I awoke at 5 am and had the craving for a climb. I chose to go for Lake Peak. I got everything ready and was out the door at 5:20 am. I hit a delay on the freeway near Santa Fe as the remains of an exploded semi blocked traffic and forced everyone to get onto the frontage road. I lost ten minutes because of the accident, but still got up to the Windsor Trailhead at 6:55 am. On the drive up the road from Santa Fe to the ski basin, I saw a couple dozen tents at numerous campgrounds and a herd of at least 12 elk. There was a thin layer of cumulus over the Sangre de Cristos at sunrise and I became a little worried, but when I started the hike they had all disappeared. I hiked quickly and ran in spots on the way up to the ridge along the Windsor Trail. I continued to hike swiftly up the ridge along the fence, and it wasn’t until midway up Raven’s Ridge when I became tired and had to slowed things down a bit. At a slow and steady pace, I reached the north-south ridge of Lake Peak. I lucked out by bringing my jacket because it was surprisingly chilly and windy above the trees. With the summit in sight, a little hop picked up in my step again and I stepped onto the summit at 8:25 am. I gazed about and realized how close Penitente Peak was, so I rubbed my sore legs some and set out for the other mountain. I climbed briskly and jogged lightly to Penitente Peak, reaching it in 14 minutes. My legs nearly gave out towards the top, but, as if I had a second pair of legs, the pain ceased and my strength returned. I hiked back to the southern section of Lake Peak’s ridge and had lots of problems finding paths to take me there. Before I realized, I had passed the trail back down to Raven’s Ridge. Around this area, at 9:00 am, I met two individuals following in my steps towards Lake Peak. The second man suggested I walk towards Tesuque Peak and take one of the trails running down the ski slopes. I took one the didn’t really exist and ended up walking straight down below the chair lift for about a thousand vertical feet; my knees will not forgive me for a while. I opened up the car door at 10:20 am and gladly ate an energy bar on the driver’s seat.
No comments posted yet.