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Mustang Peak
1 Photoset

2017-02-18  
mini location map2017-02-18
7 by photographer avatarAZHiker456
photographer avatar
 
Mustang PeakTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 18 2017
AZHiker456
Hiking3.44 Miles 1,352 AEG
Hiking3.44 Miles   2 Hrs   20 Mns   1.53 mph
1,352 ft AEG      5 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I love a good challenge when it comes to peak-bagging, but feeling truly intimidated by a peak before even attempting it is something I rarely experience. In fact, I draw a blank when trying to think of a peak that’s evoked more than a little nervousness, [pre-hike], let alone full out intimidation. Yet, for one reason or another, Mustang Peak intimidated the hell out of me. Without question, it’s definitely among the ‘scarier’ looking peaks that I’ve tackled… but those kinds of peaks usually trigger a ‘hell yeah… bring it on!’ type of feeling.

With my desk window facing directly toward the Mustangs, perhaps it was my inability to wipe Mustang Peak from my peripheral vision and the near constant reminder [8+ hours/day, 5 days/week] that played up the intimidation; or perhaps I’ll never know. Regardless, I’ve wanted to summit this peak since having moved to Elgin in November of 2016. The fact that it intimidated me only made me want to tackle it that much more. However, having fractured my ankle less than a month earlier, [and still not having recovered in full from the equilibrium issues that were induced by a viral infection this past Summer], I didn’t feel ready for the challenge.

Over the course of the next several months, I had some of my best peak-bagging adventures to date, my ankle healed in full, and my equilibrium issues slowly but surely continued to improve… yet by Feb. 1st, I felt no more ready to tackle Mustang Peak than I did at the beginning of November. Then I took a trip to the Galiuros… which made everything I’d done up to that point seem like child’s play. Driving by the Mustangs on my return from that trip, I looked up at Mustang Peak for the first time with excitement [vs. fear] and thought, ‘bring it the tarzan swing on!’ [vs. ‘NO F’ING WAY’].

Although bagging Mustang Peak proved to be child’s play [from a technical standpoint], it also proved to be a total uneducated tarzan swinger in ways I never would’ve imagined… the Galiuro trip set me free in terms of no longer feeling intimidated about physically being able to tackle Mustang Peak peak, but the moderate reaction to the bee sting that I experienced on the final day of that trip definitely messed with my head.

The bee spray I’d ordered has still not arrived, and until it does, I had no plans of hiking off-trail while alone. However, with cold [but not super frigid] temps, very strong [but not overpowering] wind gusts, and lots of rain [but nothing too torrential in Elgin / over the Mustangs], the conditions could not have been more perfect in terms of greatly reducing my chances for a bee encounter; thus, I seized the opportunity and tackled Mustang Peak.

While I’ve never seen bees in weather this bad, [and didn’t see a single one on this hike], my heart was skipping beats in more than a few places… especially in the brushy gullies [since the two times I’ve been stung in under a year have been in brushy gullies]. The weather conditions meant that I had no summit views, was drenched to the bone for a good part of the adventure, and froze my hands off for the last mile… but the trade off [of not seeing a single bee] was beyond worth it. As for the terrain that once really intimidated me, it was very sweet to look up and think, ‘this is gonna be fun and easy’; and even sweeter to finally make the summit.
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