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Three Sisters Mountain - Greenback Creek Quad, AZ
mini location map2014-11-09
42 by photographer avatarCannondaleKid
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Three Sisters Mountain - Greenback Creek Quad, AZ 
Three Sisters Mountain - Greenback Creek Quad, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Nov 09 2014
CannondaleKid
Hiking5.10 Miles 2,136 AEG
Hiking5.10 Miles   4 Hrs   5 Mns   1.28 mph
2,136 ft AEG      5 Mns Break20 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
And now for the-rest-of-the-story... (see Blue Peak triplog: http://hikearizona.com/photoset=32814)

After completing my Blue Peak ruins tour and I was back at the saddle between the southern two of three sisters I made the decision to turn 90 degrees and head north across sister #2 and on to the highest of the Three Sisters. Being only a bee-line .8 mile away, but of course that doesn't take into account the winding around various thorny hazards or the up-and-down of the terrain. Still, I was able to follow my planned track very closely and this part of the hike went pretty quickly.

After the usual panorama photos and video at the summit I wandered to the southwest end of the summit ridge to make sure I took a few photos of Blue Peak. Then it was a simple descent, a great-circle-route on Sister #2 instead of over the summit again and back to the saddle between #1 & #2.

For the last part of the return trip I decided to follow my planned track back to Panther Gulch. I hadn't used it on the way out to Blue Peak because I was following some very well-beaten game trails... only to be led down the cliffs into Panther Gulch. Live and learn... if I had followed my planned track the crossing of Panther Gulch would have been easy... only I would have missed the 50' pour-off. (See my Blue Peak photoset/triplog again)

But now, by following my track a came across what was left of a rudimentary dam in Panther Gulch. The climb over the last ridge wasn't to hard, there was just a bit more meandering to avoid the thick areas of vegetation, including almost every thorny hazard the area has to offer. (Seems to be the thing in this area)

Still, after my spill on the return from Blue Peak and the extra jaunt to Three Sisters I was feeling pretty well wiped out so I was taking it very slow. I noticed a flash of movement from the right (currently I have slightly obstructed vision in the right eye due to a detached vitreous) and as I turned toward it I see this large cat bounding to my left about 100' away, semi-hidden behind various trees and vegetation. It moved so fast and silently I never heard a sound, and of course even though I had my camera out within seconds, alas it was gone!
:y: :pk:
Realizing it was a mountain lion I felt sheer joy at seeing one in-the-wild, then total frustration that I couldn't get it on film. But that lasted but a few seconds when again, I realized hey, this is something awesome!
:y:
And having committed the video to memory, I'll be able to relive the scene... until my memory takes a hike anyway.
:whistle:

For the last half-mile I was no longer dragging along but now had a spring to my step... an awesome day! How many times can one tour an ancient ruins and a see mountain lion in one day? Not very often!

Still, it was nice to get back to the Jeep and oh yeah, hit the rough and rocky 'road' out of here. I drove a bit faster and made it the 8 miles in a little less time, only being slowed down by the three tight wire-fence-gates I had to open and close. I made it from the TH back out to 188 at Punkin Center in 90 minutes.
[I'll be returning for Chubb Mountain and Red Blanket Peak soon so I'm going to look into another shorter route near/through(?) the Conway Ranch area.]

Note: The stats I entered are what it would be it one were to hike just to Three Sisters and back.

Three Sisters Mountain summit panorama:
http://www.youtube.com/embed/Yhquy4W13R4
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CannondaleKid
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