Forum Index > Trip Reports > Cabezon Peak ~ New Mexico ~ 1/5/23
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Fletcher
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Joined: 29 Jul 2009
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Location: kirkland
Fletcher
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PostFri Jan 06, 2023 1:31 pm 
I moved down here to Denver about 5 weeks ago. Although I have done some peaks since being here, I hadnt really done anything that I felt worthy of posting until this little gem NW of Albuquerque this week! I was interested in Cabezon because it made Adam Walker's "Best Desert Scrambles" list. One of only 3 peaks in New Mexico to do so. I knew it was a long drive from Denver, but my friend Jen was interested in joining and an afternoon and dinner in Santa Fe seemed like it would make the long drive worth it. After said afternoon and New Mexican food in Santa Fe on Wednesday, we headed south toward Albuquerque and eventually to the remote-feeling trailhead for Cabezon where we'd stay the night. It was a cold night in the desert and I started the Outback up a few times to warm her back up. The cold kept us in bed a little longer than planned but we were up and hiking by 9.
Cabezon from the car
Cabezon from the car
The approach to the beginning of the scrambling on Cabezon is short, maybe a mile, on nice trail. Views to the south and west were impressive with other nice looking peaks, having me wishing that we'd had more time down there.
a cool looking peak to the south, I havent been able to figure out what it is..
a cool looking peak to the south, I havent been able to figure out what it is..
rounding Cabezon
rounding Cabezon
Cholla!
Cholla!
Eventually, as the trail rounds the south side of the peak, a gully comes into view. That is the only weakness that allows access through the cliffs surrounding the peak. The trail gets a little rougher as it climbs through talus towards the gully.
gully coming into view
gully coming into view
A few fun class 3 steps lead the way to the beginning of the gully. In the beginning of the gully, there's a fun class 4 step of solid rock that we were very glad did not have snow on it. Above that, more fun and solid class 3 leads a long ledge system and cuts across the east face of the peak. There was a dusting in snow in some areas, making the exposure feel a bit more intense.
the gully with class 4 sections higher up
the gully with class 4 sections higher up
Jen coming up the gully
Jen coming up the gully
the ledge
the ledge
After the ledge, more fun class 3 climbs upward to the crux headwall of the climb. I think the lower gully crux is probably tougher scrambling, but the dusting of snow on the upper crux made it more intense for us. Care was required.
upper crux, snowy section behind the tree
upper crux, snowy section behind the tree
Above the upper crux, its a short hike to the summit at 7,785'. Temps were pleasant by this late in the morning, and the sun felt very good.
nearing the summit
nearing the summit
the beloved Outback way down there
the beloved Outback way down there
views
views
We hung out on top for 20 minutes, enjoying the warm air, then headed down. The upper crux was a little scary to down-climb but went well. The lower crux was better because it was dry, but still face in down-climbing.
a Bristlecone?
a Bristlecone?
looking back down the crux
looking back down the crux
The hike back to the car was short, and we began the long drive back to Denver.

pwrobinson, Brushbuffalo, Gimpilator, freddyfredpants, Now I Fly, Tom, reststep, RichP, neek  awilsondc  KascadeFlat
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gb
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Joined: 01 Jul 2010
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gb
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PostFri Jan 06, 2023 3:45 pm 
Pretty different, Fletcher. We will miss you here - although you may not miss the weather. My nephew lives near Boulder - doesn't like the rain. I climbed in Eldorado Canyon with my nephew. You'll have a lot of good climbing not far away. Had I known you were moving I'd have gifted you a number of climbing guides in the general area. Gary

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raising3hikers
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Joined: 21 Sep 2007
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Location: Edmonds, Wa
raising3hikers
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PostFri Jan 06, 2023 5:55 pm 
Nice looking scramble, congrats on your 1st New Mexico pk.

Eric Eames
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Get Out and Go
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Joined: 13 Nov 2004
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Location: Leavenworth
Get Out and Go
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PostMon Jan 16, 2023 3:05 pm 
Wonderful to see trips from the SW this time of year. cool.gif I've never been to New Mexico, but your TR and your second photo of an unknown peak intrigued me enough to explore the area through Google Earth and some maps. Fascinating area indeed with the volcanic necks. I think I identified your peak as Cerro de Nuestra Señora. https://listsofjohn.com/peak/13709 Even found a view of it from an ultralight:

"These are the places you will find me hiding'...These are the places I will always go." (Down in the Valley by The Head and The Heart) "Sometimes you're happy. Sometimes you cry. Half of me is ocean. Half of me is sky." (Thanks, Tom Petty)
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Fletcher
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Joined: 29 Jul 2009
Posts: 1849 | TRs | Pics
Location: kirkland
Fletcher
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PostSat Feb 04, 2023 11:13 am 
How did I miss this comment for weeks!? Get Out and Go, thanks for figuring this out. No recorded ascents on peakbagger, but I’m determined to change that on my next road trip south cool.gif

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