Sarah and I tagged along with Dave, Steve, and Art for a run up Latir Peak. The Cabresto Lake TH was closed, so we took a longer route via Trail 81. We left Los Alamos at 5:00 A.M. and were on the trail by 7:30 A.M.
Here, Dave is searching through his bag for a better map than the one I made. He didn't have a better one, though.
The trail was very runable from car to summit, especially for Dave. We walked a few steep sections, but most of the trail crossed rolling terrain.
Gold Hill to the south
passing through a meadow near Baldy Peak, which we saved for the return trip
Dave posing with the wildflowers
We made a slight wrong turn here, adding about half a mile and about 500-ft of elevation gain to the ascent. On the descent, we were able to pick up the correct trail at Heart Lake.
Dave hammered the switchbacks leading from Heart Lake up onto Latir Mesa, running the entire way. I got hammered.
As we popped onto the top of Latir Mesa, we startled some elk.
The elk ran all the way over the summit of Latir Peak.
Dave enjoying the views from above tree line
Sarah and Dave making their way to the summit
Art and Steve pushing on
The entire ridge to the summit was gentle and grass covered.
except for this part
Sarah making a bee line to the true summit
We reached the summit around 10:15 A.M., making for an ascent time of 2:45. I'm pretty sure Coblentz could have done it in 0:45.
Unfortunately, the Sierra Blanca were in the clouds, so we didn't get very good views of them.
There are numerous peaks which can be reached from the interconnected ridge lines. Once the Cabresto Lake TH is open again, we'll definitely be back to this area.
five of the nine Latir Lakes
Coblentz doing his best snowboarder impersonation
cool lighting as the clouds began to build
Dave back on his beloved switchbacks
Sarah was knee deep in wildflowers.
On the return trip, we did a quick detour to the summit of Baldy Mountain. We even convinced Art to join us.
Art saying hello
Dave bringing up the rear
By this point, Steve was running like a hare.
Art and Sarah hitting one of the climbs on the way back to the car.
Art finishing strong
Sarah finishing just as the skies darkened
We were back to the car by 12:30 P.M., making for a 5-hour day. We stopped at Sugar's on the way home and gorged ourselves with brisket burritos, burgers, and root beer floats. Yum!