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Blue Peak - Greenback Creek Quad, AZ
mini location map2014-11-09
58 by photographer avatarCannondaleKid
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Blue Peak - Greenback Creek Quad, AZ 
Blue Peak - Greenback Creek Quad, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 09 2014
Hiking5.30 Miles 2,343 AEG
Hiking5.30 Miles   4 Hrs   45 Mns   1.16 mph
2,343 ft AEG      10 Mns Break20 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
With six peaks yet to climb in the Greenback Creek Quadrangle I've been working on a number of routes in an attempt to bag as many as possible with the fewest amount of hikes. Upon reading Hank's and Larry's triplogs to Blue peak (one of my six) and not wanting to repeat their ordeal I sought an easier route. After noting an old road ending at the base of Chubb Mountain when we were on Panther Mountain a few weeks ago I pored over the satellite maps and drew a track along an ATV trail from FR 236 (near FR 236A which leads to Malicious Gap) that I would follow all the way to Chubb Mountain.

Originally I had planned to do Three Sisters Mountain, Chubb (in the Armer Mountain Quad) and maybe Red Blanket Peak in one day, but when I saw how close Blue Peak was and the relative ease of it's eastern slope I decided to start off with a 2.6 mile hike to Blue Peak and make a side-trip for Three Sisters on the return leg.

If there was a down-side to this plan, it would be was the drive along an ATV trail from FR 236 to my designated trailhead next to Chubb Mountain. True to form it was very rough, taking 70 minutes to drive the 8 miles.

From the trailhead I hiked straight west over a ridge, down the steep slope into Panther Gulch before climbing to the saddle between the southern two of Three Sisters Mountain. With a good look at Blue Peak from there I realized the eastern slope would be a relative piece-of-cake compared to Larry's route from the other side. The slope down was easier than the descent to Panther Gulch, but I still had to take extra time for a descent through the cliff-like area. Other than staying away from the prickly-pear cacti on the ascent to the summit of Blue Peak it was even easier than I expected.
I shot the usual panorama photos and video then I took a tour of the ruins, filming it with my GoPro. I took a short PB&J break and headed back down. Being easier to drop 4-5 feet than to jump up that far I decided to try a slightly different route to avoid the cliffs. It was going pretty well following a well-beaten game trail until it turned and headed back down into a drainage. My only other option was to traverse a slope of loose rock in order to avoid the thickest vegetation so far today, consisting of Century plants, agave, prickly-pear and other assorted hazards.

About halfway across the rock slope I stepped on a large rock that seemed slightly loose so I tested it by putting only a little weight on it, then a little more, until it felt good enough to walk across... until it tilted and rolled over, starting a small rock-slide.
In the process my right ankle was caught between rocks while another rock rolled into my left knee and I started to fall backward. Good thing one of my hiking poles was caught and the strap was still around my wrist, preventing a hard backward fall, which may have broken my ankle since it was still wedged. I'm already thinking this may be an Aron Ralston-like deal. After taking a moment to assess the situation I was able to use my free pole to move a rock to break my other pole free, then used both poles together to try and move the rock. It took quite an effort and the poles were starting to bend when the rock moved just far enough to wriggle my ankle free.
Whew! Thankfully I was able to get off the rock pile without breaking the slope loose again. After the twisted ankle and hit on the left knee I was taking it pretty slow for a while.
Once back to the saddle and through the fence I was debating whether to head back to the TH or add the side trip to Three Sisters. Well, I'm here, I might as well git'er done.

But wait... you'll have to read my Three Sisters Mountain triplog for "the-rest-of-the-story"
(The stats I entered are what it would be it one were to hike just to Blue Peak and back)

Blue Peak summit panorama video

Blue Peak Ruins 'tour' video
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