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Choose Life: Suicide Ridge to Mazatzal Peak, AZ
mini location map2018-08-12
25 by photographer avatarJim_H
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Choose Life: Suicide Ridge to Mazatzal Peak, AZ 
Choose Life: Suicide Ridge to Mazatzal Peak, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 12 2018
Hiking11.00 Miles 3,935 AEG
Hiking11.00 Miles   9 Hrs   30 Mns   1.29 mph
3,935 ft AEG   1 Hour    Break10 LBS Pack
1st trip
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Heading out to hike Mazatzal Peak, I started to loose interest in the boring Barnhardt trail after having just done the loop in May. Well, there was always that Suicide Ridge! From the road, it looked doable, even if you couldn't really tell how bad the brush is. It is doable, but I won't be doing it again, and the bad part is the rough brush more than the slope or ridge itself. Maybe in the cool or dry season is best?

I took the Y-Bar a short distance before dropping down a game trail to a white rock filled gully. I went about as far as I could up that until I made some mistakes in thick brush and on a steep slope to the south of the white rock gully. I then crossed north and back over the gully to a south facing grassy slope and was able to access the ridge with a fair amount of ease. From the ridge top it was a pretty straight forward push to the top with plenty of pushing through brush and slightly more decent open areas. While on the ridge, I watched a pretty good storm develop on the Rim and then move clockwise to the Anchas and perhaps on to what appeared to be over the Superstitions, and then down to the Valley.

I got to the top late, right before 4 PM, and storms were all around with one headed out of the Verde Valley towards me, so after only 10 minutes I started down my traditional north gully route. Storms built pretty fast, but I was very lucky and remained dry the entire time. A pretty good storm developed for the second time on the Rim, and after dark I watched a nice lightning storm to the NE. Por-whils and whip-por-whils near the lower trail were pretty nice, too.

My GPS route uses Linda's September 2016 descent, on which I have based my last 2 hikes going up and down, and a rough remotely sensed up route to the ridge. Gaining Suicide Ridge is the hard part. Once there, it isn't too bad. My guess is I did more miles, but probably not much more AEG.
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