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Sawyer Peak 4293 - Black Mtns - Tres Alamos
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8 by photographer avatarjoebartels
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Sawyer Peak 4293 - Black Mtns - Tres AlamosNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 03 2015
joebartels
Hiking14.80 Miles 3,005 AEG
Hiking14.80 Miles   9 Hrs   30 Mns   2.16 mph
3,005 ft AEG   2 Hrs   38 Mns Break
 
1st trip
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The_Eagle
Heading in on Alamo Rd we got onto Pipeline Ranch Rd and hit no trespassing signs. The property is indeed "private" based on a quick check on http://gis.azland.gov/. Seems to be the only spot in the immediate area. Getting around looks to be a waste of time.

Nevertheless an inspiring drive in passing impressive Joshua Trees. One with a trunk as wide as a sycamore just not as tall. In slight disappointment the population fizzled out by the time we parked.

On with the show we flipped Bruce's game plan and hit Sawyer counter clockwise. About 29 degrees to start. Not bad with long johns, a fleece jacket, a balaclava and hand warmers. We headed NE up Date Creek. I found out my favorite type of sand to hike on is frozen sand!

1.7 miles in things got interesting as the canyon narrowed. Great morning light on the walls however I didn't bring a real camera. A hop, skip and a jump later at 2.5 miles the canyon boxes in at Honeybee Spring. There was a medium sized pool frozen over. Naturally we tossed rocks, acted like idiots for ten minutes then moved on. Actually it had a waterfall trickling so we worked our way around and up then continued the act of rock, fling, giggle with more velocity.

Headed over towards Sawyer in earnest. Joshua Trees started clicking. Despite signs of grazing this area offered up nice views. Sawyer is a bit steep. We nailed the approach with a direct ascent from the east and would recommend it to others.

Lunched on top and played the surrounding peak game. Based on our time we would not get to try the full Tres Alamos sampler. I encouraged at least a different route down. Of course that bit me in the butt almost immediately. I picked a line and Bruce followed with slight hesitation. Next on a semi exposed mini knife edge ridge with the consistency of a timid landslide things looked grim. Figured if I got across unscathed he might consider. Based on the vivid adjectives I don't think he enjoyed it, but he made it!

From there it was only fifty yards to the end of the snow. Oh did I mention the snow... just 1-2 inches. It didn't end in fifty yards as I promised, more like two hours later. It wasn't horrible and it wasn't freezing, it just wasn't the easy route we ascended.

The return after that was get 'er done. Overall a good little hike to continue piecing together what is going on NW of the Valley so few explore!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5-4zzEa9do
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