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2 Photosets

2014-01-01  
2014-01-01  
Boulder Mt via Ballantine TH, AZ
mini location map2014-01-01
10 by photographer avatarslowandsteady
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Boulder Mt via Ballantine TH, AZ 
Boulder Mt via Ballantine TH, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 01 2014
slowandsteady
Hiking22.84 Miles 6,019 AEG
Hiking22.84 Miles   14 Hrs   27 Mns   1.76 mph
6,019 ft AEG   1 Hour   30 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
After our aborted goal of a Pine Mt and Boulder Mt loop, we had been given more appealing options to do Boulder, but it felt like we would be cheating if we didn't start at Ballantine.

The night before a hike it always seems so logical to set an alarm for 4 am. But, then when that alarm goes off, your only thought is that hiking is dumb and why bother. We started out four minutes later than last time, despite our efforts to be ready earlier.

I had an advantage on this trip. Having already done the section from the Trailhead to the AZT road, I knew what to expect. If I have done a trail before, I will be faster the next time. I just kept making goals. I needed to get to 1.5 mile marker, then to the giant arrow at the intersection, fight the cat claw, wrestle the manzanita, enjoy the uniqueness of Rock Tank and then tackle the last hill up to the road. We made the road, 90 minutes ahead of our last attempt! (Did I mention I'm faster the next time on a trail?)

Everything now would be new...and slower. Looking back I should have savored the road more. We saw a tent but none of the inhabitants. We then made the turn off for 4.33 miles of the unknown.

The first 30 minutes were enjoyable so we stopped and had lunch in some Pine Trees. Then off again. There were snowy spots, just enough to make you smile and ignore that things were getting denser. I'm OK with getting on all fours to crawl under brush, but I have reached the age where the concern is with the energy needed to stand back up! Right before Boulder Summit, there are some rocks to climb. I got a little shaky, any exposure does me in. Karl had his summit brew while we did the math on how long it took us to arrive at the summit and the almost two miles left to get off Boulder. Karl had hoped to be at the road at the bottom of Boulder by 3, and here we were just starting our trip down at 3:30. The down felt never ending. I'm thankful for the scrubby oak bush and it's strength to let me use it as hand holds on the way down.

Finally we hit the trail/road. There was no time to savor flat ground as the sun was quickly disappearing. We were following what we thought were pretty fresh tire tracks, later confirmed by Mazatzal and his trip log. We had many chats about who was crazy enough to be driving out there. It was rugged in spots and had steep ups and downs. Karl said let's turn on the headlamps and not fall. So I turned mine on and promptly fell. Grace being my middle name.

Up a hill we went and through an entryway and boom there was a cabin. It was a little freaky in the dark.

Finally we made it to the giant arrow at the intersection. Whew! Now only 3.5 miles to go and done. This was our fourth time on that section of trail and the fourth time doing it in the dark, so we cruised on down.

I have Ballantine out of my system for awhile!
Culture
Culture
Bushwhack
Named place
Named place
Boulder Mountain
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slowandsteady's
94 Photosets

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