Not yet at the summit of Pedernal

The goal was to make it to the summit of Cerro Pedernal, the legendary mountain just south of Piedra Lumbre, west of Abiquiu.ped1

Cerro Pedernal seen from the Kitchen Mesa trail at Ghost Ranch. Georgia O’Keeffe painted this mountain many times and had her ashes spread at the summit. The elevation at the summit is 3006 meters (9862 feet). Yesterday a friend and I drove around on the other side of Abiquiu Lake, to Youngsville, and took a Forrest Road several miles up the back of Pedernal and then started our hike.ped2

Cerro Pedernal looks very different from the south side, still very alluring, though. Recent snow had made hiking difficult. The jeep trail was very muddy and soft.ped3

I had not done my homework properly and we soon realized we did not have enough time to make it to the summit. We made it up the side to about where the cloud starts and where we had some grand vistas, but we had to turn around. To make it up the summit, walk along the length of it and back down would have taken about three more hours.ped4

At the base of the steep slope that leads up to the peak of the western end of Pedernal. We darted up halfway to be able to see some grand views.ped5

Another Selfie, of course.ped6

The views were still majestic! The Piedra Lumbre Land Grant below and snow covered mountains in southern Colorado (probably!) in the far distance.ped7

Hiking back offered great views to the south. The softly rounded peak to the left of the center is probably Polvadera Peak, 3424 m (11 233 ft).ped8

On the way home. Pedernal is behind us, picture taken across Piedra Lumbre, to the north and Ghost Ranch is to the right. This area is maybe one of the most stunningly beautiful places I have been to. I love being here and is sad to know I won’t see it for some time. Hope to be back late summer, to ride the mountain bike up the jeep trail and then climb the steeps of Pedernal, something to look forward to!