Scrambling with Large Pack

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CreekRunner
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Scrambling with Large Pack

Post by CreekRunner » Sun Apr 17, 2016 6:13 pm

This summer I am going to the Pecos Wilderness for a backpacking trip and am planning to hike Truchas Peak. Right now, I am split between two choices.

Here is the Caltopo Link: http://caltopo.com/m/G570

Choice 1: 5.5 miles & 3000 ft
From the campsite go up to saddle of Trailriders Wall up to Truchas and then back the same way. Then take the full pack and hike to Truchas Lake for the night. This hike could be done with a significantly lighter load with only the gear and essentials that are needed for the day, but is longer, and for that reason it may be tiring with extra mileage pinned on for the day.

Choice 2: 3.5 miles & 2500 ft
Take the same way up Truchas, but with full packs. Descend the northeast ridge to the saddle of North Truchas down to Truchas Lake. From a statistical standpoint, this seems easy, but I am worried about the bulkiness on the occasional class III sections like the notch, or being exposed so the lightning shoots us like "truchas in a barrel".

Does anyone have experience with multiday trips and having to carry all there gear on a moderately technical hike? Which choice would you make?
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Urban Snowshoer
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Re: Scrambling with Large Pack

Post by Urban Snowshoer » Sun Apr 17, 2016 6:54 pm

CreekRunner wrote:This summer I am going to the Pecos Wilderness for a backpacking trip and am planning to hike Truchas Peak. Right now, I am split between two choices.

Here is the Caltopo Link: http://caltopo.com/m/G570

Choice 1: 5.5 miles & 3000 ft
From the campsite go up to saddle of Trailriders Wall up to Truchas and then back the same way. Then take the full pack and hike to Truchas Lake for the night. This hike could be done with a significantly lighter load with only the gear and essentials that are needed for the day, but is longer, and for that reason it may be tiring with extra mileage pinned on for the day.

Choice 2: 3.5 miles & 2500 ft
Take the same way up Truchas, but with full packs. Descend the northeast ridge to the saddle of North Truchas down to Truchas Lake. From a statistical standpoint, this seems easy, but I am worried about the bulkiness on the occasional class III sections like the notch, or being exposed so the lightning shoots us like "truchas in a barrel".

Does anyone have experience with multiday trips and having to carry all there gear on a moderately technical hike? Which choice would you make?

The right pack improves things considerably if you need to climb with heavy stuff; however, you still need to remember you're carrying a heavy pack and react accordingly. It's somewhat analogous to backcountry skiing with a pack in that you can do it but you won't have the same performance as skiing at ski resort sans pack.

That being said, don't make your summit pack heavier than it needs to be. Unless you're trying to climb and pack out at the same time, take only what you need for the climb and leave the rest in camp. Repacking for either the climb or moving camp doesn't have to take a lot of time if you do it right.
Last edited by Urban Snowshoer on Sun Apr 17, 2016 7:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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polar
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Re: Scrambling with Large Pack

Post by polar » Sun Apr 17, 2016 7:02 pm

From your link to Summitpost: the route description here is from south to north ("Medio" Truchas summit-to-saddle). From the summit of "Medio" Truchas descend several hundred feet on the Class 2 terrain to the deep notch in the ridge. Scramble down into and out of the notch requires occasional Class 3 moves on a reasonably solid rock with some exposure. After the notch, its Class 2 terrain all the way to the "Medio"-North Truchas Saddle at 12,400 ft.
Not knowing your scrambling skills, I can't really recommend what you should do. Based on the route description, I personally would choose option 2, do a short scramble with a full pack. But I routinely do fairly scrambly approaches with a backpack full of climbing gear, and I often climb 5.easy with a small backpack, so I'm pretty used to doing scrambly moves with a full backpack. Scrambling and climbing with a full pack adds quite a bit of difficulty to the move, and it cuts down on the enjoyment too. So if a route has more than just a few "occasional class 3 moves", I'd probably opt for option 1 and double back. If you're thinking of option 2, maybe go out to some non-committing class 3 route and try it with a full pack and see how you like it. The mileage difference between the two options is really not that big.
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Re: Scrambling with Large Pack

Post by tobiasfunke » Sun Apr 17, 2016 7:57 pm

No first-hand experience with Truchas, but both of those are short hikes, so either would be fine. Class 3 shouldn't be a problem unless you're hauling an absolutely huge load in your pack. Personally I'd go with option 2 (and probably bag N Truchas on the way too).
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Re: Scrambling with Large Pack

Post by SuperiorTrailHiker » Thu Apr 21, 2016 7:49 am

I don't know the specific routes, but in general pack for stability. Keep the heavy stuff close to your back and lower in the pack - you pretty much always want to do this, and it is probably obvious, but hey - just sayin'. If you can keep the pack weight as close to your own center of gravity as possible it shouldn't cause you too much trouble.
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Re: Scrambling with Large Pack

Post by mtgirl » Thu Apr 21, 2016 8:02 am

Another thing to consider.......if you'll be wearing a helmet on the scrambling sections, be sure you can lift your head to look up while wearing the helmet and large pack. I had a helmet/pack combo on a climb where I ran into the problem of the helmet hitting the pack when I looked up and it restricted me from lifting my head. Seriously difficult to climb and route find. #-o
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Re: Scrambling with Large Pack

Post by spiderman » Thu Apr 21, 2016 9:23 am

My son and I did the Truchas peak in a 1.2 day trip. We started late evening from the TH and hiked in four miles. Lots of camping along the way. The trail is good and fast; no problem navigating in the dark. Campsite approximately at 35.8921, -105.6603.

