Each year people flock to the La Luz Trail (http://www.laluztrail.com/) in the Sandia Mountain range of NM. I look at the range right outside of my part time home, Albuquerque (trying saying that 10 times really fast). I’ve done La Luz up and back (16 miles) in earlier fall and let me tell you…it’s not easy. Multiple people die on La Luz every year and people train up to conquer it. It goes from the base of the Sandias in a small parking lot and climbs to the crest, ending at two choices…one goes to the tram station for the Sandia Tram, which I believe is the longest in the world. The other part goes to the peak, topping out at 10, 679 ft. It’s wonderful to have such an amazing play ground in my backyard when I need to clear my head, and often times, when I’m not traveling, I’m in the Sandias with my IPhone and IPad ready for the next conference call. I love the Sandias, they are a bit of a sixth home for me in many ways…the other three being plane seats, Uber backseats (always on the passenger side), and hotel rooms (my Hilton points are wonderful).
People who have been around me through my other projects know my good friend Craig, who has filmed around 200 videos with me while running his own film business in Atlanta (my other home). So, when Craig wanted to come out and explore New Mexico for a few days I was all for being the guide. We visited some amazing places, from the Jemez and Cabezon Peak to the Volcano park that forms Albuquerque’s west border. But, Craig wanted a challenge, with his new boots and hiking clothes, and I looked around. I discussed it with my photography teacher here, an explorer in her own right, Marissa, a local TV producer. We decided to attempt La Luz when you aren’t supposed to attempt La Luz: winter.
When La Luz isn’t covered in snow it’s a difficult climb, with about a mile of scree and boulder fields from mile 6 to 7 that make climbing difficult, then throw in some good 45 degree scrambling action and, well, you haven’t totally in the 4000 foot elevation gain that never seems to stop. The scree fields act as a bit of a guardian to the upper pass – a 1.5 mile long trail that is about 3-4 feet wide with rock walls above on one side, and below on the other side….down, as in hundreds of feet down.
So, Craig, being the filmographer he is, took some footage – which is below.
But, I wanted to say a little something about challenges and their importance.
It doesn’t matter if you are out in the woods behind your house, mountain ranges, or working out in a parking lot…go challenge yourself beyond what you think you are capable of doing. Today you think you are capable of what you achieved today, perhaps something you did last week or a few years ago. Some ‘thing’ you have overcome, some ‘thing’ you have done. An experience, an event – and now you have memories of it. So, today, challenge yourself – something you haven’t done, put it into your goal list in UNDO. Look for a challenge.
At La Luz, at mile 6, in the ice and snow – I found a mental challenge. Miles 1 – 5, they challenged my cardio and need to not eat all of my food. Miles 6 – 8, the physical challenge arrived – foot in front of foot, don’t look down, foot in front of foot, we just saw where the guy fell off recently and I can see how, foot in front of foot, where is the foot hold, don’t pothole, foot in front of foot, check on Craig, foot in front of foot. As we came to the crest and peak – I found myself capable of doing something I didn’t think 6 months ago I would do. I came down, wrote more in a new book I’m working on, and wrote it with more conviction.
Here’s some footage…now, after you watch it, go find something to challenge yourself!