Trouble Benchmark Backpack - Tom Liles

This was a New Mexico Mountain Club two night backpack to find the Trouble Benchmark! The "peak" is a bump along the ridge south of Jicarita Peak. The topo map just says "Trouble" for the peak name. You just have to explore and find the benchmark, which we did!

There were 6 of us: Tom and Stephanie, Liza, David, Perrianne and Tricia. The pack in to Serpent Lake was about 3.5 miles and 1,500 feet of vertical. We found a pretty good camping site in the trees to the east of the lake. Serpent Lake is really high for sleeping, 11750 ft. Weather was great for the entire weekend, not a drop of rain, though It was a "bit" windy up on the ridge.

The middle day was a day hike up to the ridge and a long ways over to the Trouble Benchmark. All the ridge is above 12,000 feet, with the Benchmark itself at 12,622 feet. Of course the views were outstanding the entire hike. The Benchmark bump turned out to be quite a boulder field to get to the top. No problem at all finding the USGS benchmark (actually there were two...).

On the way back, we encountered a small bunch of Bighorn sheep. And they just kept getting closer and closer!

Total day hike statistics were 8.5 miles and 2,600+ feet of vertical. Going over and back across several bumps along the ridge adds up!

Packed out the next day, arriving at the vehicles/trailhead around 11:45am. All in all a great weekend in the outdoors!


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