Guadalupe Peak Ascent: Highest Point in Texas (Traveled Feb 2013)

Rising to 8,700 feet from the desert floor, Guadalupe Peak is a worthy mountain and a challenge to climb.  The ranger

From Guadalupe Peak, TX

From Guadalupe Peak, TX

explained that most people complete the hike in 5-7 hours, round trip.  He was an older man with a big belly and a thick Texas drawl.  “It’s awful windy up ‘ere today, but I wouldn’t let that stop me,” he said.  We chatted for a few minutes before I made my way to the door.  “Take plenty a’ water up ‘ere now,” he said in a warm fatherly tone.  With these encouraging words I set out on the 12-mile trek, water duly packed.

I made the round trip in 3 hours, 17 minutes, including the time it took to sign the log book and eat a power bar on the summit.  I did not aspire to smoke anyone when I started.  My plan was to take it easy with a slow and steady pace, and I stuck to it.  The first 20 minutes or so of the trail was well protected and I barely felt a breeze.  When I rounded the next switchback, the driving wind instantly pushed me backward.  For the next 15 minutes I plodded up the hill fighting the wind the whole way as it froze my face.  Then I was back into a mild breeze.

El Capitan, viewed from the summit of Guadalupe Peak

El Capitan, viewed from the summit of Guadalupe Peak

I passed two married couples who had started out before me, then caught up to a third.  This third couple was dressed in the latest technical clothing and seemed to consider themselves the fittest on the mountain.  As I continued my steady plod up the trail, the woman seemed annoyed that I was passing them.  After some cheerleading from the wife they stepped up their pace and I let them by.  When I started catching up again, they drove themselves to the point of gasping to stay ahead of me.  In the end they beat me to the summit by about 200 yards and 3 minutes.  “That wasn’t so bad,” I said as I made the top.  “Oh, no, not at all,” the woman barked.  The couple had stopped short of the summit to rest and drink.

I walked directly to the summit and signed the record book.  Signing ahead of me was a young Canadian law student.  I ran much of the trail on the way down, finding this easier than walking on the downhill slopes.  Contrary to expectation after such a hard day, I barely slept

Summit, Guadalupe Peak, TX

Summit, Guadalupe Peak, TX

that night.

Summit, Guadalupe Peak, TX

Summit, Guadalupe Peak, TX

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About Jerry
Working in Corporate America for many years, I wanted to break free of the office walls for a bit and explore the world. Having put the pieces in place, I am first exploring the USA by road. Colleagues and friends expressed interest in my travels, giving rise to Office Escape. It is my honor to share my adventures.

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