Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Mescalito Northern Route Options

Mescalito is the pyramid shape peak that divides Pine Creek Canyon into north and south forks. There are two standard routes to the summit: the Southern and Northern Routes. The Southern route has not changed much since I found it back in the nineties. The Northern route is a different story. The original route was up a loose embankment and then through the brush to a short climb. At some point I changed the route to ascend a very steep shoulder. This involved a very exposed (read: you fall; you die) class 4+ climb.

The Change:

Last week I redid the route up the loose embankment. It's brush free, easy to follow and well cairned. The photo shows both routes. At the top the routes meet up and continue to the windsock tree. It's here that the Northern and Southern routes merge. From there the route travels to the summit.

Northern Route Options

                   The Descent:

If I ascend the Northern Route, I normally descend the Southern Route making it a round trip hike.  Virtually all hikers like round trip hikes as oppose to up and back hikes.

Stats: (Northern Route)

Trailhead: Pine Creek — marked
Distance: 8 miles - round trip
Elevation gain: 1,858 feet
Elevation of peak: 5,440 feet
Time: 5 to 6 hours – up and back
Difficulty: 4
Danger level: 5
Class: 3+  (4+ if climbing the shoulder)