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Hassayampa Creek Snow Hike, AZ
mini location map2016-01-08
50 by photographer avatarPeter_Medal
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Hassayampa Creek Snow Hike, AZ 
Hassayampa Creek Snow Hike, AZ
Snowshoeing avatar Jan 08 2016
Snowshoeing3.50 Miles 650 AEG
Snowshoeing3.50 Miles
650 ft AEG4 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
It stopped snowing and the sun was trying really hard to burn a hole in the clouds and rear its happy face. My best shot at leaving was to confirm the county plowed Walked Road 15 stories down below. With chicken frying on low in a pan, I suited up with my ski bib, my bad ass Cabela's waterproof snow boots, and a snow scooper and descended down the Hassayampa Trail to check things out. When you live on the north face on the side of a mountain at 7060' you learn about "snow drift". Lots and lots of snow. Hit Walker Road and learned just how bad it was.....the ruts were filled with 12 to 16" of fresh powder, the bottom of the rut had 3" thick of packed powder on top of 1.5" of ice. The snow on the trees bent many of them eerily drooping them in the path of the roadway. Many many trees were violently fallen onto the road. I'm not going anywhere. Snowed in. You cant cry over spilled milk. Curiousity always kills the cat, might as well take in a snow hike. Headed west on Walker Road with a pit stop at the Hassayampa Lake and took some video of the water trickling off the dam. I heard some "activity" further west and figured i'd continue west and take some photos of the Senator Mill covered in snow. Blazed a down chute down to the Senator and followed the road. The "activity" revealed to be a bunch of Chino Valley jeepers and one Ford truck on the Senator Highway by the cliffs. The ford and one of the Jeeps were stuck... one the jeepers had a winch and were pulling the other but not biting. They were going to be there a while. The dog and I pressed on towards the Mill. One by one a jeep passed me in reverse, I guess they all decided they went as far south as they wanted to go. Jeep or no jeep I dont care who you are, your rig is not going to bite on packed powder in deep ruts, at least without chains. I was wondering how the chicken was doing on the range.

Loud and thunderous waterfalls could be heard at the Mill. Almost like calling my name, had to fly down to the Hassayampa to check them out. The idea of traversing up the north face of Tritle was starting to rumble. Ahh the beauty of the Hassayampa covered in 3+ feet of snow.... "Hey" I said to the dog, lets go scale up to the Senator Mine then bounce up Tritle. Our journey was slow and punishing. He, on the other hand, was loving every minute of it. The nice thing about routes when covered in uber snow is you can do stuff that you would not normally attempt. On the west flank of the Senator Mine tailings piles there are some hairy rock climbs, we scaled the rocks and onto the tailings pile. The dog bossed it with no help. From the Mill to just before the Mine was 0.08 miles and 45 minutes time. Any idea of summiting Tritle was quickly squashed, got to get back to the chicken. We went along the Hassayampa, all the while hearing the sounds of the jeepers working on solving their dilemma. At the speed we were going, I was done, we climbed up by the cliffs and back up to the Senator Highway, this is a rock climb I would have no interest doing without snow. Once I hit the bridge over the Hassayampa, I decided to bank left and make another climb up to Walker Road. It was painful to see the many many trees that caved in to the storm and sacrificed their lives to the road. I lost count. My only way out was going to be Walker Road east from Poachers Row. Instead of taking the trail back up to the house, we looped around Walker to Poachers Row. No cigar. The plows did not come, yet. It would be another 36 hours. About that chicken, the dog loved the bones and I now know how to make chicken jerky.

"Before there was a trail..... there was no trail"
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