Now that everything below the rim is closed and I'm gonna have to drive at least two hours to hike anything-- I figured it was time for my yearly Humphreys Summit. I also haven't solo hiked in a while and I just bought a new daypack-- two more things to take to the highest point in Arizona.
My original plan was to do Weatherford to the summit as an out and back which would be like 23 miles. Then squatpuke reminded me that I could it as a loop if I added in the Kachina. I saw that the Gecko had just done that and even had a nice track layed out-- how convenient
. As a loop it would be knocked down to 20 miles which sounded better to me. Here's how my upper mileage enjoyment goes:
17 miles-- I start to hurt in multiple places
18 miles-- I decide that hiking is stupid
19 miles-- look for hostages
20 miles-- contemplate death
Alright-- 20 miles! Only contemplating death! Perfect!
I decided I would work this clockwise from Snowbowl. That turned out to be a smart choice. The Weatherford would be almost all downhill for my cruising enjoyment and I'd rest up for the leftover gain on the Kachina.
I got there early and there weren't too many hikers yet. I burned up the Humphreys trail leaving everyone in my dust and got to the summit in really good time. There were only 5 or 6 on the summit which is the fewest I've ever seen. Last year when I did the summit, it was basically a traffic jam from the saddle to summit. Bartels, Bruce, and John9L might remember that day.
I spent a few minutes hanging out and then headed on my way. I'd never been on the Kachina before and had only been on the Weatherford between the Inner Basin and Doyle Saddle. Both trails turned out to be awesome. I saw three small groups on the Weatherford below Fremont Saddle and a few on the Kachina. My mileage is a bit more that Gecko's for this loop because I missed a turn on the Kachina and ended up following a forest road for a bit. When I saw a parking lot, I realized I had done something wrong
The final mile, though, seemed to take forever. I was glad to be done. This is an awesome loop, though, and I imagine I'll do it again. Its high mileage, high aeg, and worth every step! I also eventually let the hostages go.