|Flying||9.50 Miles|| 40 Mns || ||14.25 mph|
|2,820 ft AEG|| || || |
Oh there have been several people who said I could not do the Superstition Ridgeline and some others who said I should not try it. Well, wonders will never cease, I finally did the ridgeline----Oh,------ I guess I cheated as I was not tired at all and it only took me about 40 minutes. I always wanted to see it from above and a helicopter ride was the way to do it. I do apologize to the tough hikers who can do the ridgeline and have written it up. I admire them and may be able to get to the SE top someday by trail. This "air report" is probably a bit out of place but it gives me a chance to share some photos Andy and I took during the trip. We thought there would be a number of hikers who might want to see what this area looks like from the air. We do want to apologize for many of the photos that have light streaks on them. The morning sun and the helicopter windows caused reflections but you can still see the scenes.
At about 7 AM on May 9th we boarded a Bell Ranger III at Falcon Field in Mesa. We toured for about 75 miles with the main objective being to do the entire ridgeline, which we did. The trip started from Falcon Field and went up the Salt River to Saguaro Lake. From there we followed the lake and up stream over Mormon Flat Dam to Canyon Lake, south down LaBarge canyon creek, over Battleship mountain, over Red Hills and Bull Pass, then over Terrapin trail to the east and south of Weaver's needle. From there over Peralta Trail and the north part of Dacite Mesa, over a bit of West Boulder canyon and the West Boulder Saddle and the Carney extension to the SE Superstition top. The pilot then simply flew the length of the ridgeline from SE to NW, went over the Flatiron and the real NW top, down Siphon Draw and back to Falcon Field. Of yeah, a short detour on the way back to circle Andy's house so he could take lots of photos.
We were gone approximately 40 minutes in the air. This was a great experience. We did take many, many photos but I restricted the photos here to the ridgeline approaches. Well, I did cheat a bit and included a view of Andy's house plus several views of Weaver's Needle. We felt we could almost reach out and touch it as we skirted by on the SE side. I hope you do not mind but we shook our heads in amazement at the views of Weaver's needle we saw. Many times we flew below the surrounding mountains and coming down LaBarge Canyon it was a bit windy until he lifted over Battleship. I think the main impression, other than the absolute beauty of the valleys and mountains, was the astounding ruggedness of the entire area. No wonder it has been referred to as the devil's work and other terms of fear and wonderment. The ridges and hoodoos are pointed and menacing looking. We were able to see many trails we had been on, around Saguaro Lake, up and over Boulder Canyon and up LaBarge, Peralta and the climb to the ridgeline and much of the ridgeline trail, then down Siphon Draw. From above it does not look like anyone could venture into that wilderness and even some of the trails surprised us that they were so stark and steep. Another wonderful aspect of this is that my wife went along. She is not able to hike and so now she is aware of the trails we have been on, seeing them in person rather than photos.
The trip has helped me to appreciate even more this wild area and to appreciate the fortitude and skills of the early farmers and miners who actually tried to find gold and silver and to build corrals throughout this rough country. Seeing the vast expanse of hoodoos atop many mountains shows how difficult it can be to try to navigate through and around them. Our next helicopter venture might be to go over Apache Lake and Reavis Ranch and Circlestone out to Roosevelt Lake and back. Maybe next year. What fun!
|Life is what is happening while you are making other plans.|