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Guadalupe Peak

14ers in California and Washington state or any other peak in the USA
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Guadalupe Peak

Postby jsdratm » Fri Oct 11, 2013 12:15 pm

I was looking at Guadalupe Peak in Texas and wondering what the best time of year is to attempt it. Given the latitude, is it something you can easily do during the Colorado winter? It looks like the easiest way to get there would be to fly into El Paso and drive over (visiting Carlsbad Caverns would also be worth the trip). Can anyone provide advice?

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Re: Guadalupe Peak

Postby semitrueskerm » Fri Oct 11, 2013 1:50 pm

Give me a holler when you decide to do it.
It's about 4 hour drive for me.
However...it's all closed right now due to the shutdown.
Very little snow, if any, down that way, even that high during the winter (not to say that it doesn't get snow.)
I've never climbed it, but I have been to the Park.

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Re: Guadalupe Peak

Postby UTmike » Fri Oct 11, 2013 1:57 pm

It doesn't hold snow but certainly gets some on and off. A set of micro spikes would be handy in case you go after recent snowfall as it can be icy for some time after. I've had my tent collapsed by snow there before but typically it's not slow covered most of the winter.

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Re: Guadalupe Peak

Postby tjerasdave » Fri Oct 11, 2013 2:06 pm

You can definitely do Guad in the winter; it occassionally gets snowed on but usually melts off fairly quickly except for the shaded areas and the temps are usually pretty mild. The one thing you do have to worry about is high winds, they can get pretty wicked any time of the year. If there's any way you can just drive in, that would allow you to check the forecast which should give you more flexibility. Flying into Albuquerque is also an option; Carlsbad is about a 4.5-hour drive from ABQ. If you hit it in the late Oct/early Nov timeframe, there's an area of the park called McKittrich Canyon that has some awesome fall colors; google it and you'll see what I mean. Of course, this assumes it's re-opened by then. The caverns are also a must-see.

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Re: Guadalupe Peak

Postby lavicats » Fri Oct 11, 2013 3:27 pm

Most of the trail is on the north side of mountain. There a couple places along the trail that it cliffs off; trail signage advises horse riders to dismount and lead. As UTMike suggested, micro-spikes would be nice to have along in colder weather and post storm conditions.

I flew into El Paso last Monday, arriving just after noonish. After renting car and stopping twice, briefly, for water and lunch, I was hiking by 3pm. I topped out at 5:30. With sunset at 6:45pm I did not contemplate the cross-country descent/ascent of El Capitan. With an earlier start I would have included this awesome summit.

Do not forget Hueco Tanks bouldering mecca is just 30 miles outside of El Paso en route to Guadalupe NP.

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Re: Guadalupe Peak

Postby jsdratm » Fri Oct 11, 2013 3:41 pm

lavicats wrote:Do not forget Hueco Tanks bouldering mecca is just 30 miles outside of El Paso en route to Guadalupe NP.


Good call, I could stay there cheap as a member of the AAC too

http://www.americanalpineclub.org/p/hueco_rock_ranch

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Re: Guadalupe Peak

Postby painless4u2 » Fri Oct 11, 2013 4:07 pm

The one thing you do have to worry about is high winds


+1, especially in the Spring. We had a tent destroyed in the middle of the night near there with absolutely screaming winds. However, another time we climbed Guadalupe, there was a swarm of Lady Bugs all over the summit! And do hike over to El Cap.
In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. Proverbs 16:9

Bad decisions often make good stories.

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Re: Guadalupe Peak

Postby cougar » Fri Oct 11, 2013 6:03 pm

Right around Halloween is ideal - you can climb the peak easily in less than half a day, then, as mentioned, go to McKittrick Canyon for the fall colors which are at their peak around that time. Spring has flowers but the fall foliage is something special in that area - purportedly "the most scenic place in Texas". I did both hikes on ~Nov 1/2 and weather was good, foliage was a bit off due to drought but still good - seeing maple trees next to yucca and cactus in the desert is a neat sight anytime.

It combines well in a weekend with Carlsbad Caverns - you could spend a day at each park (provided they're open by then), or get in another peak like El Cap or Hunter (combining either of these with Guadualupe Peak makes for a longer day but doable, especially if you do a lot in CO). It's a bit of a drive from El Paso - about 2-3 hrs, but that's the closest major airport. Lubbock or Midland similar drive distance.

In mid-winter it gets a bit of snow (even in Oct it can happen), but that's typically just a couple inches and melts during the day. And the bats at Carlsbad migrate south to Mexico for winter so they're not there in the fall.

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Re: Guadalupe Peak

Postby tjerasdave » Fri Oct 11, 2013 6:15 pm

+1 on Hunter Peak. It's one of the most beautiful hikes I've been on.

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Re: Guadalupe Peak

Postby Mtnman200 » Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:07 pm

The best time to visit Guadalupe Mountains NP is winter. I've climbed Guadalupe Peak in December, February, and May. December was beautiful, May was hot, and February was surreal (see the trip report at: http://www.14ers.com/php14ers/tripreport.php?trip=13001 ). Be sure to visit Carlsbad Cavern NP while you’re in the vicinity; it’s definitely worth the short drive.
"Adventure without risk is not possible." - Reinhold Messner

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Re: Guadalupe Peak

Postby steelfrog » Fri Oct 11, 2013 9:08 pm

Guard park is good. Hunter peak is pretty but the hike itself isn't as good as Guad. Although you can do a nice loop to hunter up Tejas trail and down Bear Canyon. Don't forget Big Bend NP as a winter option and if going during the shutdown try the excellent Organ Mountains near Las Cruces

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Re: Guadalupe Peak

Postby gcoldewey » Sat Oct 12, 2013 10:12 am

Guadalupe Peak is a great hike any time of year although I would personally avoid summer. There are other very nice hikes in the park, but remember that there is no reliable water anywhere so anything beyond day hikes are tough.

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