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Purgatory Canyon - 1 member in 5 triplogs has rated this an average 2 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Mar 05 2017
imike
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 Guides 253
 Photos 6,930
 Triplogs 2,467

71 male
 Joined Nov 05 2008
 Cloudcroft, NM
Purgatory CanyonSoutheast, NM
Southeast, NM
Canyoneering avatar Mar 05 2017
imike
Canyoneering7.10 Miles 1,100 AEG
Canyoneering7.10 Miles
1,100 ft AEG
Canyon Hiking - Non-technical; no rope; easy scrambling; occasional hand use
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Thought this would be an easy hit... but the Antlers were further up canyon than I recalled. Once there, they were huge! I could not see working them down the climbs and through the undergrowth we'd just hiked up through... so... climbed out of the canyon; tracked a variety of upper Elk trails (appropriate?) around and out. Eventually, mounted the rack on my pack... got a bit of an idea how the Elk might feel with that awkward load!?

After having logged two prior days of harder efforts, this day hit hard! Time for a rest day?
_____________________
Ageless Mind... Timeless Body... No Way! Use It and Lose It. Just the way it is...
Feb 23 2017
imike
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 Guides 253
 Photos 6,930
 Triplogs 2,467

71 male
 Joined Nov 05 2008
 Cloudcroft, NM
Purgatory CanyonSoutheast, NM
Southeast, NM
Canyoneering avatar Feb 23 2017
imike
Canyoneering12.00 Miles 3,100 AEG
Canyoneering12.00 Miles
3,100 ft AEG
Basic Canyoneering - Scrambling; easy climbing/downclimbing; frequent hand use; rope recommended; easy exit
B - Up to light current; wading/swimming; possible wet/dry suit
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Okay...expecting a less than route. I'd forewarned Mary and Ross a number of times about my initial hike here in 2010. I had not been back...but today the planned route sounded too difficult for them. Instead, we headed up Purgatory to retrieve antlers left up on the adjoining cliffs.

The first hike had been a struggle...overgrown from the get go. All that was now gone! We enjoyed a great bedrock path with vista views of the surrounding cliffs. It got better and better. Small challenging dry falls...interesting rock. Nice.

Oddly, numerous elk and deer carcass...lots of antlers.

I had to check the 2010 pictures to confirm it was the same canyon.

Exit route was semi exploratory...out the cliffs then wrapping over into Roundup Canyon and connecting with t107...then out Roundup Cliffs trial.

Long day in great canyon. I'll need to reevaluate that cut.
_____________________
Ageless Mind... Timeless Body... No Way! Use It and Lose It. Just the way it is...
Dec 01 2015
imike
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 Guides 253
 Photos 6,930
 Triplogs 2,467

71 male
 Joined Nov 05 2008
 Cloudcroft, NM
Purgatory CliffsSoutheast, NM
Southeast, NM
Hiking avatar Dec 01 2015
imike
Hiking11.80 Miles 2,600 AEG
Hiking11.80 Miles
2,600 ft AEG
 no routes
Interesting exploratory loop... need to head back up in there to check out some additional potential spurs. Great day out... minor foot/shoe issue cut the hike short.
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Ageless Mind... Timeless Body... No Way! Use It and Lose It. Just the way it is...
Apr 26 2013
imike
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 Guides 253
 Photos 6,930
 Triplogs 2,467

71 male
 Joined Nov 05 2008
 Cloudcroft, NM
Alamo Canyon Trail #104Southeast, NM
Southeast, NM
Hiking avatar Apr 26 2013
imike
Hiking12.40 Miles 3,310 AEG
Hiking12.40 Miles   8 Hrs   27 Mns   1.80 mph
3,310 ft AEG   1 Hour   34 Mns Break
 no routes
Partners none no partners
Terri’s Friday group put off the Garden Wall hike until next week… so, I decided on a long delayed exploratory: Purgatory Ridge. Since Purgatory Canyon cliffs out from below, the ridge was a shot at seeing what the upper portion of the canyon held.

No real energy, so slow slog up Alamo Canyon, 2.8 miles to the mouth of Purgatory Canyon, and the climb up and onto the Ridge. There the hike began for real.

I chose to angle up below the crest of the ridge, following deer trails that overlooked Purgatory. Eventually, I angled over the crest to take in the views into and across Alamo Canyon… very nice! After an easy crest walk the ridge cliffed out… I opted to scoot around and below on the right and scored a great Elk Trail… that carried me up past the rocks, and once above, again I crossed over to check out the Alamo Canyon area. The Ridge was giving me views I’d never had across so much area that I spend time hiking across. It promised to continue to give more and more as I climbed higher and higher.

