Superstition Ridgeline Snow Hike

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 Linked Guide  • Superstition Ridgeline, AZ
Type Standard Hike, Climb, etc
 
Start Date 2015-01-01
 
# of days 1

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DennisWilliams
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Superstition Ridgeline Snow Hike

Post by DennisWilliams »

A month ago I tossed off a flip remark in a triplog about someone doing the Four Peaks Mother Lode Tres Veces, at night, in the snow, while playing the trombone, and said I would leave that sort of thing to others. That has not changed, but......

The weather is shaping up to produce rain in the valley and snow down below 5000' starting Wednesday evening and finishing up Thursday around noon. The Wunderground weather forecasts for Mesa, AJ, and Gold Canyon all indicate about 0.33 inch of rain Wednesday night and traces for Thursday AM, and near 100% chance of snow for Payson. If the forecast holds up there could be 3 - 4 inches of snow on the ground along the ridge and the summits, with clouds swirling and snow squalls during the morning, clearing in the afternoon. I am very keen to see the Ridgeline in those conditions. It is not the Mother Lode, but it could be spectacular!

I have done the RL 4 times, always from Carney to Siphon. I am torn about which direction to go. My inclination is to do it again from Carney due to familiarity with the look of the trail (might be helpful if covered in snow). If upper Siphon is full of snow that could be dicey coming down, but it would be in late PM so will probably be OK, and likely only the top few hundred feet at most.

To those of you for whom the Ridgeline offers insufficient challenge, the MLTV snow climb awaits. Don't forget the trombone.

Update 12/29: The forecast is holding up. A weather alert has been issued for snow above 2000' Wed PM / Th AM. So far, so good! It will likely be cold and windy up there!

Update 12/30: The forecast continues to hold up. Should finish snowing before we start the hike at 0630. Might not see these near ideal conditions for years to come. Jump in!

Update 12/30: Still holding up. Payson snow forecast is for 5 - 8". A little much, but still just a forecast. Mesa, AJ, Gold Canyon forecasts look good.
Last edited by DennisWilliams on Dec 31 2014 9:17 am, edited 3 times in total.
"Aequanimitas."

- Antoninus Pius
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chumley
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Re: Superstition Ridgeline Snow Hike

Post by chumley »

It can be magical up there when it snows! :y:
http://hikearizona.com/photo=317779
two scoops!
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cactuscat
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Re: Superstition Ridgeline Snow Hike

Post by cactuscat »

I've hiked up Flatiron in snow and ice - this was before I owned Microspikes, so we used our hiking sticks to break up the ice for better footing in places. It was great fun!
Arguing with idiots is like playing chess with pigeons.
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PhilMW
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Re: Superstition Ridgeline Snow Hike

Post by PhilMW »

I'm planning on going up Superstition peak 5057 on Thursday from Carney spring. Perhaps we'll run into each other up there! I'm looking forward to seeing some good snow and hopefully some clouds to hike through! :y:
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DennisWilliams
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Re: Superstition Ridgeline Snow Hike

Post by DennisWilliams »

@PhilMW
Hope to see you. Good luck and safe hiking.
"Aequanimitas."

- Antoninus Pius
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JasonCleghorn
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Re: Superstition Ridgeline Snow Hike

Post by JasonCleghorn »

Follow me on Instagram: hikingjason
"It's not the mountains that we conquer, but ourselves"
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PhilMW
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Re: Superstition Ridgeline Snow Hike

Post by PhilMW »

Thank you Dennis. Safe hiking to you as well!

Thanks for the update Jason.
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chumley
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Re: Superstition Ridgeline Snow Hike

Post by chumley »

@Jason Cleghorn
I'm pretty sure that is exactly what the OP is looking for.
two scoops!
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DennisWilliams
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Re: Superstition Ridgeline Snow Hike

Post by DennisWilliams »

@Jason Cleghorn
Thanks! That is in line with my guesstimates of two days ago. Should be interesting!
"Aequanimitas."

