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West Boulder Saddle
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mini location map2015-01-01
7 by photographer avatarDennisWilliams
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West Boulder SaddlePhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 01 2015
Hiking3.45 Miles 1,505 AEG
Hiking3.45 Miles
1,505 ft AEG20 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Started out as a go for the Superstition Ridgeline. Not to be. Had a good plan, or so I thought. Couldn't get anyone else interested. People just had more sense, I guess.

My darling wife got out of bed at 0400 to help me place my truck at Lost Dutchman. We did so and proceeded to Carney in her Camry. As we slipped and slid down the dirt road approaching the TH she fish-tailed a few times and I started to think: what if she drops me off, then on the way back slides off the road and gets stuck, in the cold and dark, at 0600? My plan also depended on the ability to call her for a ride if I bailed out and went back to Carney. Did I really want her to drive this slippery mess 3 more times? Half way along the dirt I made the call; turn around and get my truck, so we did. She was game to go the whole way but I insisted. How could I do the hike and expose her to that? The road turned out to be passable to cars but she is not experienced at that sort of thing. She has only been in the US for about 8 years and did not drive before. She admitted later that the drive had scared her a little.

Got the truck and returned to the Carney Springs TH. Lost well over an hour but started up anyway in high hopes of making up the time and getting to the Superstition Mountain summit and maybe even the whole way to Siphon. Oh foolish person. I did make up about 15 minutes by the time I arrived at West Boulder Saddle but the whole outlook changed there. A whole lot more snow on the north side. There had been a half-inch down at the parking area and it increased to about 2 inches up the south side as I approached West Boulder, but there was a full 4 inches and more on the north side. I followed the trail for about 0.25 mile past West Boulder and then floundered around after repeatedly loosing the trail. I would back-track and find the last snow covered cairn and fan out from there, but just could not find it again. The snow weighed down the brush and it hung down over the trail obscuring it, and the cairns were covered. I could see the big ones but the little ones just disappeared. Hung around the saddle for a while and had a snack. Talked to a couple that came in after me and proceeded past. Hoped they had better route finding skills than mine.

I was surprised at how good the footing was. As I suspected, the snow did not melt and re-freeze, so under the snow the rock was just wet, not icy. The route was totally do-able for someone with better skills. I had good gear, water, and food. Just could not find the trail. What I sacrificed in tough hiker points I hope I made up for in good husband points. It was fun anyway and the views were, as I had thought, spectacular!
HAZ - Selfie
Named place
Named place
West Boulder Saddle - 3683ft
"Morbius! Something approaches from the southwest!"

- Robby
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