Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Truchas Peak 2008

Last week, my dad and I (with Team/Crew 201 of the Cherry Hills Ward) went on a week long backpacking trip in the Pecos Wilderness. It was awesome! I'll try to get some of the highlights here in my blog.

Jessica looks pretty excited in my 65 lbs backpack! She'll have to come next time...

There are a lot of dangers while backpacking. You can fall off a makeshift bridge into a stream, you can get stuck in a lightening storm on the top of a ridge (with a metal frame on your back, nonetheless), you can fall into a pile of horse poop, or you can even sit on a decaying log and have it roll onto and almost break your leg. All of which has happened here in the Pecos while backpacking.

I love the Pecos Wilderness. It is such a magnificent place where many of the beauties that God has created are manifest! Look at the views:

Like always, we saw our share of wildlife. We saw cows, horses, elk, deer, big horn sheep, marmots, squirrels, chipmunks, and wild mountain hamsters.

Lunch time!

If you know me, you will know that whenever I see an awesome mountain lake like the one below, I get an irresistible urge to take a dip. So that's what I do. The Truchas Lakes are among the coldest I have ever been in. They are fed by glaciers on the side of the mountain.

Can you believe that, after literally freezing my butt off to swim across, these guys would sneak up behind me and throw snowballs? I mean, how cruel can you get?

We made it! (even though Baby Dillon had to use a floaty...)

After three attempts at summiting Truchas Peak (NM's 2nd highest peak at 13,106 feet), we finally did it! And boy was the view spectacular!

After some fun on Truchas Peak, we headed over to Middle Truchas (which was a longer hike than we expected) for some more great views and boulder rolling. And, to get down from the mountain, we decided to take the "short" route. Straight down. Gosh, we must be crazy.

Here we are walking on the ridge and heading towards Pecos Baldy. We had a good time hiking, hunting marmots/Baby Dillon, and playing cards (like always).

We decided we needed to summit Pecos Baldy, so we started to climb straight up the mountain. Little did we know our summit would soon turn into an amazing rock climbing/bouldering experience with lots of loose rocks. We almost died. No joke. But it was worth it for the view and for the story.

We also decided to take the short route down from Pecos Baldy by sliding down a snow drift. Sean Naegle slid down the snow about 15 feet but gained enough momentum to continue another 25 feet after the snow stopped. Intense. Okay, fine: borderline stupid.

And after a week of hiking, our trip has ended! It was loads of fun; hopefully the young guys learned a lot (and not just how to almost kill themselves).

As tradition mandated, we stopped in Santa Fe at Blake's Lotaburger to have our first dinner all week that wasn't freeze-dried. It was delicious! I'm sure that I gained back all the weight I lost (and then some). But it was worth it. Notice the Blake's Lotaburger shirt that I am wearing to commemorate the successful completion of another backpacking trip. Yay!


Mike said...

Great write-up Sam. I need to borrow this for our 2008 YM history! It's going to be difficult to swim the lakes when you are gone, but don't worry, I'll keep up the tradition!

Jenny said...

You guys have so much fun. I wish one day we could go together to one of those trips.