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Sleeping Beauty - Inspiration Quad, AZ
mini location map2015-03-13
18 by photographer avatarCannondaleKid
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Sleeping Beauty - Inspiration Quad, AZ 
Sleeping Beauty - Inspiration Quad, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 13 2015
CannondaleKid
Hiking2.00 Miles 1,504 AEG
Hiking2.00 Miles   3 Hrs   5 Mns   0.67 mph
1,504 ft AEG      5 Mns Break25 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
It had been on my list for over a year so with a bit of recon during my Flat Top Mountain hike it was time to git'er done.

I had help in that the old road from FR225 toward Sleeping Beauty took me within a mile of the summit. Only problem with that is I had absolutely no warmup before hitting the first slope. Barely a few hundred feet of level ground on the first ridge before the real climb.

A very steep slope along with more thick brush than I encountered last week on Webster Mountain, there were a few times when I was about to give up on this ascent, take an end-around and climb up the easy side of Sleeping Beauty. Thankfully I stuck with the steep route... (more about the easy side later)

One part of large boulders I climbed through was scary enough I knew I would NOT be returning this way. As long as it was nice and cool (49°) I wasn't overheating so I kept on keepin' on. By simply climbing and not paying any attention to how close I was to the summit, I ended up at the far north end of the summit ridge, which meant a bit of climbing along the top of the boulders until almost to the summit.

I found the 'Sleeping Beauty' Benchmark easy enough (on the highest boulder) but I could only locate Reference Mark #2, which was on the next series of boulders to the south. Since it was a narrow summit ridge running north-south, I figured if RM#2 was south, then RM#1 should be north of the benchmark. After much wandering around and checking the top of every boulder nearby with no luck, I figured it was no longer there. (When I got home to look up the NGS Datasheet there was no Sleeping Beauty Benchmark information to be found... oh well)

Ok, now for the descent... I already knew I was not going down even close to where I ascended, so I had a few options:
1. Descend the milder western slope followed by a wide arc end-around with some unknown terrain.
2. Continue south along the ridge and scan for a milder slope on the southeast end.

I began with #1 until I saw how thick the vegetation was... what good is a milder slope if I'm fighting all the way? So, along with not being sure how steep the end of the end-around was, I turned back, crossed over the ridge and sought a route down the southeast slope. It was not quite as steep as my ascent route but the brush was just as thick, but of course it's much easier to drop down through thick brush than to climb through it, so I continued until reaching the southern ridge between Sleeping Beauty and it's partner to the east, when I turned north and traversed the slope back to the northern ridge. From there it was a short descent to the Jeep.

That makes peak #5 of the 14 300' prominence peaks in the Inspiration Quadrangle, with two more planned right after Sleeping Beauty. I'll get close to both on the next hike, but with heavy dark clouds and rain moving in from the north I cut that trip short. Next time.

One video:
Sleeping Beauty summit panorama
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Benchmark
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