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Mesa de Anguila 2/15-19, 2006

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Offline mountaindocdanny

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Mesa de Anguila 2/15-19, 2006
« on: November 12, 2006, 08:21:11 PM »
Finally figured out how to add pictures.

Thought I would raid my journal and post an old report:

I got on the road out of Waco around 5 on Wednesday afternoon. My wife had left to take the boys to visit grandparents in Lubbock earlier in the day. After a long but uneventful drive I arrived in the Basin campground. By 2:30 AM I had tossed out my sleeping bag and was asleep under star filled skies.

Morning brought a beautiful sunrise and balmy temperatures in the upper 50's to low 60's.

I had packed up by 7 and by 7:30 started the 5 mile round trip to The Window.

By 9:30 I was back at the trailhead where I gave my wife and boys a call, picked up my permit and headed to Lajitas to the western trailhead of the Mesa. This was to be first trip out onto the Mesa and I was excited.

By 11:00 I was out on the trail, travelling west across a broad area of creosote flats. The imposing wall of the mesa gradually grew larger as I approached. At the base of the mesa the trail abruptly steepened as it ascended. On my way up I passed a group of about 10 guys on their first day of a 3 week Outward Bound trip. These were the last people I encountered.

After cresting the Saddle, the break in the mesa's wall providing access from the west, I proceeded along a faint trail weaving in and out of the numerous arroyos draining the mesa top. The day was hot. Temperatures in the low 80's and only the faintest of breezes.

By the time 4:00 rolled around I found myself on the east side of La Mariposa, a large butterlfy shaped mountain.

I was exhausted after having only gotten 4-5 hours of sleep each of the last two nights. I tossed out my sleeping bag and by 7:00 I was asleep. Around 11:00 I awoke to a strong north wind. I tucked my head behind my backpack as a windbreak and slept soundly the rest of the night.


Friday morning brought strong north winds and a temperature of 43 degrees. I ate granola and beef jerky for breakfast and by 9 was walking again. The trail descended the east face of La Mariposa, bound for Entrance Camp along the Rio Grande.

The strong winds slowly abated and the temperature warmed. By midmorning I made it down to Entrance Camp, so named as it lies at the entrance of Santa Elena Canyon. I wandered along the bank of the river for a while enjoying the solitude.

After lunch I climbed up along the canyon rim and spent some time enjoying the view.

My route back up onto the Mesa proceeded off trail. From my map and in scouting my route, it appeared that I had two primary obstacles. Both were long lines of cliffs which I would have to navigate through to get back on top. The first line appeared to have a small break through which I would have only minimal scrambling. However, on closer approach I realized I would still have a fair bit of scrambling, just not near as much exposure as the surrounding faces offered. The second set of cliffs proved to be easier and from there it was an easy walk to the base of Canyon Flag, the mesa's high point.


I set up camp around 4. My route had taken me to a wide basin, east and slightly north of Canyon Flag. I threw out my sleeping bag in an area partially shetered from the wind by some yucca. I finished the rest of my bagels, cheese and sausage and turned in a little after 7.

Morning brought clear skies and a temperature of 30.

By 8:30 I had packed up and was walking. I crossed the basin I had spent the night in, dropping into another one formed by the north slope of Canyon Flag. The lure of summitting the peak proved too great, so I dropped my pack and climbed the 400 feet to the summit. On my way up I spooked three bighorn sheep rams. I spent about an hour wandering around the top before heading back down.


From Canyon Flag my route took me west over a series of ridges and two small passes. The views and the sense of solitude were extraordinary.

By 3:00 I dropped down out of the ridge countryand rejoined the trail I had followed over the mesa two days earlier. I made good time once I was back on trail again, rapidly approaching the Saddle and desceding it. By 4:00 I was back at the car.


I got the Nugent Mountain backcountry site for Saturday night. I gently guided the Sentraq down the road to the site, enjoyed an extraordinary sunset and went to sleep in the car as a howling north wind blew.


I awake Sunday morning to a temperature of 25 and a car that would not start. I waited and wandered for aout an hour before someone drove past where I could get a jump. I made it back to Waco around 6 PM.

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Offline Casa Grande

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Mesa de Anguila 2/15-19, 2006
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2006, 08:26:49 PM »
This is a sweet report...thanks for posting. I've made it one of my bookmarks ;)

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Offline okiehiker

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Great report
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2006, 08:54:42 PM »
Thanks for the report.  The Mesa is a truly magical place with an infinite internal variety.  Thanks for sharing it with us.
Funny... I have a story about that...

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BigBendHiker

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Mesa de Anguila 2/15-19, 2006
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2006, 09:12:31 PM »
Thanks for posting this report!


BBH

Mesa de Anguila 2/15-19, 2006
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2006, 09:18:58 AM »
loved th report..

a few questions???  how much water did you carry??
did ya filter the river water?

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Offline mountaindocdanny

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Mesa de Anguila 2/15-19, 2006
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2006, 01:46:30 PM »
Quote from: "The Trout Whisperer"
loved th report..

a few questions???  how much water did you carry??
did ya filter the river water?


Packed all my water. I bring 5 liters per day in the winter. I average about a gallon of water intake a day and usually have some left at the end of every trip, but it gives me a little buffer. I usually go solo and am in reasonable shape, so to me a few extra pounds are worth it. Most of the tinajas were either dry or pretty scummy when I was there.

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Offline mountaindocdanny

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Added Pictures
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2006, 09:29:56 PM »
Finally figured out how to add pictures to the report. Enjoy.

-Danny

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Offline Vince T

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Mesa de Anguila 2/15-19, 2006
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2006, 09:35:29 PM »
That was really great...I saved the info and forwarded links to a few friends to see if I can get them to come with me.
My Dec. trip is canceled, which is a real bummer.

Thanks for sharing.

Vince

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Offline Michael

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Mesa de Anguila 2/15-19, 2006
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2007, 08:07:21 AM »
Great report & pictures. I have always wanted to do the Mesa De Anguila & on my next trip I plan for that to be the focus of my trip. I usually end up solo & that is no problem but the lack of water always limits my excursions. I know you can't count on the tinajas & like you said if there is water it can be scummy. Water gets heavy but ya gotta do it. But anyway, thanks for the report. By the way, did you see / hear any wild horses out on the mesa? Thought it was neat about the wildlife that you did see.
Michael

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Offline mountaindocdanny

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Mesa de Anguila 2/15-19, 2006
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2007, 01:30:11 PM »
No horses, just the bighorns and a few mule deer. My undestanding is that the horses head up from Mexico and are only wild in so far as they graze open range.

 


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