Just had to go back after this one and show it to Tanya. I remembered the solid rock, stark landscape, ragged features, and straight-forwarded nature of the route. A perfect first rock-scramble since the surgery...
As it turns out, a few peak-baggers from the region were chasing this fine mountain on the same day, so there was a good crew. 3 of us named Scott, all from Phoenix, a John Klein from Tucson, and a guy from San Diego named Adam Helman - and of course the lovely Tanya - rounded out our crew.
The night before the hike at the mountain's foot was perfect, as a harvest moon rose and illuminated the region. Ghostly white ribbons of quartz showed eerie bands against the dark, ragged silhouettes of the Gilas. Perfect camping weather.
We awoke at 7, and the group made its way methodically up the gully. With a larger group, our progress was slower than last time, but the weather was much better, and why rush? The soft early morning light on the landscape made for good photo ops. At the saddle, we turned up the steep (fun) ridge, clambering over solid rocks, delightfully gaining hundreds of feet quickly. Soon, we were at the false summit, shimmying over turrets and boulders, before making the last few feet to the top at 11 am. Time to crack the Four Peaks 8th Street Ale and take in the view...
The descent was easy, and I led the way through the maze of rock back to the saddle, and into the shaded gully. We chatted and enjoyed the perfect weather, noting the breeze and cooler temps coming into the area as the front crept closer. With plenty of time to spare, we motored out to I-8 and home.
Good to be on the Goldwater again - that place never gets old.