Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Return to Alamo Mountain, Otero Mesa
Several years ago Noelle and I visited Alamo Mountain to check out the abundant rock art found on her slopes. Today I returned to Alamo Mountain, not only to look for petroglyphs,
but also to ascend to the summit. I camped last night near the base of the mountain and this morning as soon as I felt I had enough light to safely start my ascent I started to make my way up the mountain's southwestern flank.
As I made my way up about 1/4 of the way up I started to see some rock art. First I saw a petroglyph of a naked man, perhaps a shaman performing some type of spiritual ritual.
This is one of the more interesting petroglyphs I've thus seen on the mountain. Soon I would find another really interesting example of rock art, a panel adorned with a shield bearing warrior.
The warrior seemed to be guarding the route to the summit of Alamo Mountain. Could this be a bad sign for the climb ahead?
After the two interesting rock art finds, the climbing got much more difficult. The ascent reminded me of yesterday's ascent of Wind Mountain with lots of vegetation blocking the path, and boulders to scale. Finally, I arrived on a relatively flat, sloping mesa.
From there it seemed that there were two possible summits. I headed first for western one and when I arrived there i found a cairn and a register inside a glass jar.
I signed the register and had a look around the summit area.
In a juniper tree I found someone had tied some prayer flags.
From the western summit I headed over to the eastern one. There was no cairn or register there, but I rested there and ate a snack. I also admired the view of the surrounding Cornudas Mountains and the distant Guadalupes before making my way down off the mountain.