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overwhelmed by ladybugs
My intent in completing this hike was to reach the summit and activate the peak for “Summits on the Air” (SOTA), which is an amateur radio/ham radio activity. Reading the suggestions of others who hiked the summit for the same reason, I learned that one person chose to virtually go straight up the mountain side from the road near the Green Mountain Trail #21 trailhead. A different group followed the Green Mountain Trail #21 back about a tenth of a mile to where a spur off the main trail exists. After the spur came to an end then they too went straight up the side of the mountain heading south.
An examination of the topography reveals there really isn't a better route than the two described above. After arriving on top and scouting the perimeter of the peak, I confirmed it too.
I chose to head straight up the side of the mountain on the ascent. While it was quite steep, I was surprised it wasn't more difficult navigating to the top. However, near the top there are rock outcroppings that could possibly pin somebody in if they aren’t paying attention. Furthermore, there were some places with loose material along the way and I was not comfortable descending the same way I came. I resolved to descend down the north side and hook up with the spur off the Green Mountain Trail before I even reached the top.
The view from the top is great. You can see Tucson off in the distance. I set up to work the radio and was overwhelmed by ladybugs. They were up my pant legs, in my sleeves and in all my equipment. I’m not sure if they will be there to greet you too. Maybe... there is a very faint trail from the high point of the mountain going down its north side. I followed that faint trail and to my surprise I spotted cairns here and there along the way. I lost the trail at some point, which is easy to do, but it didn’t really matter much. This route was also steep with loose material but I’m convinced it is still the safest and easiest route to take. Make sure you bring trekking poles!
I've posted my tracks and suggest the ascent and descent from the spur off of Green Mountain Trail #21 on the north side of the mountain.
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