We carried light daypacks for the second day, starting at the crack of dawn. South Truchas is a fast climb of 1100 vertical from the trail. Don't go over those rough ridges that you had marked on the map. There is a more direct grassy path that is obvious from the trail. It starts due SE of the peak (approximately 35.9582, -105.6420), initially going West to a saddle before making a right turn and heading up the peak. I think that portion took about 45 minutes for us. Easy 2nd class the whole way. IF you only want to climb Truchas Peak, it is an easy day hike. No need for overnight gear and a big bag. I bet that it can be done in about 9 hours if you are acclimated and in fair shape. Going down to the trail on those grassy slopes would be extremely fast. It is a bunch of miles but most of them are on level terrain. The cross country portion is no slower than if it had a trail up it.

The walk to Middle Truchas is pleasant and easy. We truly loved the traverse between Middle and North Truchas. It was a fun Colorado 3rd class run on a ridge. It adds an extra hour to bag North Truchas from the saddle point. There are not many 13ers in all of New Mexico so you want to tag that peak. It is a long-ass way to get back to it, so don't miss out on the golden opportunity. Descending from North Truchas is straightforward, heading SE to hook up with the trail. The upper portions are slow going (and tiring on the legs) so budget a bit over an hour to get back on trail. Afterwards, we zipped down the trail, grabbed our overnight gear at the camp, made it to the car at 6 pm, and was back to Denver by midnight. The whole trip is about 14 hours, so not too bad if you can knock off a couple of hours on the first day/night. Most of the time is on great trail so it doesn't feel that tiring. Considering that you are in 2x better shape than me, you probably could do the loop in 7 hours.

Note: There are lots of bailout points along the ridge if a thunderstorm pops up.

Other tip: avoid the trail that goes due north from Pecos Baldy Lake (164). It isn't maintained and is much slower than the one marked 251 that is slightly more distance.
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Re: Affordable office movers near me

Post by Gevvis » Wed May 27, 2020 3:12 am

spiderman wrote:
Thu Apr 21, 2016 9:23 am
My son and I did the Truchas peak in a 1.2 day trip. We started late evening from the TH and hiked in four miles. Lots of camping along the way. The trail is good and fast; no problem navigating in the dark. Campsite approximately at 35.8921, -105.6603.

We carried light daypacks for the second day, starting at the crack of dawn. South Truchas is a fast climb of 1100 vertical from the trail. Don't go over those rough ridges that you had marked on the map. There is a more direct grassy path that is obvious from the trail. It starts due SE of the peak (approximately 35.9582, -105.6420), initially going West to a saddle before making a right turn and heading up the peak. I think that portion took about 45 minutes for us. Easy 2nd class the whole way. IF you only want to climb Truchas Peak, it is an easy day hike. No need for overnight gear and a big bag. I bet that it can be done in about 9 hours if you are acclimated and in fair shape. Going down to the trail on those grassy slopes would be extremely fast. It is a bunch of miles but most of them are on level terrain. The cross country portion is no slower than if it had a trail up it. Affordable office movers near me link..
The walk to Middle Truchas is pleasant and easy. We truly loved the traverse between Middle and North Truchas. It was a fun Colorado 3rd class run on a ridge. It adds an extra hour to bag North Truchas from the saddle point. There are not many 13ers in all of New Mexico so you want to tag that peak. It is a long-ass way to get back to it, so don't miss out on the golden opportunity. Descending from North Truchas is straightforward, heading SE to hook up with the trail. The upper portions are slow going (and tiring on the legs) so budget a bit over an hour to get back on trail. Afterwards, we zipped down the trail, grabbed our overnight gear at the camp, made it to the car at 6 pm, and was back to Denver by midnight. The whole trip is about 14 hours, so not too bad if you can knock off a couple of hours on the first day/night. Most of the time is on great trail so it doesn't feel that tiring. Considering that you are in 2x better shape than me, you probably could do the loop in 7 hours.

Note: There are lots of bailout points along the ridge if a thunderstorm pops up.

Other tip: avoid the trail that goes due north from Pecos Baldy Lake (164). It isn't maintained and is much slower than the one marked 251 that is slightly more distance.

yes great tips
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