Guadalupe Peak Trip Report (#17531)
- Signed By: Steve Hufford
- Date submitted: October 21, 2003
I flew into El Paso from Alaska on Sunday, the 19th. Drove into Guadalupe Park Monday morning at 8am just as the visitor center was opening. Clear skies and the air was just beginning to warm up. Headed up the trail at 8:20am. Half an hour later I began to encounter several 20-40 foot walls that required the use of my hands to get up and over. I thought this was just a hike, not a climb! Also, looking up above me I couldn't spot another hiker although two people had signed the trailhead register only minutes before me. I concluded this couldn't be the correct trail to Guadalupe Peak and headed back down (I had climbed about 500 feet). When I got back to the trailhead I realized I hadn't made the left-hand turn (a mere 20 feet from the start) to get onto the correct trail. I had been on the Frijole Trail instead. I imagine others have made the same mistake because the Guadalupe Trail sign doesn't face hikers coming from the trailhead but faces hikers coming back from where I had mistakenly been. So I was back at the trailhead at 9:50 and proceeded up the correct way. The Guadalupe Trail was a 'piece of cake' compared with the Frijole. And what fabulous views all the way up. I was pretty tired going up the last 500 feet. Got to the top at 1pm, 3 hours and 10 minutes after my 'second' start. Stayed on top for half an hour visiting with a young couple from Olympia, Washington (the Freiers). They had both climbed Rainier several times and he had done McKinley as well - without a guide. I was impressed (he was originally from Iowa - as am I - and is an Iowa Hawkeye fan - as am I, except I'm a HUGE Iowa Hawkeye fan!). He said McKinley was as tedious a climb as he'd want to do so he doesn't have any ambitions of doing anything in the Himalaya. I headed down at 1:30 and got back to my car at 3:15, 3:10 going up and an hour and forty five minues coming down. This was one of the prettiest state highpoints I've done.