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Tom's Thumb Loop off Windgate Pass Trail
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mini location map2016-01-10
13 by photographer avatarJuanJaimeiii
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Tom's Thumb Loop off Windgate Pass TrailPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 10 2016
JuanJaimeiii
Hiking12.73 Miles 3,122 AEG
Hiking12.73 Miles   4 Hrs   50 Mns   3.02 mph
3,122 ft AEG      37 Mns Break
 
Did the Tom's Thumb loop this morning with Eric V. We departed the Gateway Trailhead at 9:00 to an overcast day. Lot's of nice folks out enjoying the day as we made our way to the Thumb. Todays mission was to reach the top by free solo climbing it (no gear).

Upon reaching the base we began our way up. The first pitch was fairly easy. The second pitch had Eric saying this would be the hardest part of the climb. He was right and when it was my turn to go I had thoughts of turning back. A few moments of mental preparation combined with some pointers from Eric above and I was past the crux.

Then the third and final pitch. This one is visually the most difficult as the rock is pretty slanted and a slip would certainly be fatal. Eric went first and then placed his pack on top. Upon his return I was ready to make my way over. Once I gained enough courage this one went fairly smooth. From there it is only a short scramble to the top.

Ah success! I was elated and this made my day. It was one of my goals for 2016. For the journey down we had two options as Eric brought a rope. Rappel or down climb the way we came. His choice was to rappel as in his words "it's safer". I have VERY little rope experience so I was leaning towards climbing back down. Eric gave me a quick tutorial/refresher course on how to rappel so I gave it a go. Shortly thereafter he came down making it look unbelievably easy and almost fun.

From here we completed the loop and headed back to the Gateway Trailhead.

A big thanks goes out to Eric for doing this one with me today. I had a BLAST! Hopefully he will go back with me and do it one more time. Next time no rope up OR down.
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JuanJaimeiii's
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