Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Franklin Mountains State Park: Anthony's Nose

Woke up at my campsite on the BLM lands near Anthony Gap and headed across NM-404 to the trailhead for Anthony Gap Cave and, more importantly, my ascent of Anthony's Nose. I followed the route I had taken three weeks ago up to the small saddle and down into the little valley. At the valley is where I veered off the route of my previous attempt/scouting mission. Instead of hiking up the ridge to the right, I hiked up the ridge to the left.
Anthony's Nose From Afar

The hike up the ridge was difficult. There was plenty of lechuguilla to dodge. As I learned during my last trip into the Franklins, one false move can mean a bloody, impaled foot. Along the way I saw some claret cup cactus in bloom.
Claret Cup
Soon the lechuguilla got thinner, but the hiking got no easier. There were some tough climbs along the ridge and quite a bit of exposure in some sections.
Jumbled Ridge
After about four hours I found myself at the final approach to the summit. The final approach saw me hike along another exposed section of ridge. I descended steeply to a small saddle and the climbed back up to the final ridge.
Anthony's North Ridge

I found an interesting cairn at the summit. Inside was a lunch box with a register inside.
Anthony's Nose Summtit Cairn
I signed the register and  took my photo there.
Eric on Anthony's Nose
I rested a bit. It had taken over 3 1/2 hours to get to the summit. It was some of the toughest hiking I had done in a long time. I was not looking forward to the hike back down to the car.

Eventually, I summoned the motivation to get hiking again. The hiking down went even slower than on the way up. A few times I got myself "cliffed out" on some high exposed ridges. I was tired and my feet hurt from moving over jagged rocks. I did see some pretty wildflowers though. I saw some sort of cactus in bloom
Cactus Flower Close-up
and some white daisy-like flowers as well.
White Flowers
Plains Blackfoot
Eight hours after I had started I found myself back at my car, ready for the long drive back to Carlsbad.

1 comment:

Steven said...

Great pics and thanks for sharing! The Southwest with its subtle beauty by-far has the best hiking in the US in my opinion.

I noticed you're going to be visiting Arizona in 2012? If so, definitely check out Sierra Vista and the Huachuca Mountains. Amazing hiking.