May 28, 2013

Group hike with the ASCHG to Mount Taylor. The summit is at 11,301 feet but before you ask, no, we didn’t make the entire climb! I mean, we have our limits. 🙂 Instead, we drove to the Gooseberry Spring Trail Head at 9,100 feet and only hiked the last 2,000 or so feet to the summit. Hey, we’re old people and not only have we gained a measure of wisdom during the course of our life, we are also very polite hikers. And if the Forest Service put a trail head at 9,100 feet, it would have been extremely rude of us to not use it! 😉

The Gooseberry Spring Trail is part of the Continental Divide Trail (CDT). My GPS indicated the trail head was at 9,106 feet and we climbed 2,262 feet to the summit. The trip to the summit is about 3.1 miles… unless you walk all over the place taking hundreds of pictures like I do, then it’s more like 3.5 miles! It took three hours to get to the summit, including stops. Two hours without stops. One and a half miles per hour isn’t a very fast hiking pace but at least we were moving… but the  average grade on the way up was 12% and that’s pretty steep. Okay, okay, so steep is a perspective thing (well, it’s an age-thing, too!) but, for us, it was a pretty steep climb.

I have to admit, going up the mountain, we were strung out all over the place.  The wind was blowing pretty hard up there, too. I thought I was going to lose my trade-mark hiking hat! But all of us were eventually able to reach the summit and we felt pretty good about our accomplishment, too. I’m telling you, we are some bad-ass senior hikers. Well… I felt like that until we got around those younger guys at the summit who were hiking the entire CDT — from Mexico to Canada. I hate reality checks!!!! 😉

The trail map link,  below, is from my second Mount Taylor hike. Since I wasn’t doing trail maps this way when I did this first Mount Taylor hike, I include it here because it contains more information, like grade percents for the three climbs it takes to get to the summit.

Click here to go to the trail map… then click on the individual icons for the trail notes. If icon notes come up empty, try reloading the map.

Click here for my second Mount Taylor hike

Here are the pics. Click the first one to start the manual slideshow.