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Peak 5356 - Picture Mountain Quad, AZ
mini location map2014-10-21
48 by photographer avatarCannondaleKid
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Peak 5356 - Picture Mountain Quad, AZ 
Peak 5356 - Picture Mountain Quad, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Oct 21 2014
CannondaleKid
Hiking2.20 Miles 1,278 AEG
Hiking2.20 Miles   2 Hrs   11 Mns   1.05 mph
1,278 ft AEG      5 Mns Break20 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
With the last two peaks left on my list in the Picture Mountain Quadrangle in close proximity I figured I'd knock them both out in the same day. And since the round-trip drive from Punkin Center on FR 609 & FR 649 would take almost as long as the ascents, I'd try to bag a peak or two in the Kayler Butte Quadrangle to close that one out as well.

Although the first part of FR 609 was in great shape, the farther I went the more it deteriorated and by time I hit FR 649 it was very slow going. To help reduce the time I took the FR 1708 shortcut but once back on the last part of FR 649 some parts were so eroded it was more like rock-crawling than 4-wheeling. Even though my speed was almost down to hiking speed, it was so rocky I wouldn't have been able to walk that fast anyway. Suffice to say it took 90 minutes to drive the 11 miles to the trailhead near Rattlesnake Spring.

After 3 hours of driving from home to the TH I was ready to set off on foot. Although the road used to go farther, with the pea-gravel over hard packed dirt even walking on it was treacherous. It wasn't long before I realized the best place to walk was in the center of each eroded channel where all the loose stuff had been washed away.

Along with the loose surface there was plenty of thorny vegetation to catch the unwary... cat's claw, prickly pear, agave, shin-daggers, and other assorted dangers. As I approached the saddle, with all the elk sign around and the wind blowing in my face, I slowed down and got my camera out and turned on just in case I surprised and elk over the top.
But as usual, when you're prepared for something like that, it never happens. :-({|=

Oh well, it's time for the final ascent to the summit. This part went pretty easily due to plenty of cow-paths running at angles to the slope so I just zig-zagged my way through the thick but low holly bushes. The summit ridge was relatively flat and long so I spent some time wandering around to find the best location for the panorama photos and video. Also, since it was barely a half-mile from a ruin site we had visited some three years ago, I spent extra time looking for any sherds or other ruin relics. No luck on that.

I followed a slightly different route on the descent and once I hit the saddle I set out for Peak 5325 to close out the Picture Mountain Quadrangle peaks. With plenty of photos already, I'm splitting the triplog for two separate photosets and post them all here on HAZ.

Peak 5356 summit panorama video is here:
http://www.youtube.com/embed/5yxFzKdkvEQ
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CannondaleKid
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