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Oracle Ridge Trail #1
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mini location map2013-08-28
12 by photographer avatarMountain_Rat
photographer avatar
 
Oracle Ridge Trail #1Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 28 2013
Mountain_Rat
Hiking25.13 Miles 6,711 AEG
Hiking25.13 Miles   13 Hrs   20 Mns   2.01 mph
6,711 ft AEG      50 Mns Break18 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I was looking for something substantial, but not devastating to fill out a day. Looking over my list, I came upon this one. My spreadsheet ranked this as a 12 (my rating system attempts to reflect an approximation in hours). This should have been doable from civil dawn to civil dusk with about 2 hours of lounge-time along the way.

I was on the trail at 05:30 sharp, well rested and enthusiastic. I made my way doing just fine to the first water cache at the 3 mile mark, and from there it became a roller coaster ride of the steepest sort. The trail mostly follows a jeep road, which may play into it's difficulty. It seemed that the 'straight on charge' approach that a jeep would take is not so easy on human legs. Even the down hills were very taxing. Every time I thought the worst was surely over, a new slog presented itself. This was to be the case to the very peak of the run.

This is not the most scenic of trails. In fact in today's dirty air, the views were pretty much limited to the Catalinas ahead. The Biosphere could be seen, but without much clarity. On the approach to Rice Peak, the air was clean enough to catch a couple of pics, but that was about it.

I had already taken 20 minutes in breaks and was 10 minutes short of the top when my turn around alarm sounded. I was not making good time, so I shortened my 1/2 hour kickback to 10 minutes, then headed back down.

The trip back was not any easier, but was at least much quicker, affording me short breaks as needed. In the second half of the decent came relief under cloud cover, a steady breeze, and an occasional light shower.

While I wasn't looking forward to returning to the city, I was relieved that this trek was behind me. It looked a whole lot easier on paper than it turned out to be. Anywho, it's done and so am I... :zzz:
_____________________
Matt
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