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Brins Mesa Trail #119
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mini location map2012-12-15
34 by photographer avatarchumley
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Brins Mesa Trail #119Sedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 15 2012
chumley
Hiking5.61 Miles 1,268 AEG
Hiking5.61 Miles   4 Hrs   20 Mns   1.29 mph
1,268 ft AEG
 
1st trip
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Jonnybackpack
This storm seemed perfect for Sedona. The snow level was just high enough that driving there would be wet, not white. But it was low enough that the red rocks around town should be snow-covered, making for a perfect situation for easy access hiking into winter. When Jon decided he also wanted to go, I let him pick the destination, since he has more experience in Sedona than I do.

He told me about Angel Falls and wanted to see them running. I thought that would be cool so that's where we decided to go.

It was raining in Sedona, but when I got to the trailhead, the ground was snow covered and big flakes were flying. I mention this only because the trailhead is about a mile from town, and maybe 100 feet higher. The change was sudden and drastic.

Starting out we acknowledged that it was going to be a cold, wet day and just decided to suck it up. The trail was muddy and slushy, but got better as we got higher up and the snow got deeper. Eventually we turned off the Brins trail and headed for Mormon Canyon, unable to follow the one cairn we had seen ... we pretty much fought thick manzanita and other desert scrub for a healthy stretch until reaching the edge of the canyon. Despite water running in every little wash and drainage everywhere else, Mormon was bone dry. Not even a trickle. So instead of fighting onward toward the falls, we gave up and headed back to the trail.

All this time there was zero visibility, clouds/fog, and pretty steady snow. It was a winter wonderland paradise! Up on the mesa we were happy to find that it wasn't windy, and the trail was visible despite the snow. So we trudged to the top where Jon was devastated that his photo tree had finally succumbed to the elements and no longer stood. We were totally socked in and taking photos wasn't even a real option, though Jon tried for something. I decided to build a snowman! We had some fun making a snowman snowcone with some delicious mole stout, and suddenly the sky began to lighten.

For 15-20 minutes, the sun shone through a break in the storm, and the views were unparalleled. Despite being completely frozen and nearly unable to push a shutter button, we all snapped dozens of photos, trying to capture the scene. Despite the sun, the snow continued to fall for a while before it too came to a halt. Then the clouds rolled in again and we were enveloped in the grey mist and snowfall once again. With the thought of warm dry clothes back at the car, we trudged downward in the snow. I took a couple of good spills, despite my trekking poles, and have some good posterior-bruises to show for it!

Dried off and heading out, it began to clear up again, and the late afternoon views across Sedona were just stunning. I wish we had the patience and a good location at that point to find some more photo shots, but instead we went to Oak Creek and enjoyed their Christmas Chocolate Cherry Porter. A fine ending to an absolutely awesome day!
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