|Peak 2822 via Lost Goldmine Trail, AZ|
|Peak 2822 via Lost Goldmine Trail, AZ|| |
Peak 2822 via Lost Goldmine Trail, AZ
|Hiking||11.00 Miles|| 5 Hrs 30 Mns ||2.06 mph|
|2,379 ft AEG|| 10 Mns Break||25 LBS Pack|
|Another one of those mornings... not only had I neglected to plan anything the night before, but I woke up with absolutely no idea where I was going to hike. Oh well, I'll go through the motions of preparing for at least a half-day hike and hopefully something will come to mind by time everything is packed and in the Jeep.
Thankfully I had an idea soon enough to load the Lost Goldmine Trail into Route Manager and draw a tentative route from the trail to the summit of Peak 2822, my eighth of sixteen 300' prominence peaks in the Goldfield Quadrangle. And I would accomplish hiking the Lost Goldmine Trail (which I'd never done) and bagging the peak along the way.
I left the trailhead at 8 am. Not wanting to work up too much of a sweat early on with temps already mid-80's with 55% humidity I set out on a leisurely pace. It sure must have been leisurely, as it took a full hour before the three mountain bikers who were at the trailhead finally caught up to me. But then I suppose they didn't leave for a while after me. The slowest of the three appeared to have no idea what the 27 gears on his bike were for... laboring up even minor slopes. As an avid mountain biker myself, it was all I could do to hold my tongue and let him continue grunting and huffing on in apparent agony.
The trail was in great shape, with some newer-looking re-routes to make it easier for bikes, at least that's my thinking behind it... along with the four new signs (new wood, fresh paint and shiny bolts) I would encounter at mountain bike trail junctions with the Goldmine trail. I'll have to get back out there with my bike.
As I approached Peak 2822, which the Lost Goldmine Trail must do a half-moon arc to avoid it, I scanned the slope for an appropriate ascent route. On Route Manager using Satellite view it appeared the western approach would have too many large boulders to deal so I held off until I had a chance to check it out more. And since on Satellite view the eastern approach showed a reasonably well-beaten track to the base of what may possibly be a chute like Brown's Peak, I held off more... until I saw it first-hand and there was no way I was climbing anywhere from the east.
Still on the trail, by time I'm 60% around Peak 2822 with no appealing ascent route I've got to decide, am I going to continue counter-clockwise around Peak 2822 until I find a good-looking route and scale it now, or continue east on the Lost Goldmine Trail and catch it on the return leg?
Hmmm... it's 86° now and is quickly on the way to 90's so I should I bag it now and see more of the trail later?
Then I thought of how bare the trail is with little or no shade, I figured I'd go as far as Carney Trail before turning back, scaling 2822 on the return trip.
I chose the latter and it worked out well... by time I began the climb the humidity was in the teens. And since the climb offered more shade I wasn't being heated by the sun, just from the effort.
And what an effort it was... I chose to ascend a nice wide drainage on the northern slope, which began very easy, albeit with plenty of fox-tails (which my 6" Red-Head Trekker III's simply scoff at) but quickly turned into a quagmire of thick brush among large boulders. Once I hit a game trail (bighorn sheep by the droppings) I tried to stay with it as much as possible, but not being as sleek nor as agile as a bighorn I was working much harder than a bighorn would have.
About halfway up I hit a more obvious game trail and was able to move quickly for a few hundred feet, only to end up dropping into a smooth-rock bowl at the base of a 50-foot cliff.
It was either backtrack the full distance and try another route, or bull through some very thick jojoba (thankfully they aren't thorny) and another shrub/small tree with long thin leaves (with a slightly stick feel to them) and very old looking but very tough stringy bark.
I chose the latter... only to drop into an unseen hole between boulders.
It took some work to climb out, namely having to climb literally through the stringy-bark plant... gaining a few more wounds along the way.
Once free of the ogre's trap I wasn't going to let anything stop me now... ok, except for a sheer cliff or smooth rock too steep to climb. Thankfully by now most of what was left was smooth rock of a still-climbable angle, so all I had to was be very careful where I stepped, making sure to avoid the dried black lichen (no traction there!), loose scree or wost of all, large wide flat plates of rock that flake off only when you put weight on them.
But wonder of wonders, there's the summit! Ok, so I can't climb it directly, let's take a look around... yes!
There's a route around the back and up to the top of a nice flat boulder, providing me some comfort... until the wind gusts picked up significantly, which of course had to be just when I stood up to shoot the panorama photos and video. so I sat while taking the photos and was hunched over during the video. Needless to say I didn't waste much time up there.
On the descent I would find a well-cairned route almost exactly where I had originally drawn a route using FS Topo. Yes... before I didn't like what I saw in Satellite view deleted the route. Whatever, it was a very easy route, no exposure, no issues other than watching for the loose terrain here and there. But then if I had taken that route to begin with, I wouldn't have had the fun of bulling through thick brush.
Besides, if it was easy, I wouldn't have much to write about now, would I?
Yep, I threw that in for the benefit of my fans and non-fans of my hiking novels.
Peak 2822 summit panorama