trail Maintenance
_____________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. -- Edward Abbey
 
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