|Hike & Climb||10.20 Miles||1 Day || |
|2,027 ft AEG|| || || |
Well this was certainly one of if not the most difficult hike i've done in AZ. A great group set out for Eagletail Peak and we had one heck of a time. Brian, Eric, Katrina, Scott, Shawn, and I all set out Friday evening at sunset to hike to the base of the mountain and set up camp there so we could have a shorter day because we knew it was going to be a long one. We hiked in with the half moonlight and didn't need to use our headlamps. Made our way around the 3.5 mile mark and found a spot at the base to set up camp, which meant throw the sleeping bags down and we were good to go. The night was perfect, a nice breeze made for a slightly chilly night at times but temps didn't drop to anything in the cold range which was great.
We got up at sunrise, got the gear gathered and set off. We were able to follow a game trail up the first drainage to get to the notch and make our way towards the ridge. She doesn't waste anytime gaining elevation and gets steep in several sections. Once on our way towards the ridge and on it, we found out the rock was not the greatest and came out with every other grip we made on it. There were several scree sections which got some cursing out of us and we were not enjoying the sliding on the rock in several sections. About halfway on the ridge Shawn told us his groin was acting up and he didn't think he could continue, we were all a bit bummed but Shawn said to continue and he would wait for us where we were on the ridge. We made sure he would stay put and continue on to the peak, he had clear line of sight of us on the ridge towards the peak and we could see him so we felt okay with this situation.
As we approached the final ascent to the summit we decided to avoid the chute going up the middle as it looked very steep and full of very loose scree. We stuck to the ridge which was a very good decision and made it to the base of the peak where the 80' technical pitch to the top awaited. Eric did the lead climb with Brian having him on belay. Eric made his way up the 5.8 crack pitch and set it up for Brian to clean up. Brian made his way up to Eric on the summit and they set up the anchor for Scott, Katrina, and I on the opposite face.
Scott went first and made the climb look easy with Katrina giving pointers from below. I went next and had to think out the move Scott made look easy and after 1 attempt that didn't work I got my breath and thought out the move and made it to the chimney crack and then up to the summit. Katrina followed up after Eric rappelled down and Katrina made it up in no time. Not much room on the summit and we only liked having 3 on the actual top at a time. The rock is very loose and several times they went flying off making for a very dangerous time. After some pictures we decided it was time to join Eric below so Brian set up the rappel for the rest of us to get down. The first part to get over the narrow edge was the worst as there isn't much room to navigate up there but once over it was pretty easy going. We all made it down and were pretty much all on adrenaline rushes.
Eric and to be back in town for his mom so we let him get going to make it on out. The rest of use gathered the gear and worked our way back down to Shawn to have lunch on the mountain. Shawn held up in a Bighorn cave for some shade but said it was actually cooler out of it because of the breeze blowing threw the mountain sides. We all were not looking forward to the long hike out but I kept the motivation going with a constant reminder of cold Kiltlifters at the Jeep. We got back down to the base, got the gear we left at the campsite and hiked on out. Nothing was better than sitting in the sandy road drinking a cold brew looking back at Eagletail Peak.
To my group, AWESOME JOB!!! Wouldn't have done it without you guys, thanks for the support.