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mini location map2016-10-08
6 by photographer avatarMountainMatt
photographer avatar
 
Rees PeakFlagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Backpack avatar Oct 08 2016
MountainMatt
Backpack14.79 Miles 3,761 AEG
Backpack14.79 Miles1 Day      47 Mns   
3,761 ft AEG55 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Partners partners
chumley
JoelHazelton
Jonnybackpack
Iv been patiently waiting for this trip ever since I got the invite from Joel a while back ago and it's been on the back of my mind ever since!
Camping on or near the summit of Rees Peak just sounded downright awesome to me and I was so eager to make it happen, little did we know our month long plans would soon change...

While heading up Bear Jaw with Chums, Joel and The Beards we all soon became aware of the first little storm system rolling past us which made everyone check thier radar to find a much bigger cell forming over the Prescott/Sedona area and was on track to hit us later that afternoon.
We stopped at the junction of the Waterline Trail and Bear Jaw and debated on the change of plans. The Beards, Joel and I decided wait out the storm and break temporary camp since we had photography goals to be accomplished atop Rees while Chums was smart and got out of the soon to be a solid 2 hours of precipitation.

We walked down to The Waterline until it's junction with Bear Jaw Canyon and found a nice little spot to setup our "temporary" camp.
After a few hours of various beverages, moon cheese and lots of laughs the weather finally cleared and prompted a sudden change of plans yet again!
John out of nowhere was just like let's tarzan swinging' do it! I think his exact words were something along the lines of " I did not come here to sleep on the Waterline Trail but to camp on top of Rees Peak!"
He was serious because he and Pat broke down camp faster than they put it up and were packed up in minutes and went for it!
With sunset within the hour I knew there was no way to get up there without hitting complete darkness and I didn't feel like scrambling to setup camp in the dark in a unfamiliar area, which ended up being a good idea because we later realized there was no room for 4 tents up there in the same relative area.

Joel and I stayed at the Bear Jaw Canyon / Waterline camp and made the attempt to walk down the Waterline towards the Inner Basin in hopes of finding a break in the trees for a view but we camp up short. We quickly turned back the other way and made a trek for the only open view that we happened to come across earlier in the day. After a little tripod time we went back to camp, cooked, enjoyed a warm fire and went to bed early since we had plans of a 4am summit ascent.

We awoke to complete darkness and lots of stars and I was surprisingly alert for it being that early, probably because I was so anxious to reach that summit. The start of the ascent was not too bad lots of deadfall but the grade was reasonable but once we hit the big rock field the terrain steepend a bit. Im curious to know if the rock field is the result of an avalanche? The views from that clearing were stellar! It was still pitch black so we could see the lights of Tuba City, The Cameron Trading Post and all the cars driving on US 89.

Maybe a couple hundred feet above the rock field we ran into The Beards camp and said hello before Joel and I continued on the remaining 200ft or so of our hike. There was a very nice grassy clearing just before the crest of the summit which just added to the anticipation of getting up there since you could almost taste it!
Standing atop the summit of Rees before the sun even rose was truly a rewarding experience that was well worth what it took to get up there!
Even though there was practically no clouds in the sky the sunrise was incredible, the snow capped Humphreys and Agassiz along with the alpine red glow and the golden aspens down below made for a unique sight Iv never seen before, truly breathtaking. :app:

After enjoying the views, some tripod time and a quick summit nap I signed the register and Joel and I began to make our way down but stopped back at The Beard camp to say hello once again. Sounded like Jon got some great photos from thier camp down below and it's so epic that he brought little Daisy on this trip, she is such a little beast of a dog, I don't think many dogs have been on Rees Peak, let alone a little schnauzer.

Going down was very enjoyable and downright relaxing and gave a chance to soak in the well earned views and healthy sections of forest we traveled through in the dark. Hands down one of my favorite trips to date, great company, epic stories and a feeling of satisfaction of seeing that unique sunrise that I'll never forget. : rambo :
Flora
Flora
Quaking Aspen
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Substantial
Inside and around Bear Jaw and Abineau Canyon are some very juicy gold aspens at their true peak.
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