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2019-01-09  
Eagle 3186 & 2 Benchmarks-Eagletail Mtns Wilde, AZ
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44 by photographer avatarFLYING_FLIVER
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Eagle 3186 & 2 Benchmarks-Eagletail Mtns Wilde, AZ 
Eagle 3186 & 2 Benchmarks-Eagletail Mtns Wilde, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 09 2019
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking3.62 Miles 1,647 AEG
Hiking3.62 Miles   6 Hrs   6 Mns   1.62 mph
1,647 ft AEG   3 Hrs   52 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Peak 3186 is the second highest peak in Eagletail Mountains Wilderness.
(Eagle Tail Peak is 116 feet higher, with the last portion a technical climb).

The only two HAZ triplogs/photosets used a route starting from the northwest. This northwest route includes a total of 6 miles of wilderness road hiking (3 in and 3 out, through a wide valley).
At the end of the road, you hike off-trail to Peak 3186.
Along that route, you could maneuver to get great views of 'Triple-Eye' and other arches, plus view a very impressive wildlife catchment.

Since my objective was only Peak 3186, I chose a much shorter route, from the northeast, starting out on the east side of the Eagletail range. It was basically the same route used by surveyors that went up Peak 3186 in 1949 and 1950. The route is shorter and more steep.

Those surveyors set two benchmarks in 1949, one a normal benchmark disk, and the other was a huge cairn. The cairn was set so as to be visible from the valley to the east. (While up there, I rebuilt the demolished cairn).

From the eastern valley, the actual top of Peak 3186 sticks up like a thumb.
Viewing my route up, from the desert floor, reminded me of my Woolsey Peak hike - very vertical. The difference ended there however, as Woolsey has alot of solid, grippy basalt boulders to assist on the hike up. The way up to Peak 3186 was just as steep, but was mostly slipping and sliding on scree.

Plus, once I got done with the steepness and leveled off, I still had to maneuver around the vertical walls of the actual top crag of the peak. I determined (after the hike), that once I leveled off from the steep climb, I was only about 120 feet (horizontally) from the benchmark.
The problem was the vertical walls of the crag were easily twenty five feet high, so I had to maneuver around to the other side of the actual top to make the last vertical "up".
No big deal - It just took a bit longer to get up there.

The actual top of Pk 3186 is quite small, with vertical drop-offs on three sides. To go from the benchmark disk to the cairn benchmark (58 feet away, via a narrow peak extension) is an interesting little jaunt. No true exposure, but I wouldn't try it in the dark.

I have a few more hikes planned out here (west of PHX and south of I-10), with some of them a bit further west. The remoteness and ruggedness are addictive.
_____________________
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
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