It was the perfect end to an already great day. Having risen early, accompanied by my best friend (my wife), I made the long drive to make a second attempt to climb Ute Mountain. We had been thwarted by bad road conditions on an earlier attempt to climb this isolated, and seldom summited volcano in the high desert of Northern New Mexico. There are no trails up this mountain, so route finding is a challenge and bushwhacking is the norm. At 10,093 feet Ute is not a particularly significant climb, nor is it technically challenging. What makes this climb special is the prominence of this former fire spewing peak relative to the surrounding isolation of the high desert. The mountain is considered to be a spiritual centerpiece of Northern New Mexico, and it surely was held in high regard by the native populations that once dominated this part of the world. This mountain certainly had a hold on me since the first time I saw it in 2007.
The climb was more difficult than anticipated, but we successfully reached the wooded summit far later than planned. During the entire climb we were accompanied by an assortment of raptors, and we saw numerous signs of the abundant wildlife that inhabit this special place. Returning home after what turned out to be a full day adventure, I was greeted by the wonderful news that I had received my sixth (or is it fifth), Daily Deviation! This was simply the perfect end to an already great day.
Thanks to my good friend Houman hosagu.deviantart.com/ for making this happen, and giving me the perfect day.