I was glad to be doing this hike again, as I hadn't been up there since December 2010. The hike/climb was made even better by being accompanied by mnlumberjack on his first ascent. I have always enjoyed this hike since I first did it in 1979, but this was probably the toughest ascent, mainly because I've been pretty inactive lately. Lots of breaks were taken both up and down, and it's safe to say Jack and I were among the slowest ones out there.
The original plan was to go over to the Flatiron and then after a lunch break I was going to show Jack some of the ridgeline trail and perhaps go up to 5024, but we were just too tired for that and headed back instead. It was a fine day for the hike with light winds and super visibility.
Last winter's freeze zapped a lot of the saguaros in this canyon as well, including the crazy one with the corkscrew arms I enjoyed photographing.
This trip I had the opportunity to start from the Mining Camp parking lot and see the adjacent McKellips Blvd spot. Very nice alternative to LDSP (saves distance & dinero). After the hike we were greeted by Jack's brother and we enjoyed a cold one while looking up at that majestic chunk of rock we had just climbed.
No doubt about it, this one isn't getting any easier, but then again, I'm not getting any younger!