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AZT In A Day 2019, AZ
mini location map2019-10-11
8 by photographer avatarMountain_Rat
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AZT In A Day 2019, AZ 
AZT In A Day 2019, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Oct 11 2019
Mountain_Rat
Backpack39.82 Miles 9,646 AEG
Backpack39.82 Miles2 Days   9 Hrs   7 Mns   
9,646 ft AEG   2 Hrs   30 Mns Break47 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Nice 3 day getaway to knock off a section for AZT In A Day. The section I picked began at Cathedral Jct, below and east of Romero Pass, and ended at the Oracle Ridge TH (about 11.5 mi & 4,000 ft), so I set off a day early in order to camp at my launch point. Since this trip would become multi-day, I decided that a third day would top it off nicely.

Day 1:
Started around 10:30, with 5 liters and a heavy pack. I expected to see much more water, after some heavy rains last month, but I crossed stream only once through the entire canyon. This made day 1 tough, as I hit camp with under 2 liters to get me through the night and half way into tomorrow. Okay, so no food tonight and get out early in the a.m.

Day 2:
Got up, got packed, and got going. By now I had under a liter, 5 miles to go & 2,400ish ft to climb. I guess I was mentally prepared, as it all went just fine water-wise and just seemed like any other hike through the Catalinas. I finished up mid-afternoon, arriving to find a post hike BBQ happening. Kim, one of the trail stewards for the area was cooking burgers & dogs, she also had chips, cookies and lots of water (my favorite menu item at that time). I took her up on a burger which I adorned with a slice of spam and an envelope of tuna, and instantly vacuumed down. Now back to feeling sub-human, I continued to graze for the next hour or two. I hung out with the trail peeps until sunset, setup a functional, cold camp and zoinked-out.

Day 3:
04:43, Woke to a squawking turkey, immediately followed by a screeching owl. Not sure what was going on there, but my heart was pumping, so I got up. The turkey must have won (or at least survived) the earlier argument, as he started back up at around 05:00 and continued until the time I left.

I had to gamble on the best route down, due mainly to water issues, and ultimately decided on the Box Camp Trail. For those who have never done it, The Box Camp is 30% Disneyland (the upper) and 70% Hell, so a decision to take it is not made lightly. I won't go too much into it rather than to say that it's far worse now than my previous trip, and that I've probably made my last pass there.

By the time I hit the West Fork, it was in the 80 deg range, under full sunlight. I took a minute at the junction there to assess my egress. My god was it steep, and upon consulting my Guthook app, found that I had over 6 miles & 2,400 ft to go. $#$#*&^!!!, I said, then put my head down and made the final push. Miles don't much bother me, I can do them 16 hours a day, but there's something about climbing out to finish a hike that just isn't natural (to me anyway). Anywho, I made it out around 17:00, and as tough as the last few miles were, I was bummed out to be going home.
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Matt
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