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Montezuma Sleeping, AZ
mini location map2016-12-26
10 by photographer avatarjohnlp
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Montezuma Sleeping, AZ 
Montezuma Sleeping, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 26 2016
Hiking10.45 Miles 3,484 AEG
Hiking10.45 Miles
3,484 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
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A few years ago JJ and I hiked the Estrella ridgeline from Quartz peak to Montezuma Sleeping and beyond. Awesome peak. Very remote and challenging to get there. After doing Hayes and Montezuma I thought why not just go up a wash from the west side near the peak and then hit the peak via the ridgeline? Seems pretty simple.

I drew up a track in route manager up a major drainage that topped out just south of the peak. 3.64 miles each way. Cake!

We found our starting point along the power lines easily and were off at 0825. Beautiful morning. A little nippy which is perfect for climbing up to the peak. After a bit Kelly check our track on route scout. We were a bit left of the track, no big deal. We dropped in a wash that is relatively brush free and were making decent time. We found half a metate and saw some cool bursera trees.

After a bit we checked our progress again and discovered we were way left of the track, going up a different drainage. Not wanting to back track that far we continued up the drainage we were in thinking we would top out a little north of the peak. Once we got way up the drainage we realized that it topped out on a ridgeline that wasn't the main one the peak is on.

No big deal, we'll just take this ridgeline to where it intersects the main ridgeline which is near the peak. This ridgeline is very rugged with some exposure. Battleship doesn't compare. Slow going but we made it intact. As we approached the intersection of the ridges we skirted the last high point as the track showed the peak south of us about a quarter mile.

What we didn't realize at the time was that the topo map has the peak in the wrong location. The high point we had just bypassed was our intended destination. Once we dropped down and visited the bump the topo map calls the peak, we figured it all out. We back tracked back up the ridge finally reaching Montezuma Sleeping the hard way! Well worth the extra effort. The views are incredible from up there.

We didn't linger long on the summit because we were over half an hour past our turn around time. The initial descent off the peak is steep and loose. Eventually we reached a drainage and it was a lot of boulder hopping for the next couple hours. Once the terrain flattened out the drainage became sandy and smooth. We made much better time from then on.

We watched the sunset as we left the wash and got on the road that flanks the power lines. Four towers later we reached Kelly's truck, and some well deserved rest.

The Sierra Estrella never disappoint or fail to challenge. Memorable day. Thanks Kelly! :)
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