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2017-02-26  
2013-01-27  
Iron Azimuth Peak 5169 and Trail BM, AZ
mini location map2017-02-26
42 by photographer avatarFLYING_FLIVER
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Iron Azimuth Peak 5169 and Trail BM, AZ 
Iron Azimuth Peak 5169 and Trail BM, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Feb 26 2017
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking6.20 Miles 950 AEG
Hiking6.20 Miles
950 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
My plan was to do three ‘Things’ - On three different little hikes:

Thing 1 - Locate the azimuth mark for Iron Benchmark.
Thing 2 - Climb up Peak 5169, which is just SW of Rogers Trough TH to locate a TOPO depicted BM.
Thing 3 - Hike up Montana Mountain, and locate TRAIL Triangulation Station.

I parked about 1/2 mile short of Rogers Trough TH, in a small one car pullout, right where FS 172A and FS 650 meet.
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Thing 1 - The actual Iron benchmark is atop Iron Mtn, just north of Rogers Trough. Four years ago I plowed thru brush to get up Iron Mtn and located Iron BM, but ran out of time to look for its azimuth disk. It’s supposed to be “20 paces from the road”…………
The azimuth search today, turned out to be a long, failed effort.

I hiked through the brush, from the car to Rogers Trough twice, with side trips left and right of my GPS generated azimuth line and found nothing. I quit searching, when I figured out why I couldn't find the azimuth disk.
In 1947, (the year the azimuth disk was set), that portion of the road was way different than today. It was narrower and barley passible. The 1947 surveyors had stopped their ‘truck travel’ (as they called it) a mile prior to this area, and hiked the rest of the way. My conclusion is the improved, wider road, wiped out the azimuth disk. It turns out, my azimuth search had me traveling ‘3-miles-to-nowhere’, before determining the disk is gone.
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Thing 2 - Peak 5169 was a fun little hike. Part of the hike up this little mountain had me laughing, as it reminded me of a gravel pit sand pile I used to try to climb when I was a little kid. Those sand piles were easily 70 feet high, and all I ever did was climb up about 5 feet and then slither down 3 of those 5 feet. No traction and no stability. It felt like ‘going-nowhere’ on a treadmill.
Well, I decided to take a shortcut up Peak 5169, that turned out to be like that long-ago sand pile, except with the added attraction of possibly slithering into an agave etc. I soon got off the mountain’s steep sand pile and used adjacent boulders the rest of the way up. I took a different way down.

As mentioned, TOPO maps depict a BM icon up there, and that’s all I had to go on. I’m about 50-50 on locating benchmarks with only a ‘map clue’.
Bottom line on Peak 5169 - I found no benchmark disk - Nor a ‘chiseled cross’, which some of these BM’s are represented by. I may go back up there someday and devote more time, as it may still be up there.
The views up there were great, by the way.
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Thing 3 - I drove down FS650 to where AZT #18 leaves FS650. I hiked down the trail for awhile, then made a sharp left and went up Montana Mtn to locate TRAIL Triangulation Station (1946). TRAIL BM has a datasheet as verification of it’s existence.

The Montana Mtn hike sounded simple enough, as this portion of my 3-hike day was very short.
When I got atop Montana, no disk was visible. The top is rather tiny, and strewn with rocks. Trail BM has only one reference mark, and it is literally a “cross, chiseled in a rock”, about 40 feet away. It was no help.
After digging here and there, I finally got serious and got my GPS out. I soon uncovered the dirt blackened Trail BM disk. Success !

I didn’t stay long on Montana Mtn as the wind was at least 30 mph, and the 45 degree temp included a bit of drizzle.

For the day, I covered a little over 6 miles, on the three endeavors, and the sun was hiding most of that time.

It was a long bumpy drive from, (and back to) highway 60, but still a fun day in the Superstitions.
Fauna
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Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
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