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Abineau Bear Jaw Loop Snowshoe, AZ
mini location map2015-11-13
17 by photographer avatarOdinWiski
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Abineau Bear Jaw Loop Snowshoe, AZ 
Abineau Bear Jaw Loop Snowshoe, AZ
Snowshoeing avatar Nov 13 2015
Snowshoeing11.20 Miles 2,548 AEG
Snowshoeing11.20 Miles   8 Hrs   17 Mns   1.74 mph
2,548 ft AEG   1 Hour   50 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Friday the 13th :lol:

I did not have an early start and got to where I parked right off of FR418 at 11:00. By the time I sorted out my gear and started hiking, it was 11:30. I grossly underestimated the time required. I figured it was only 7 miles, even with the snow, I'd give it 6 hours which would be plenty. But it turned out to be 11.2 miles and took me 8 hours and change.

I used the official driving GPS directions and they ended right on FR418. I later learned I apparently "missed" the turn off to the trailhead (there was probably a clear sign too). Well, this official GPS route does not turn from FR 418 and ends right on it way past that turn off. I had not done this loop before so I wasn't quite alarmed when I didn't see the TH or any trails where I had to park, until I checked the actual route of hike I had downloaded when I noticed I was about 1/2-3/4 of a mile off from the TH. Oh well, I just cross countried to the TH on snowshoes.

Everything was blanketed with snow and you couldn't quite tell where the trails were. Saw a cow elk carcass that had been fed on by many animals. Depths of accumulation varied in areas: some maybe only 6-8 inches while others make Wiski sink to her withers. From the start of the lasso, someone had blazed the trail (with skis??) a couple of days prior and it was easy to follow. I did counterclockwise Abineau first and got to the junction with Bear Jaw / Inner Basin. Going was really slow though and it was a lot of work pulling myself out even with snowshoes on. I didn't turn on it right away and instead kept going toward the ridgeline above wanting to get higher. I went maybe 1/3 - 1/2 of the way and had to abandon that plan because I realized that I was running out of light. So I started back down on Bear Jaw, which was all pristine and fresh powder. I don't think anyone had been on it in at least the last 1.5 weeks. I didn't see any recent entries on the TH register either. It was slow going and only the steep declines in sections felt like downhill. The slight declines most of the way did not feel like downhill at all and still felt like climbing lol. I didn't have time to take a real break on this hike, but often times I'd stop for just 30 seconds after every couple of hundred steps to rest my worn out hips and lower back and for Wiski to catch up. Poor girl was getting really exhausted from having to exert so much energy pulling herself out of the snow and with freezing paws. But she troopred on like she always does. We ended up hiking with headlamp for a couple of hours. It was cool to hear nothing but the wind and crushing of the snow by the snowshoes in the dead of the night. The stars were absolutely stunning. I wish I could have captured them on camera.

It was beautiful up there with the snow. The aspens are still gorgeous, even without the leaves, especially with the olive drab color among all the green pines covered by white snow. A nice hike!
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