I continually opted to follow game tracks off the top of the Ridge crest on the Purgatory Canyon side… it paid off with sneak peaks down into the canyon, but never any clear views. I did note an obvious detail: across and above the canyon, the rock cliffs that formed the barrier to scaling the south side of Lower Purgatory Canyon made for a consistent incline ledge that, like the Garden Wall hike, formed a natural hiking route. You could access the Cliffs down at the mouth of the canyon and walk their upper edge up and around nearly all the way up to the terminal waterfall formation that capped out Upper Purgatory Canyon. It would not be a too hard hike. Nice.

Up… and up some more, very slowly.

Finally, I wrapped around and found myself on the cliffs on the north side of the canyon… walking the edges towards a dramatic waterfall formation… 80+ feet of sheer wall closing off the uppercanyon.

I made for the top of Purgatory Ridge to the north… and climbed up to the north fork saddle. From there, up to Purgatory Peak and the high point of the Ridge. The views were impressive, and I spotted an alternative return route: Good Canyon to the east looked to intersect back with Alamo Canyon… probably near the old cabin site above the mine? If it would connect, it would mean returning sort of on trail.

It looked clear… it was. It dropped me right to the cabin!

There was a small problem… I’d planned on a 4-6 hour hike. I’d brought along fluid and calories for that effort. But, here I was nearing the six hour point and had yet to turn for home. I’d noticed that my feet could begin to cramp if stressed to a particular position. Not a great sign.

At seven hours I was on the way home, but moving slow. The slower pace did have a bright spot: I paid more attention to the route of the old roadbed from the mine down the canyon… and took more pictures documenting the remains of the old water line. I also paid closer attention to the engine block below the mine. Over the years it appears then reappears as the depth of the river bed rises and falls. Today, I checked it out. It was a straight six, Oldsmobile engine. I have no idea from what year.

Also found some interesting bottles from 50+ years ago… with very specific text… I snapped pictures; they’ll be posted.

Legs began to cramp after the seventh hour… not steady, but did not portend well. The pace slowed, but I was now plodding along over paths I’d covered many, many times before… getting home was a sure thing. I just wish I’d thrown in that second half gallon of OJ… it would have made the extra hours about right. The half gallon of OJ and two no cal energy drinks that I did have was just not enough. This would have been a great hike to have 1.5 gallons of fluid… and the potassium from the full gallon of Orange Juice.

As I opened the door to the truck at the trailhead, I noted that the hike logged a bit over 12 miles… 3700’ of up/down… and 8.5 hours of total clock time. GPS showed 1.5 hours of down time; I’m not sure that is right.

I drank the half gallon of OJ within the next 30 minutes… hands and legs still cramping here two hours later, legs really twisting me up! My fault. It was a fasting day. If the hike is longer than four hours I add in 200-300 calories per hour of OJ to try to diminish the impact, and get that potassium that will keep me from cramping. Today, not enough of anything, except effort.

Thinking back to the highpoint of the hike: it was a great day. Purgatory Peak is a must do. Purgatory Cliffs may be another great mid level effort route to add to the lists. Purgatory Canyon remains as before: why go there!

I think I’ll check Good Canyon off my list this coming Sunday!

Wow, this is fun stuff! Solo wandering up and around, out and about…

Note: first snake sightings of the year!

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Good Canyon Light flow Light flow
plenty of water... at the intersection with Alamo Canyon
_____________________
Ageless Mind... Timeless Body... No Way! Use It and Lose It. Just the way it is...
Oct 08 2010
imike
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 Guides 253
 Photos 6,930
 Triplogs 2,467

71 male
 Joined Nov 05 2008
 Cloudcroft, NM
Alamo Canyon Trail #104Southeast, NM
Southeast, NM
Hiking avatar Oct 08 2010
imike
Hiking10.30 Miles 1,900 AEG
Hiking10.30 Miles   7 Hrs      1.47 mph
1,900 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
HAZ - Event
Exploring another of the side drainage canyons off of Alamo Wash, Purgatory Canyon. Not going to go down as a favorite. I may have been having an off day, but I just could not get into this overgrown cut... not enough bedrock, way too much shrubbery. Oh, well... it must of at least been a good workout day, I was wasted by the time I made it home.
_____________________
Ageless Mind... Timeless Body... No Way! Use It and Lose It. Just the way it is...
average hiking speed 1.64 mph

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.

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