Sunday, June 26, 2011

Return to Trail of Death

The "Trail of Death" is one of the first trails that I blazed when I moved to our current home in 2000. It is really a series of informal trails that go up and down one of the foothills just East of our house. I was a pretty novice hiker and this particular trail seemed to be quite a challenge. As I got more experienced, I confirmed to myself, "this really is a challenge!" The reason for this is the steepness of the trails and the quality of the trails themselves.

For years prior to my getting my snow hiking gear, it would be my winter hiking grounds. It has been a couple of years since I've been on it. But it has the distinct advantage of not being in the National Forest. Hence it is a trail still available to me during this period of drought and forest closures.
(Note: I was facing east early in the morning and with the rising sun my pictures were not very good.)

Here is the hill just a few minutes from the house. I will head to the left side to go up. Transverse the top. Head due east and then go down on the right (or south) side.

Here I am ready to go up. I will head up on the diagonal line that you see mid-picture going from lower right to upper left. Then, I follow the ridge line as I head up.

These two pictures show the nature of rock strewn and hard packed quality of the trails that make it extremely difficult both ascending and descending. The "Trail of Death" got its name from me because of how easy it is to slip and loose your footing. That is still true.

I took this from close to the end of the first major climb to give you an idea of the steepness.

After the first few climbs (my pictures of the stair step nature of the climbs didn't turn out) you transverse an area that is almost tundra like.

Climbing the last big climb, I am looking down on the south side area I will be descending through.

From the highest point looking west back of Albuquerque.

This the area that I was look down upon after making my first steep descent.

And looking back the way I came.

And looking down the final descent.

I was thinking as I was finishing the hike and heading home about how cool it is and how lucky I am to have something like this that I can walk to from my house and still live in a place where I'm 25 minutes from an airport where I'm just a plane change from getting to my kids spread over the world.


alexis said...

nice the way life works out that way, huh? I think it's good karma for a good person.

Lakeview Coffee Joe said...

So you're walking through a trail area that is unregulated even though all the regulated trails are closed do to the serious fire danger? Next thing you know there will be a bear mauling and you'll go hike the trail anyway!!!

Anonymous said...

that must be really nice to have something like that to hike within walking distance from your house. Jealous!

Mike said...

The thought of hiking up something like that makes me hurt just looking at it... not even taking into consideration that you're in the desert. Kudos to you.