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Green Mountain Summit
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mini location map2016-02-27
112 by photographer avatarAZHiker456
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Green Mountain SummitTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 27 2016
Hiking12.43 Miles 4,620 AEG
Hiking12.43 Miles   9 Hrs   21 Mns   1.46 mph
4,620 ft AEG      50 Mns Break
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Like my last visit to the Catalinas, my return proved to be pretty “F*@#$g Epic!” as well. This time however, it’s safe to say that my hiking partner, Peter Medal, was responsible for making this one so awesome. This pic [] of the planned routes says it all; [I wasn’t kidding that I’m a total rookie compared to Peter when it come to route planning, and I’m sure glad I thought to ask for his feedback a few days before I decided to give this a go]. To say he gave my route a total makeover would be an understatement. With endless boulder-hopping, sweet ridgeline traverses, and tons of peak bagging, [including both Green and Guthrie Mountains], his route gives a whole new meaning to the Green Mountain loop hike.

After a surprisingly peaceful night of car camping at Cypress, I kicked things off from the Lower Green Mountain TH, [located just passed the Cypress campground and just before General Hitchcock]. Although this loop can be done from other TH’s, it works very nicely if done counterclockwise, starting from the Lower Green Mountain TH. The ascent to Green Mountain is definitely the most exhausting part, so starting from the Lower Green Mountain TH allows for this portion to be completed in the beginning. The first mile give or take is a nice stroll along the Green Mountain Trail… then the REAL fun begins when you break from the trail and head for Green Mountain. Eager to get started with the bushwhack, I broke from the trail slightly earlier than planned; had I waited just a tad further, there would’ve been even more bouldering; luckily the terrain is very favorable and it worked out in the end.

That said, I got back on route just in time; toward the top there are some large rock crags to maneuver over / between, and the path I was on was brushing out very fast, while the other side of the rock crags was cliff. Fortunately I managed to get out from the brush without backtracking and rejoin the route just in time to experience some AWESOME stretches of bouldering. There were a couple of sections involving some climbs that may have even been Class 4; [and if not then definitely Class 3]. Toward the end of the boulder crags, there was this fun little unnamed peak, [which was a 30 second scramble to the top], that I bounded up. After that, the boulders really thin out as the ridgeline continues toward Green Mountain.

The final push to reach the summit of Green Mountain from the way I approached was surprisingly easy. The combination of animal routes, very widely spaced brush of the non-thorny variety, AND good gripping footing made it very pleasant. I did not find a summit register near the highpoint but did not spend much time looking either… while the views were awesome on the ascent and descent, views from the area of the highpoint were almost completely blocked, so I wanted to move on. Once on the summit, however, there is a full out route… to the point where it is more obvious and less overgrown that many official trails.

Heading off Green Mountain, I stopped at a large rock outcropping mid-way down. Being so close to the upper portion of the Green Mountain Trail, there were tons of well-beaten paths leading to the rock outcropping and back to the trail. After 3+ hours into the adventure, [over 2.5 of which was spent bushwhacking], the next 1.5 to 2 miles of trail was very welcome.

Next up on the itinerary was Guthrie Mountain; but first, I decided to hit up Maverick Springs. Instead of doing an out-and-back to/from Maverick Springs via the spur trail, I took the spur trail to the springs and then bushwhacked up this very sweet ridgeline and then up to the “route,” [which is extremely well-beaten in to the point of looking like a full out trail], to Guthrie Mountain. Compared to the off-trail I had done up to that point, the small scamper up some rock slabs to the summit of Guthrie was like a walk through the park but fun nonetheless. The register is located under a cairn that is situated on the backside of a boulder right at the highpoint. It goes back to 1998; and, as with many peaks in the area, is dominated with SAHC signings.

After Guthrie, it took me about another hour of ridge hopping, contouring and traversing before I finally reached the ‘ridgeline of awesomeness’, this long ridgeline with exceptional views that was tons of fun to traverse. There were several sections with large boulders, several mini-peaks, and even a faint route, all of which made for one awesome ridgeline experience.

Just before reaching the turn for my exit ridgeline, I finally saw [human] footprints, and there was even a cairn by the turn for my exit ridge; [the first I’d see of either since departing from the route leading to Guthrie Mountain]. Before heading down, I continued a short ways to check out another sweet viewpoint. The exit ridgeline literally dumped me right back out at the Lower Green Mountain TH. It was an amazing day and pretty awesome loop to say the least.
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