||May 17 2015
|Hiking||5.49 Miles|| 3 Hrs 51 Mns ||1.86 mph|
|2,207 ft AEG|| 54 Mns Break|
||no linked trail guides|
|What’s in a name?
Ayer Peak was named after Ed’s wife. Her name before marriage was Emma Augusta Burbank. The couple was from Chicago but also had a home in Flagstaff. Emma descended the Old Hance trail in 1885 becoming the first woman “tourist” to do that. She descended with the aid of ropes. She didn't climb the peak that was named after her. Dave1 pointed out the Old Hance route which looks pretty fun.
Glad to get this done after climbing aimlessly in the wrong place on a prior trip.
Great group dynamic…non stop laughter and twisted meanings.
The hike was fun up until I fell and slide hurting my knee shoulder and elbow. But all feels better now
Here is some history for those working:
We made a camp on a point jutting out into the Canyon.
Mrs. Ayer wanted to go to the bottom, but Bill Hull, the
adventurous cowboy who had been down once, protested
strongly against that. No white woman had ever climbed
down. Bill, with a comrade, had blazed the original trail
later, but at this time there was none.
"I selected two of the strongest men I had in the party, and
known to be good climbers, and they, Bill Hull, my brother
Henry, Mrs. Ayer and I started to go down to the bottom of
the canyon, 6000 feet.
"It was a remarkable climb down, and I know of no other
white woman who ever went to the bottom of the Grand
Canyon, until trails were made. We descended, or slid down,
steep slopes of sand and broken rocks, crawled along narrow
edges over precipices where many times, a mis-step would
have sent us to death.
" After a time we arrived at a point where there was water,
immediately under our camp above from where they could
see us with a glass. We were 3000 feet below them and
looked like small ants (they said) ; at any rate not taller than
an inch or two. Here we got our lunch. By the way, it con-
sisted of a can of tomatoes, and of coffee, heated over a fire
of twigs and some broken up bread and crackers." Here
it may be inserted, all the provisions were carried in bags on
the backs of the men, with the coffee pot slung above. Also
on their backs they carried rifles and a small roll of blankets,
for it was necessary that their hands should be free for the
descent. To resume : "Leaving some of our supplies we went on until
that night, and camped in a deep canyon, probably two miles
from the bottom. Here some twigs were scattered on a flat
rock, one blanket thrown over it and one used for a cover,
and we slept there.
"The next morning we went to the roaring, rushing, mud-
colored water of the Colorado River, terribly impressive.
"We made some more climbs up the high crags to get a
wonderful view of the Canyon chasm.
"We arrived at our camp on the rock that night, with sore
muscles and aching bones. The second night after we got
to this place, we were still in sight and they were able to see
a fire from the camp above, so we built a large one and shot
off our rifles to attract their attention, and in a few minutes
a fire started at a point near their camp. It looked almost as
large as a half bushel basket.
"We climbed out the next afternoon and arrived about four
o'clock, worn and battered, "looking ten years older" they
"It was one of the hardest trips we ever took for fun. We
asked them when we got back why they did not build a big
fire. They said they did. It was nearly twenty feet high and
they burned nearly a cord of wood, but the fire being so far
away, looked small.
"In this party, Alida Dunham, a cousin of mine, went with
us, so that Mrs. Ayer, my daughter, Mrs. Dummer and Alida
Dunham were the only women except Indian women who
had ever seen the Canyon, up to that time ; especially at that
point and (as written before) Mrs. Ayer was the only white
woman who ever went to the bottom, until trails were blazed.
The descent was made at one of the very difficult places in the
Canyon. A mountain in the Canyon (showing in the picture)
was named Mount Ayer in recognition of her nerve and en-
durance. However, this was changed afterwards to Cor-
onado." From Reminiscences of Edward E. Ayer.