I promised some friends a while back to send along pictures of my favorite mountaintop site, Walton Peak. RW Editor Paul McLane thought readers might like to see them too.
This location is the highest in the Franklin Mountains that cut through the center of El Paso. In days of yore, during the settling of the west, the only place a wagon pulled by oxen could get around these mountains was at the Rio Grande river, hence The Pass or El Paso.
Altogether there are three notable towers at this location and a handful of small ones (when you think about it, the real tower is the mountain … what’s a few extra few? Hihihihihi).
The site is really only accessible by tramway … the station is visible in pic one and as you can see there are choices of “cars” … open, closed and just a hook for bringing up gear.
The second picture is the station at the top. The third is looking up the “Walton” tower and the fourth a shot down the catwalk that leads from the station to all the others sites and buildings.
The generator is diesel and they bring up the fuel in 55 gallon drums and pump it into the day tank.
The tram ride costs nearly $200 a trip factoring all costs (the TV station owns the tram) so when one goes up, you go up for all your correspondent stations. Also if the wind gets too high, the tram stops running at the next station and that’s where you stay until the wind goes down.
Last I heard, the record for being pinned at the top was several days so needless to say there are copious emergency rations up there.
FYI, there is a small helipad at the top (they sheared off a portion of the top of the mountain) for absolute emergencies.