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Sitgreaves Mountain
10 Photosets

2020-06-27  
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mini location map2020-06-27
15 by photographer avatarjoebartels
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Sitgreaves MountainFlagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 27 2020
joebartels
Hiking10.26 Miles 2,512 AEG
Hiking10.26 Miles   7 Hrs   50 Mns   1.75 mph
2,512 ft AEG   1 Hour   59 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
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The_Eagle
Tortoise_Hiker
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Sitgreaves has been considered many times. Bruce planned it in a multi-hike day years ago that didn't pan out. Choosing off-trail when nearby and previously enjoyed Northern AZ peaks have trails makes Sitgreaves tough to consider for the drive.

Flash forward to 2020, the need for something worthy, car-accessible, and nothing crazy for the balance of the group. Boy howdy did I ever biff that part. @ShatteredArm recently posted a low clearance option. Looking back I got excited about access and skimmed the well-written details.

Following his route, it started in a nicer than anticipated forest up an increasing grade forest road. The road got comically steep but the footing was good enough along the sides in the worse spots. Then we got to a point where we needed to head straight up off-trail. The initial group resistance was light. It started off steep through the forest. Then it got seriously steep. We had plenty of time for breaks galore so we took several on the ascent.

0.4 miles to the peak it is ridiculously steep. My legs felt great like I was stretching them for the first time. Perhaps I got lucky but I had no issues with footing. A forward fall was maybe three feet. I would do this ascent again in a heartbeat if dry. My joy was not shared so I was glad when it was over to calm everyone's nerves.

The summit is nice but far from the highlight for me. After the group gathered we descended a short way east to a saddle. I was outvoted to include the planned peak ESE that added 180-ft. Descending the north ravine starts out in the nicest slender tall and dense Aspen forest I recall anywhere.

Weather was great, angels were singing and I thought I might get to hike with Denny again. Back to that skimmed part above... We followed ShatteredArm's route which skirted the flank of the west ridge. Round two of being outvoted we got off the slope and down into the ravine. This was the worst part for me but seemingly acceptable for Bruce and Denny. It's crawling over never-ending forest debris of fallen crisscrossed trees. The dangerous part is the jagged broken limbs(swords) that would be a horrific nightmare with a fall.

We got out of that onto the slope when it opened up. The trade-off was traveling borderline scree. As with the initial ascent, I moved easily and felt safe. Being the only one finding it suitable I was glad when it was over.

ShatteredArm mentioned crossing 5000 little ridges getting back. Denny was hurting miles ago from lack of sleep, too intense of a hike, and was toast by this point. We lucked out on taking a chance on an unknown nearby road. Denny was able to rest while Bruce and I continued on then drove back. Bugs didn't let him sleep and he was dehydrated but it all worked out.

I added a pinch of history to the guide page.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
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- joe
HAZ Member
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