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Limestone Hill, AZ
mini location map2016-12-30
56 by photographer avatarAZHiker456
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Limestone Hill, AZ 
Limestone Hill, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Dec 30 2016
AZHiker456
Hiking7.77 Miles 2,568 AEG
Hiking7.77 Miles   6 Hrs   59 Mns   1.25 mph
2,568 ft AEG      46 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Day 8
Despite some drizzle in the AM, [along with very cloudy skies], the sun was supposedly going to come out. However with cold temps and thick clouds that looked like they started around the 6,000-7,000’ mark, I decided this would not be the most pleasant day to go after more of the Chiricahua big-gun peaks. Instead, I opted for Limestone Hill, which is the prominent mountain to the NW, if standing outside the country store in Portal. Like with Blue Mountain, I wanted the ‘full ridgeline experience’ with Limestone Hill, [which looked like an extremely fun ridgeline hike]… let’s just say, I sure as hell got it… this mountain beat the living shit out of me! But I still had a total blast.

The terrain is very similar to Blue Mountain, but there are some definite differences that make [completing the ridgeline of] Limestone Hill much more technical. The grade is much steeper in many places; and, [although Limestone Hill has the same, super-gripping rocks that Blue Mountain has and even slightly less prickly pear & ocotillo], the bouldering is much more technical. My entrance ridge even had a section of extremely loose footing that was pretty treacherous, (very similar to the footing I encountered coming off of Jones Hill in Bisbee [ triplog ] ); and there were also a few dicey spots on part of the ridgeline between UN 6090 and the highpoint (6455’). I thought 1 mph was a slow bushwhack, but this adventure took slow to a whole new level: I made summit in just under 2.30 miles and just over 3 hours; enough said. Prior to my signing, the register on Limestone Hill had only 6 signs-ins; the least recent was Bob Martin on November 8, 1989 and the most recent was ‘AZB’ on May 8, 1998.

The next prominent point after the highpoint of Limestone Hill was UN 6330, which was a breeze in terms of both the ascent and descent [at least initially]. I’d headed off this peak’s NE ridge in hopes of exiting the ridge and then hitting up the nearby Round Benchmark, but shortly after dropping below the 6200’ contour line, the prickly pear and ocotillo made it an extremely slow go, and I was totally beat by this point. Thus, I exited the ridge earlier than anticipated and headed for a dirt road that would supposedly take me to within about 0.70 miles of Paradise Road where my vehicle was parked a little ways down. To my pleasant surprise, several pack trails took off from where the dirt road ended, and they headed down toward Paradise Road. With very loose footing along with tons of prickly pear, ocotillo, and other thorny vegetation, I was extremely grateful to say the least for those pack trails.
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153 Photosets

  2017-02-18
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