So the moral of the story is; What begins with two happy hikergirls, can eventually end with two happy hikergirls!
We encountered many trials; flora, fauna and geographic anomalies. We experienced some fantastic views from each peak, and as time passed we became more desperate to finish this adventure.
I apologized to Liz. This wasn't supposed to be an epic, but somewhere after the eight false summits of peak #2 our real adventure began. After summiting peak 2, I conveniently remembered a few useful details. The last time I climbed this peak I was certain I had passed it, I was planning to meet the trail along the traverse, and somehow made it to the top. This would have been mighty useful information four hours earlier!
This is when my route confidence diminished! I was in a "follow the trail" mindset this is what messed up the final accent: Brown's Peak. The sun was setting and our strategy went from meticulous to desperate. My worst moment was when we briefly separated. My slabby climb became difficult and overhung, I reached up to pull my body weight over a large boulder and it moved under my hands!
A few more ounces of weight and I am not sure how things would have ended up. Liz must have heard the terror in my cry, in a very calm soothing voice she talked me through the difficult down climb on slippery slab. (Slab that would have been tough even in rock shoes.)
By the time it was dark, we summited Brown's Peak.(VIA THE WORST ROUTE EVER!) We posed for a quick snapshot, I can truly see the desperation in our faces! Now I am ashamed to say; as common as Brown's is, I haven't paid any attention to the route towards to the chute. My confidence must have been really shot because I began to think I was going to have some real trouble finding it! Where was the stinking moon anyway?! It was SO dark! The chute was hardly recognizable from the start; it seemed way too steep, a ridiculous scree pile with imaginative fatal falls! We put on our headlamps, and slowly descended the blood splattered rocks. Now, I have always thought of this as a basic shuffle, even a novice hiker could safely complete. This time it felt absolutely treacherous! We took our time as we made our way down the trail lead by a bright flashing campfire. We were greeted by a friendly crew and shot of some sort of whiskey. Honestly, I was more excited that that they partially filled my camelback with cool fresh water.
We half-heartedly speed hiked back to the car. Now I forgot to mention, this crazy Liz had plans to do some hike with the HAZ boys in just a few hours. (
HEE HEE) We stopped so I could grab some caffeine... from a bar! The only place still open in Punkin Center, a Redbull would have to do. She dozed off as I drove her 'Zulie Lou' back toward Phoenix. MMMMHHH a good day!