Trip Report: Hiking Guadalupe Peak

Last Tuesday, I left work at 9pm. Earlier that day, I posted to Facebook to see if anyone wanted to venture south and climb Guadalupe Peak in the Guadalupe Mountains.. eight hours away.

The top of Guadalupe Peak

My friend Ashley wanted to. So, now I had to.

“I’ve never hiked, how long is the trail?” texted Ashley.

“It’s 8.4 miles, in and out. Should not be too difficult,” I replied.

“It’s rated “difficult.””

“Oh, really? It can’t be that bad.”

WRONG! This was the hardest hike I have EVER completed. 8.4 miles is not a big deal. Neither is the 8,749 ft peak; I’ve climbed a 13er in Colorado. The kicker was the 3,000 feet vertical climb. That is what made this hike incredibly difficult and taxing.

Luckily, I had trekking poles, great hiking boots and plenty of water and food. The poles saved my knees; I woke up today with no aches or pains.

The entire hike, up and down, took us about 8 hours because we stopped for breaks…a lot. Neither of us thought this little Texas mountain would be a problem. It was. 3000 feet in 4 miles is STEEP.

Would I hike it again? Yes! It was still fun, despite the difficulty.

Gear that saved me:

I went to Target to get these for $20 because I needed them ASAP. I really want some Black Diamond or Leki poles, but these NB poles were great for the hike. They have great grips, are adjustable, have rubber tips for good grip, and they are super light-weight. I was completely satisfied with these guys, especially since they were so cheap. I know for longer hikes, I will want some gloves to wear (I got blisters) and maybe different poles; probably ones with shock absorption. Overall, I give these 4/5 stars.

These are the best hiking shoes I have ever owned. They have never given me blisters, my feet never hurt in them, they have great grip, and they’re not heavy or bulky. I found them at Ross for $30 a year or so ago and love them to death! They’re waterproof, which I was able to finally test out this week at Guadalupe, because it started raining on us coming down the mountain. My feet stayed dry because of these shoes and my Darn Tough wool socks. Happy hiking feet = a happy hike.

Now for the photos:

(Cameras: I used my iPhone 4 w an Olloclip and a Canon 60d with a 28-105mm lens. Did not have my GoPro because I gave the Hero2 back to my sister and was waiting on my new Hero3 to come in the mail!)

El Capitan. Shot from the top of Guadalupe Peak

Best view I have experienced!

We met Fred J. Luthe on the trail (the name above mine). I hope I can still climb mountains when I’m 78.

Where am I going next? Wheeler Peak in NM. Bring it, Taos.

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