Sunday, September 16, 2012

Nambe Lake (aka the hardest F@!$#&G hike EVER)

Last weekend Andy and I hiked the hardest hike thus far, Nambe Lake.  At nearly 11,500 feet, this trail and I have a love/hate relationship.  I knew it was going to be long, but after talking to my Santa Fe friend (who I now think is a robot created from the world's greatest athlete) I thought I could do it, no problem.  Think again, Sandy ... think again!  

This hike is approximately seven miles round trip from the Santa Fe ski basin.  Within the first 30  minutes I was winded and thought How in the hell am I going to complete six in a half more miles of this?  The beginning few miles where slightly uphill with a few switchbacks, but once that ended the trail became pretty even and flat/downhill for awhile.

Once I was comfortable and kept a pretty good pace I was brought to waaaaayyyyy steeper gradients than before.  At this point, I joked to Andy about how there is NO WAY I'm going up there and voiced my opinion of the author of Day Hikes in the Santa Fe Area, the book we use for each hike.  In the Nambe Lake chapter the author explains that there are a few challenging areas, but overall the hike is moderate.  I just have to say that this man must hike every single freakin' day of his life for this trail to be marked as medium.  Moderate my ass!  I told Andy I am going to write a hiking book called Hiking for the Out of Shape, Asthmatic, and Acrophobic

I digress, these couple sections were nonstop, uphill climbs that didn't still well with my empty stomach.  (Note to self - Don't worry about your calorie counting diet before a hike. You will burn more calories than you will eat that day!!)  Andy and the dogs were probably a mile ahead of me during the whole trail, but I was determined to finish even if that meant having to stop every four steps.  I am happy I kept going, because this is where the beauty of Santa Fe truly shined.  I was impressed with all the color, the green.  And then when I turned around I saw the below.  Absolutely breathtaking!

Finally, after 3 hours we made it to the lake and rested for about an hour.  Andy complimented me over and over, he couldn't believe I completed the hike, it was even hard for him!  Once we headed down to return to our car we noticed poor Kimber was extremely tired and her hips were failing.  Since we were mostly going downhill, I thought it wouldn't take us 3 hours to get back to the car, but in fact it did due to Andy having to carry poor Kim.  When we had maybe 30 minutes to go I noticed a small opening to the left of us that led to the road to the parking lot we used.  Andy decided it would be easier for him to get the car and meet us on the side of the road.  He did and Kimber immediately feel asleep in the backseat.  Poor girl! 

Kimber using Dad's backpack as a pillow - SOO Sleepy!!

Side Note - If I saw other patrons carry their dog on a hiking trail I would immediately ask if they needed help and end my hike to do so.  Not one person asked if we needed help, some didn't even acknowledge that fact that my husband was carrying a 65lb lab!  Again, I digress.

Driving back home I calculated my calories, I burn almost 3,200 calories!  I only saw fit to treat myself to the best green chile cheese burger in Santa Fe at Blake's LotaBurger. Delicious and so worth it!!

This trail was extremely difficult, but I always think back to last year during my first hikes and how at this time last year I would never have even considered a 7+ mile hike, uphill nonetheless.  I am getting better and better and have learned that going slow does not matter, getting to the destination or goal is what does.  


  1. So Awesome!!!!! Very proud of you! I think the next time we come visit, I would like to put that on our list of things to do.....I loved that little bit we did two years ago! Can you believe it's been two years?....I don't think though that I would be able to quite do the hike you just did. Saving my pennies, you never know it may happen! Love you!

  2. Great job Sandy! I love the humor in this post too :)
    Love you!