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Humphreys via Inner Basin
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mini location map2016-06-02
11 by photographer avatarJuanJaimeiii
photographer avatar
 
Humphreys via Inner BasinFlagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 02 2016
JuanJaimeiii
Hiking15.00 Miles 4,694 AEG
Hiking15.00 Miles   7 Hrs   42 Mns   2.07 mph
4,694 ft AEG      28 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Partners partners
joebartels
So the weather kicks up a notch or two in the valley. I start thinking it's time to shift gears and do some high country hikes. I send Joe a message and ask if he would be interested in hiking the Derrick/See Canyon Loop in Payson or possibly Humphreys from the Inner Basin. Joe picks the latter which sounded great to me.

We arrive to a beautiful if not warm day. The initial hike thru the Aspens is absolutely amazing. Then as we approach the turn to head up to the Weatherford we encounter lots of snow. So much in fact that the only way I knew where the turn was is by my GPS watch. We looked at that mess and considered turning back and doing a different hike. Joe suggested we attempt to go up thru the middle or possibly take the Cirque route. It would be steep but maybe passable? He led the way as we headed straight up. Snow, snow and more snow. Some spots were okay as we could ride across the hard pack and then others it was post hole city. No fun at all but the good news is that it was relatively short lived.

Then onto the big switchback of the Weatherford. This section was dry and warm. Thank God! We thawed out and continued on our way. Then the big bowl with the long chute came up. I lead the way across the snow covered trail while Joe made a recording on his phone of his last Will and Testament. :lol:

At the saddle we encountered people. All had come up the Summit Trail and said there was light snow but was not an issue. The final push to the top seemed more difficult than usual. My legs were toast from dealing with all that snow. Before long we were enjoying the amazing views from Arizona's high point. Several fires burning in all directions clouded the distant skies.

Heading back down I wanted to try the standard route. Joe wanted to go back the way we had come. I thought surely the Weatherford couldn't be that bad up high where the sun could reach it. Wrong!!! This was horrible. We tried to follow the trail, no good! We tried to cut some switchbacks, no good! We tried everything we could and savored any piece of dry ground we could find. Frozen toes and hands had us both concerned. It was in a word "Horrible"!

Finally, we arrived at dry ground. Feeling lucky to have not turned into popsicles we rejoiced. The rest of the hike was again beautiful and once again we thawed as we hiked back to Lockett Meadow. Normally this hike is top notch, on this day it was a Be-otch.
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JuanJaimeiii's
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