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Old Baldy Trail #372 to Wrightson Summit
202 Photosets

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mini location map2019-03-13
15 by photographer avatarchumley
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Old Baldy Trail #372 to Wrightson SummitTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Snowshoeing avatar Mar 13 2019
chumley
Snowshoeing9.77 Miles 3,493 AEG
Snowshoeing9.77 Miles   6 Hrs   43 Mns   1.70 mph
3,493 ft AEG      58 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
** Failed Summit Attempt **

Skipped work to play in the snow. Trailhead was clear, but it was snowing and was only half a mile before the trail was snow covered. A group of three had hiked ahead of me. Could it be that somebody would finally break a trail for me!? I lost hope after I observed one of the three had poles, but no snow baskets. Sure enough at Josephine Saddle, their tracks headed back down the super trail. From here I was making first tracks.

I skipped the snowshoes for a bit, before deciding they would be easier. The snow got steadily deeper, from 6" at Josephine, to over at foot at Bellows, to over 18" at Baldy Saddle. The switchbacks up the chute were stupid windy, and I was very leery of the snow-weighted trees snapping in the wind. The oaks didn't concern me, but the pines did.

I wasn't sure I would make the summit and considered turning back. But I pushed for the saddle. Once there, the wind was brutal, so I proceeded up knowing that the wind would be better away from the saddle. I took a break and ate a snack and decided to go for it. A quarter mile later I gave up. The wind was relentless. The clouds were thick, and the terrain offered little definition with few trees. There was nothing that resembled even a slight trail cut. The wind had drifted the snow far too much. I turned around.

My snowshoe tracks were gone. I knew there was a wind advisory and 30mph winds were forecast. They were higher. I was happy to get below Bellows Spring where the wind subsided though I could still hear it whipping through the trees higher up. Breaks in the clouds provided some dramatic views on the descent. At Josephine I saw the only other person of the day, though it was apparent that maybe a dozen had made the loop hike to the saddle.

I love this mountain.
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