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Superstition Ridgeline
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mini location map2010-06-25
21 by photographer avatarThe_Eagle
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Superstition RidgelinePhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 25 2010
The_Eagle
Hiking14.50 Miles 5,210 AEG
Hiking14.50 Miles   12 Hrs   30 Mns   1.16 mph
5,210 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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joebartels
I had the urge to do something at night and thought it'd be cool to add in a full moon.
What I didn't have a clue on was that there was a partial eclipse of the moon also scheduled for the this night. Pretty cool.

I had never done a Ridgeline and never been up the Carney side, so why not a Carney to Flatiron out and back. The mileage seemed doable, the AEG while a bit steep also seemed doable. My two concerns were route finding at night and the temperatures. Once the sun went down, the temps were bearable to delightful.

At 6:30pm, we were off. Right by the old campgrounds and before the first climb even began, I saw my first ever Gila Monster. It was crossing the trail in thigh high weeds, 4 feet in front of me. Timing is everything. It was larger and thicker than I had imagined it would be. It was also faster and I never expected the hissing warning noise. Once again, I couldn't get the camera on and focused on it, as it scurried under the brush. Joe told me the complete story of the killer neurotoxins the beast produces and how much worse they are than the bite from a rattler. Of course this was right after he coached me to get closer to try and get a shot.

The steep climb with the setting sun and at 106 degrees, it made it a bit toasty. I cashed my first water under the mushroom rock and we continued the climb up West Bolder Saddle. The views were terrific as the sun was setting. The night brought on a whole different feeling on a hike. Other than the hissing of the Gila Monsters that could be heard occasionally (OK, it was me, spookin' Joe), the night was eerily quiet. The only other noises were the girly shrieks every time my hiking partner walked through a spider web. He later put me in the lead when there was a threat of spider webs crossing the trail.

Joe ran the carne finder light and I ran the GPS to keep us on track. There were a few times the trail was lost, and some time burned looking for the trail. It is a lot more challenging at night.

At 12:30 we took a break for dinner, and to make a decision if we were going to go the additional 3/4 of a mile to the Flatiron. Lack of sleep for both and water for Joe made us decide that we'd gone far enough. So at 1:15 we started the trek back.

This hike was much easier once the light started to come up after 4am and you could see the trail.

With the sunrise over the mountains and a fresh battery in my camera, I started clicking away. The orange glow was incredible on the surrounding peaks, valleys, rocks, and plant life. Now just the long downhill back to the Trailhead. Getting back to the truck it felt so good to sit. It's now 7:30am and 13 hours after we started the night before. Now all I had was the 2 hour drive home.

This was a pretty demanding hike for me, taking into consideration the distance, elevation, and lack of sleep. I had a great time out there. Joe always keeps it interesting!
Flora
Flora
Century Plant
Fauna
Fauna
Tarantula
Meteorology
Meteorology
Crepuscular rays Moon
_____________________
There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."
Dave Barry
HAZ Member
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