Jicarilla Peak

A friend Jesse has asked for a good training hike in anticipation of army ranger boot camp. My first idea is see if we can get up North Truchas Peak. We head into this neighborhood from the Las Trampas trailhead, starting the steep climbing from the San Leonardo lakes. Climbing terrain this steep is new to Jesse, as is the 30 pound training pack he’s wearing. Atop the ridge a frigid wind tears at us, and I see that our ridge and descent are encased in crunchy snow, so I change our goal to the nearer Jicarilla Peak. Even this is a cold ridgewalk, and we descend as soon as possible. The descent is one I haven’t done, another steep slope, this time covered in loose scree. This goes slowly as well, but it feels good to be out of the wind. Finally we reach Hidden Lake, and from there a long stretch of trail takes us by the Trampas Lakes and finally back down to the trailhead. I ask Jesse if the hike was sufficient, and he laughs and says, “more than sufficient.”

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