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Humphreys Summit Trail #151
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mini location map2018-03-20
12 by photographer avatararizona_water
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Humphreys Summit Trail #151Flagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Snowshoeing avatar Mar 20 2018
arizona_water
Snowshoeing4.96 Miles 2,689 AEG
Snowshoeing4.96 Miles   4 Hrs   25 Mns   1.27 mph
2,689 ft AEG      30 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Since it's late March and we've had a dry winter, I decided this was my last opportunity to experience Arizona's only alpine environment in the snow. I parked at snow bowl at 4:30 and began the ascent up through the lower ski runs, dodging snow machines. The grooming machines are terrifying when it's dark out. They can move a lot faster than I expected, and are surprisingly quiet until they're right behind you. :o

Originally, I had planned on taking the Dutchman Glade route. But after talking with @Jim_H , I realized the snowpack was too thin to attempt the normal snowshoe route. I opted for cutting off the summit trail switchbacks. When it came time for me to join the main trail, I decided against it and continued up the contour lines until I hit the actual trail again as it levels out before the saddle. There was a nice backcountry ski track to follow, until I realized WHY people take the dutchman glade route in the first place. South facing aspects. :cry:
A lot of the snow had completely melted off the rocks between 11,400 and 11,600ft. I aimed to go up and around the exposed rock slides, but ended up having to cross the rocks anyway.

Eventually, I made it to the saddle, which was my turn around point for the day. It was only 7:10, and I had promised myself that I would go until 7:30, so I worked my way up a little higher on the ridge line to take photos. I was back in my car at 9:10 and made it to work at 11:30! Not a bad way to start the day.

Arizona's alpine zone is a really special place. You have to drive much further and (in some cases) work much harder to have this type of experience when the San Francisco peaks are dry. I was lucky to have as much snow as I did!
_____________________
- there's nothing like finding Water in the Desert -
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117 Photosets

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