Culebra Peak

Date to Climb: July 25, 2009

Date Climbed: July 18, 2009

Elevation: 14,047

Range: Sangre de Cristo

Latitude: 37.12220, Longitude: -105.18570

Route: Northwest Ridge ll, Class 2

Round-Trip Mileage: 7

Pre-Climb Comments

We are not looking forward to this peak. It is nothing more than a numbered slog with $100 each to donate to the effort. At least is is accessible. Jake is not allowed to go. He will stay with Ray and Monica. We will be up and down as soon as possible.

Post-Climb Comments

We wish this was our last climb before Longs, but we still have all of the Elks to do. We moved the climb up one week so that we could do it without having to drive back to the area again. Luckily there was an opening and the ranch rescheduled us.

The drive from the Colony Lake trailhead to the north entrance of the Culebra Ranch was long, very long. We finally arrived at 11:30, set up the car for sleeping and were asleep in minutes.

The alarm went off at 5:15. We talked for a minute then started the waking process. We were not as sore as expected from our two grueling days in the Crestones.

At 6 Carlos arrived, gave a speech, and led the way to the North Ranch Office. There he took our money and release forms, directed us to the trailheads, and told us how to escape the grounds.

We were able to drive to the trailhead, but the road was very steep. If we were not part of a caravan it would have been easier, but a jeep was going slow and even stopping to go over water bars. We needed a running head start to make it up the hills.

From the Four Way Trailhead we walked the road to the Upper Trailhead. We started from the lower parking area so that we would have a 3,000 foot ascent. From the upper parking we walked up a slope to a ridge. There really was no trail just a big grassy, rocky slope. On the ridge, all that was left was the long traverse to the summit. A couple of false summits (we always are hoping to be there, long before we get there) and finally we arrived at the real thing.

Giant Cairn

Cairn with Culebra in background

The group that was hiking that day was unusual to us. Everyone was a serious hiker/climber and they were all trying to do all of the Fourteeners. It was a delight to talk and listen to them. One man had already climbed all of the peaks once and was on round two completing them with his wife (or companion.) He was the only person in the group who had climbed Culebra before that day. Others were at different stages of completion, but all accepted us even though we were from Tennessee. The group answered questions about peaks we still had to do and asked us questions of peaks we had completed. Together as a group we had a wealth of knowledge.

Culebra summit

Culebra summit ridge

Culebra was a good hike, but the best part of the hike was the group that climbed separate but together. Hopefully, we will meet some of them again on a mountain somewhere.

Culebra Peak - July 18, 2009 summit check