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Ballantine to Boulder Mtn Swing and a Miss, AZ
mini location map2014-08-17
13 by photographer avatarJuanJaimeiii
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Ballantine to Boulder Mtn Swing and a Miss, AZ 
Ballantine to Boulder Mtn Swing and a Miss, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 17 2014
Hiking14.96 Miles 4,315 AEG
Hiking14.96 Miles   8 Hrs   2 Mns   2.41 mph
4,315 ft AEG   1 Hour   49 Mns Break
1st trip
Don't ask me why I thought a hike up to the top of Boulder Mountain from the Ballantine Trailhead would be a good idea today? I should have got my first clue when I arrived at the trailhead a little after 9AM and it was already 99 degrees out. Awh what the heck I loaded up my Camelbak and off I went.

About halfway to the cabin I nearly stepped on the coolest little desert tortoise. This thing was so tiny. I have seen several along the way but never a baby. This was the highlight of the trip.

It was flat out hot on that trail with no tree cover. I started to second guess my decision as I approached the cabin. Then inside I found a couple gallons of water. Right before that I was thinking about aborting Boulder Mtn and just doing the cabin loop. Probably would have been the smarter choice but knowing there was back up water I kept going.

All was good until I started up the ravine and then up the side of the mountain. It's brushy with cats claw and live oak. This made for slow progress. The heat was really taking its toll and my water consumption was way up from normal. I kept pushing forward. Then came a point where I said to myself "It would be wise to turn back now". My stubborn self hates to not finish a task so I pushed on. As I continued up I took a couple breaks in the shade where I could find some. There wasn't much of it so I figured I had better take advantage of the few spots available.

When I reached the first false summit I had less than 20 ounces of water left. It was 95 degrees up there and I had 3 miles to get back to the cabin with a solid one of it being off trail. It was a difficult decision but I turned back with only a half a mile to reach the summit. I knew another mile round trip would have drained the rest of my water well before reaching the cabin.

I headed back down which was much easier than going up but still a slow go. I was frustrated but knew I made the smart choice. Along the way I would hit a few more shade spots with short breaks. My body was starting to overheat and I had limited water to cool it off. My final sip was taken a half mile before reaching the cabin. I smiled in defeat as this confirmed I did the right thing.

Upon reaching the cabin I drank a bit of the water and then put a couple liters in my bag. I sat down on some foam that was on the floor and just chilled for about 20 minutes. It felt awesome!

After that it was an easy 4 mile hike back to the car. Along the way I looked down at the Fenix and the temps reached a blistering 107 on it.

It looks like I am going to have to go back and make another run at Boulder Mountain. Next time it will be cooler and I might even take Cannondale Kids advice and Jeep in.
Desert Tortoise
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