I woke up at 8:15 am and I picked up my friend Jeff at his home 8 miles south of Tijeras around 9 am. We made it to the trailhead at 9:45 and started up the canyon five minutes later. The climb onto the shoulder of Cerro Blanco came unexpectedly as the trail gradually became steeper up the canyon. Once on top of the ridge, the hike became a walk with slight increases in elevation all the way to the east foot of the peak. On the saddle below Mosca Peak’s northern neighbor, the main trail takes a very sharp turn while another trail continues to the west. We took the wrong turn and saw some impressive views of Bosque Peak and the series of canyons below. The false trail gave out after a couple hundred feet, becoming faint and undistinguishable from the other paths through the flora. We were forced to turn around and that’s when we found the correct trail. Less maintained than the earlier portions of the hike, this part has a tiny bit of bushwhacking. After we walked through two meadows and saw the peak straight west from us, we decided to head for it. The brush was horrendously thick all the way to the top and the rock climbs over the belts of limestone on the peak became our breaks from the slog through the trees. If we didn’t have a machete, we wouldn’t have been able to get off the trail to attempt the climb to the summit. Rainstorms formed all around us while on the steep face of Mosca, but we continued nevertheless. Within twenty feet of the summit, the vegetation cleared and an awesome view came to light. Cloudbursts were traveling along the range like columns of water from a garden hose. One came within a mile of us, hitting the meadows down below. Thousands of ladybugs littered the area on the summit while baby horned-toads scampered about. On our way down we lost our trail very quickly and had to make a new one, which slowed things down. The clouds had cleared at that time, taking a lot of pressure off our backs. We ended up reaching the trail at a point to the south of the two meadows, completely off target. Once on the trail another series of menacing clouds came from the east with lightning and thunder. We booked it back to the car, arriving at 2:30 pm as the rain began to fall. The drive back to Tajique was incredible as squirrels, rabbits, and a flock of wild turkey crossed the road before us.
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