- Antoninus Pius
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DennisWilliams
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Re: Superstition Ridgeline Snow Hike

Post by DennisWilliams »

@PhilMW & @skillpore
Here is my plan:

If no-one else signs up, I'll have my wife drive over with me to Lost Dutchman and drop my truck there. Then she will drive me over to Carney and drop me there (she is an angel). I will be there by 0620. I'll start at 0630 by headlamp. Should be light enough to see by 0700. If the route is too snowy, slow, or dangerous I can back-track to Carney or bail out down Hieroglyphic and hitch a ride to somewhere in town and call my wife. If I am holding schedule I will go forward. It will all depend on the weather.
"Aequanimitas."

- Antoninus Pius
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chumley
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Re: Superstition Ridgeline Snow Hike

Post by chumley »

@skillpore
It will snow. But it will be largely over by then. Thursday will be a pretty nice day out there. There should be quite a bit of snow once you get up above the desert floor. Likely more than most people would be comfortable hiking that kind of terrain in. Depends on the kind of gear you have.
two scoops!
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Tough_Boots
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Re: Superstition Ridgeline Snow Hike

Post by Tough_Boots »

skillpore wrote:You seem to know your weather.
don't encourage him...
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DennisWilliams
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Re: Superstition Ridgeline Snow Hike

Post by DennisWilliams »

@skillpore
Wunderground has it delivering the 0.32 inches of rain to the Mesa, AJ, Gold Canyon area through Wed about 2200. If that holds up then there will be little additional snow on Th (good visibility), and since it will have snowed until well after dark on Wed the snow will have had no chance to melt, so less ice. The Payson forecast is for 5-8" today, which is a little more than I would care to see (route finding), but hey, it is just a forecast after all. More often than not weather forecasters over-estimate snow accumulation. Nothing ventured .....
"Aequanimitas."

- Antoninus Pius
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DennisWilliams
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Re: Superstition Ridgeline Snow Hike

Post by DennisWilliams »

@skillpore
OK. So here is the deal:

My truck will be at the Lost Dutchman in the event that I (or we) make it all the way. I will be leaving Carney Springs TH at 0630. As I mentioned earlier, if it gets too 'narly I will bail out, either back to Carney or out to Hieroglyphic. Either way there should be enough day hiker traffic due to it being Jan 1, everyone has the day off, and there will be snow to gawk at, so a ride a little way into town is not out of the question. If there is cell service there I will just call my wife for a ride (yes, she really is an angel). If any of you should decide to go there will be little logistical risk. You can always bail. Meet me at Carney and let's go. I would love to have the company since that would put a vehicle at Carney and it will be safer. If we do the whole Ridgeline we'll get your car after.

Happy New Year HAZ!
"Aequanimitas."

- Antoninus Pius
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JasonCleghorn
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Re: Superstition Ridgeline Snow Hike

Post by JasonCleghorn »

Can't wait to see pictures!
Follow me on Instagram: hikingjason
"It's not the mountains that we conquer, but ourselves"
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chumley
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Re: Superstition Ridgeline Snow Hike

Post by chumley »

So any word from Dennis? :-k

With the snow depth above 4000 feet, it would be very slow going, with careful footing and extreme difficulty following the route (snow-covered cairns don't look like cairns anymore).

When he previously did the ridgeline it took just over 9 hours. I figure it would take at least 12-14 hours yesterday.
two scoops!
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JasonCleghorn
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Re: Superstition Ridgeline Snow Hike

Post by JasonCleghorn »

Yeah, Dennis, chime in...
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"It's not the mountains that we conquer, but ourselves"
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BobP
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Re: Superstition Ridgeline Snow Hike

Post by BobP »

He posted a recent triplog
https://www.seeitourway.org
Always pronounce Egeszsegedre properly......
If you like this triplog you must be a friend of BrunoP
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JasonCleghorn
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Re: Superstition Ridgeline Snow Hike

Post by JasonCleghorn »

I wasn't being cheeky, just concerned. Good to hear... :)
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"It's not the mountains that we conquer, but ourselves"
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PhilMW
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Re: Superstition Ridgeline Snow Hike

Post by PhilMW »

I'm pretty sure we ran into each other up there. I would have mentioned something when we talked if I had thought about it.

It was rather incredible up in the mountains!
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