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If you have any question about being qualified for this hike then contact me. This is most defiantly an advanced and strenuous hike that demands people with the ability to persevere, endure and laugh about it.
The dude on the left is a member of the Hiking Princess's entourage. He is giving us fair warning that if we don't turn back we are in for some serious pain.
Physical Rating: Strenuous
Technical Rating: Advanced
Distance: 7-10 miles
Elevation Gain: ~5100 feet
Prerequisites: Hiked with me, Victoria, Mikee or Doug Flynn. Strong hikers with endurance and off trail experience welcome.
The Hiking Princess calls it a scar and I agree with her. This is the line below the upper tram terminal that looks like a gouge going down and cutting through the limestone band. This creates a weakness we will exploit to make our accent to the ridge about the upper tram terminal.
We've done this hike several times. The first time was on May 28, 2012. We call that hike the Canyon of Pain and Suffering Route.
HIKE IN A NUTSHELL:
• We will assemble at the lower tram terminal and leave at 7am SHARP
• Proceed across the foothills and enter Domingo Baca Canyon
• We will leave the trail not far below the TWA crash site
• We will enter in an arroyo and hike north
• The arroyo will branch into a steep drainage. At that point we will bushwhack east.
• We will take a slot up through the lower limestone band into the upper reaches.
• We follow the drainage until it opens up to what I call the Sandia Scar.
• We will ascend the Scar to the upper tram terminal. This is a formidable class 4 scrabble. Keep in mind at this point in the hike our energy will be waning and the sun relentless on our back. This is a potentially dangerous part of the route.
Be advised that once we begin the accent up the scar we will encounter extremely steep slopes and class 4 scrambling with serious exposure. This area is very difficult and very slow going. There is the risk of injury.
We are never in a rush on this kind of hike, but move with purpose. Our attitude is we will get back to the cars when we get back to the cars. It wouldn't be unusual for us to find ourselves doing serious bushwhacking or struggling to get though difficult terrain. This is not a hike for the novice.
Be prepared for a long day, including the possibility of inclement weather. We will retreat if conditions warrant. Hydration, hydration, hydration, bring at least a gallon. You will need it.