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Nose BM - Gila Bend Mountains, AZ
mini location map2013-03-02
36 by photographer avatardesert_boonie
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Nose BM - Gila Bend Mountains, AZ 
Nose BM - Gila Bend Mountains, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 02 2013
Hiking20.47 Miles 2,710 AEG
Hiking20.47 Miles   9 Hrs   25 Mns   2.17 mph
2,710 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
What drives us to hike is a funny thing sometimes, for me more often than not it seems as I tend to want to do things not many attempt. I love my mountains, and I love the solitude they can provide given the right area. Over the last few years one mountain has seemingly taunted me with every pass by I did.

The Nose Benchmark in the Gila Bend mountains is nothing special to most, it is a peak that stands at 2349' and not too far away from a major highway. But gaining access to this peak has proved difficult for me the last few years. An approach on its eastern side is cutoff by an energy facility and a road not open to the public. Its southern approach is on Indian Reservation property, and her western side is unknown to me. After two planned trips to hike up this peak with my friend Scott the last two years went sour I almost wanted to forget about it. But I tend to head towards this mountain range often with a lot of the hikes I do and every time I see this jagged peak sticking out it has made me sick to the point I cannot even look at it. So my drive wouldn't let me forget about this peak, but instead get up it any means I could.

A month ago I headed out to the area north of the mountain in the Gila Bend range and took a road as far as I could and according to GPS it was 8.57 miles away. Too late in the day for me to do it, I hiked up nearby Spring Mt. to catch a glimpse of the traverse. It looked far but doable, should I go for this or find a shorter way? I seemingly wasted too much time before thinking I was going to get close to her so I decided to come back here and make a long day for such a small peak.

With warmer weather in the forecast I could only shake my head, not what I wanted but I couldn't wait any longer, so my plan was to just bring more water. So this morning I headed on out to the dirt road that ends at the north side of Spring Mt. 8.57 miles away from the Nose BM. I got there before 8am and started the long desert floor traverse. Temps were cool when I started, 47 degrees with a 40 degree increase on the way for the day, don't you just love the desert?

After looking over the topo map for weeks I had the route memorized for this hike, every peak jumped out at me and I knew where I was the entire time. Progress was made quickly with the exception of the dozens of wash crossings that got on my nerves after awhile today since most of them were straight drop offs that had to be bypassed with an extra minute to find a good way in and out. The total solitude of the morning put me into my hiking trance and I just enjoyed every minute out there looking at every rugged peak around and the nice desert floor. Around a set of hills and I came across an old Jeep road just as the plan was. This road was to take me to the main dirt road that would take me near the base of the Nose BM. After seeing the road curving away from where I wanted to go before coming back, I decided to get off of it and hike over a set of hills on a straight and direct approach to the Nose.

I finally get to the top of the hills and my first glimpse of the Nose for the day was in front of me 4 miles away. I found a game trail leading down which saved me a few minutes and it was time to cross some more washes that had me shaking my head. Three hours into my hike I was finally at the bast of the mountain in a nice cholla field reminding me of her sister counterpart the Maricopa Mountains. I found my ridge to head up and on I went. She wants to hurt you, jagged loose rock, with so many cholla plants around protecting this mountain the best they can. She is steep as well and gets your heart pumping in no time. After some good huffing and puffing I was at a saddle and on the ridge. A nice welcoming breeze felt so good cooling my sweaty body off. The view to the east of the Maricopa Mountains was incredible. I look up and see the peak and the ridge traverse to get there. I smiled and shook my head, she looked fun and I couldn't wait.

Something smells, (besides me) I was near the summit and knew it, the adrenaline was pumping and at last I was on top of a mountain I have wanted to do for a few years now. The excitement that came out of me was overwhelming, I had to calm myself down with a good summit brew and the incredible views. She offers a great 360 degree view of a part of the state not too many often experience. I was naming off peaks I knew and ones that I want to know in the future. I downed my beer, looked over the summit log and was kind of surprised to see about 20 people signed in since 1988. Someone quite a few different times and someone a few weeks ago, go figure.

I spent an hour on top and knew the hike back was going to take everything out of me with the temperature warming up. I started down and picked the same way I came up, progress was slow at first as the loose rock can hurt you in a second if not careful. The breeze was still keeping me cool on the ridge traverse back to the saddle, but once going down the saddle it was gone and it warmed up quickly. BAM! I knew immediately what happened, I look down at a sudden pain in my leg and see a thick cholla barb clinging to my knee. This is the first one i've had in a few years and wasn't happy. I used my shemagh to pull it out of me yelling out things people probably shouldn't hear. I vowed not to let that happen again for another few years and watched the blood roll down my leg.

Back on the desert floor with the sun beating down on me I decided to wrap the wet shemagh around my head and keep it wet by taking a break every hour to wet it down and gulp my cold thawing gatorade. This strategy worked well but nothing could be done for my feet which were starting to bother me at the 15 mile mark. No trails and a lot of small rocks to constantly walk across did not make me feel to happy today. At this time I was about done but still had 5 miles to go, another thing to make me shake my head about. I needed something to keep me going and it ended up being Captain Ron quotes that Pete and I have been doing since our sailing trip a few weeks ago. Yeah it got that bad for me I guess. lol

My last break was at 4pm and 2 miles away from the Jeep, the sun went behind some clouds most of the time for this part which felt great, it makes that much difference. The last few wash crossings and now unpleasant uphill and I had the Jeep in view. Getting back to her and yelling "base" was such a great feeling. I took a minute to gather myself and turned on some music to jam to while I washed myself off and started to rehydrate with a nice cold Coca-Cola. lol Then the weirdest part of the day, I turn around about ready to get in the Jeep and head home and there are two younger guys walking towards me. I was surprised to see them as they were me, they were in the area on a hunting scouting trip setting up and gathering their cameras and asked me what I did. They just looked at me with huge eyes after I told them and then asked me "Why"? lol Don't you just love that? It was the topping on the cake for me and for this day, after they left I could only laugh about the question and then laugh at what I had just done. Hiking 20 miles for a small peak. Oh well, it is off my list now and I couldn't be happier. I think I might actually sleep well tonight. :y:
Named place
Named place
Margies Peak Woolsey Peak
"Never Satisfied"
HAZ Member
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