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Estrella Peak 4512 from 51st ave, AZ
mini location map2015-12-26
19 by photographer avatartraildirt
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Estrella Peak 4512 from 51st ave, AZ 
Estrella Peak 4512 from 51st ave, AZ
 no routes
1st trip
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Long time lurker, first time poster...

I've lived in phoenix for 30 years and never got around to climbing to the top of the Estrellas. Usually some combination heat, lack of 4x4 or other excuse. Christmas afternoon I said no more! I packed my overnight bag, 2 gallons of water, called an uber and got dropped off way south on 51st avenue at about 4pm.

The approach hike across the desert was about 7 miles with very little elevation gain. I camped in the the basin to ESE of the peak.

After a night of strong winds and nightmares about javelinas, I woke with the sunrise to begin assessing ascent options. Over coffee I chose what looked to be the safest, the least terrible and relatively direct route. I chose the 2nd gully south of the most gradual east slope. I packed up all my overnight gear and headed up the peak. By now the pack was down to about 35 lbs with less food and water.

The climb up the gully was pretty terrible but nothing unsafe. Once atop I traversed across the main crest, gaining and dropping elevation a few times. At this point I joined the ridge that is described in the usual west side approach. The summit was nice...a break in the wind...and I got cell service (verizon). I had enough food, water and gear to spend another night so i looked at what it would take to continue the main crest south to some other stunning peaks. With limited cell phone battery to arrange a pick up the next day I opted to return the way I came.

Down climbing was way harder that up-climbing, for me. I made it back to the desert floor by about 330pm. I followed a big sandy wash for a few miles then a dirt road across Gila River, where I saw 2 coyotes and a bobcat. I made it back to the paved road at 545pm.

No GPS route this time but I've got some great pictures. Currently I'm unsure of how to post them on this triplog....

I look forward to contributing more to this awesome community that has helped me so much over the years!
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