Guadalupe County High Point Trip Report

Date: September 21, 2001
Author: Scott Surgent

I took the "Olsen" route with a slight variation. The options for this highpoint are: 1) drive in through an unlocked gate on the west side of the ranch near spot elevation 5987 or 2) drive up from the south to a locked gate north of spot elevation 5826.

In March 2000 I tried option 1 in a late-Spring snowstorm. I drove my truck up the west side of the mesa to near spot elevation 6125 where the road makes a sharp turn but snow and low clouds conspired to literally white-out everything and I aborted that attempt. There was that and the fact the cattle in the area started to follow up the road to my truck to check me out.

This time I had excellent weather. I opted against the western gate entrance, even though others have tried it with no problem. Instead, I drove up the 2-track from spot elevation 5826 on Road 4F, 1/2 mile north to the locked gate. It added about 2.5 miles overall to the hike but it would keep my truck out of sight.

From the gate I followed a sandy ranch road north about 1.25 miles to the base of the mesa. Instead of continuing on the road as it curled up the mesa, I went directly up the mesa, about a 150-foot gain up rock and brush. Once on top, I went east and re-scaled another 150 feet of mesa to the main plateau area. I continued due east and crossed one of the 2 hp areas, eventually catching up to the road again where it dips slightly between the 2 hp areas. I made the eastern hp area and found the benchmark (and cairn and old wooden structure) after about 15 minutes of traipsing in the brush.

I followed the road out but must say that it really is in awful shape for about 1/4 mile where it makes that sharp bend at spot elevation 6125. I down-climbed the mesa and walked/jogged the ranch road back to my truck. No one ever bothered me.

Trip statistics: 5 miles round-trip, about 600 feet of gain (including some lost en route) and 2.25 hours.