Great day in the Catalinas. It was still raining off-and-on after midnight Friday (and apparently some of this group were still awake for some reason
) but in the morning the stream gauges were around 100cfs and seemed passable. The clouds shrouded the mountains, and ice coated my windshield, but clear skies illuminated the valley.
We started as a group of 5, but Mark was under the weather and hiking in cold floodwater wasn't in his best interest. Carol similarly decided the flooding wasn't all that desirable, and both turned back at various stages.
Seven Falls was awesome, and half the joy was that there were no other people who had any interest in hiking in snowmelt flood waters to get there. (The guy in jeans who made one crossing before turning back did not receive any judgemental comments from me
Having never hiked any of this before, I had proposed the Bear Sabino Loop with a side trip to Hutch or Thimble. Belinda voted on Thimble and I was surprised how cool of a peak it is. While climbing the chimney we found out that not only smoke rises, and it left all of us with a bad taste in our mouths.
From Thimble we trudged through the little remaining snow and down into East Sabino. We took a break at the Sabino junction and were happy to have decided not to go to Hutch's since there would be numerous additional deep, cold crossings with the ample flow in the creek.
On the return, Mike and Belinda opted for the Phone Line Trail to keep their feet dry. I had hiked it a week ago and decided to head down and play in the water along the road. The last tram left shortly after I started, leaving the road peaceful and quiet with only a handful of runners along the way.
This was a great loop. It would be nice in normal weather, but was extra special with the snow and runoff. After drying off and warming up we devoured a delicious Italian dinner before heading our separate ways.
Apparently I need to add more pineapple to my diet.