Morgan Brown

Glacier NP
New Mexico
New Zealand
Sequoia/Kings Canyon
Big Bend
Guadalupe Mountains
Virgin Islands
Kim & Morgan
Mom & Dad

On February 18, 2006, Kim, her dad Rob, and I climbed Guadalupe Peak, the highest peak in Texas. We flew from Houston to Midland on February 16, hit Carlsbad Caverns on the 17th, and drove to Guadalupe Mountains National Park on the blustery morning of the 18th. When we arrived, temperatures at the visitors center were in the low 20's, with 10-20 mph winds, and relatively high humidity. Brrrr! I was distinctly underdressed, with two light polypropolene shirts, a GoreTex jacket, light hiking pants, and fingerless gloves. Kim and Rob seemed better prepared.

We started up the trail at 09:00. I left at a brisk, but comfortable, pace. Half to warm myself, half to test if I'd yet become a "flatlander" after a year and a half in Houston. Surprisingly I felt quite good, no doubt aided by the relatively low (trailhead @ 5800') elevation. The trail climbs steeply from the trailhead for 1500 feet, then hits a saddle and levels. Surprisingly, after passing the saddle, the air warmed and dryed. I could no longer see my breath, and I felt quite warm, whereas I was freezing a few minutes prior. Temperature inversions like this are commonplace in my experience, and usually a welcome occurence when it's cold in a valley!

I reached the 8749' summit at 11:00, a good (for me) 2 mph pace overall. After snapping some panoramic photos, I started back down and met Kim and Rob about a mile from the summit. Stashing my pack, I climbed Guadalupe for the second time. We lingered for a while in the comparitively pleasant (warmer than at the TH!) air, eating snacks and snapping photos. We found the entries in the summit register somewhat comical -- people were quite verbose, dedicating the summit to their wives, kids, and Jesus. Compare this to the overdone stoical brevity of technical summits in California, where climbers are loathe to write too much, lest they imply that the summit took too much out of them!

We descended together at a good pace and made it back to the car around 15:00. All 3 sets of legs were rubbery on the way down, no doubt out of mountain climbing shape. My calves were sore for a few days afterwards!

Click on small images to start "slide show"
gp01-el-capitan-from-guadalupe-peak.jpg (130 KB)

El Capitan is quite photogenic...
gp02-kim-robert.jpg (88 KB)

Kim relaxes on the summit whil...
gp03-kim-rob-pinnacle.jpg (98 KB)

The summit pinnacle was placed...
gp04-rob-kim-summit.jpg (92 KB)

Kim and Rob lounging on the su...
gp05-morgan-rob-el-capitan.jpg (75 KB)

Morgan and Rob on Guadalupe Pe...
gp06-shumard-peak-pano.jpg (135 KB)

Shumard Peak, west of Guadalup...
gp07-guadalupe-peak-north.jpg (114 KB)

View to the north from Guadalu...
gp08-el-capitan-pano.jpg (123 KB)

El Capitan and the panoramic v...

© 2006 , Stanford Exploration Project
Department of Geophysics
Stanford University

Modified: 05/07/06, 19:23:29 PDT , by morgan
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