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Humphreys Summit Trail #151
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mini location map2020-06-24
30 by photographer avataroutdoor_lover
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Humphreys Summit Trail #151Flagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 24 2020
outdoor_lover
Hiking10.75 Miles 3,400 AEG
Hiking10.75 Miles
3,400 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This has been on my list for 9 years. I just never thought I was physically good enough to do it. The Fear of Failure was strong. I realized recently that I was failing every day that I didn't at least attempt it, so it was time to just see what I could do and keep the expectations low. The Weather window was also closing, as I knew I didn't want to do this during the Monsoon Season.

I had acclimation against me as I just couldn't get up there the night before. I hoped that some of the higher elevation hiking that I've been doing would at least help.

Left the house at 3:00 a.m. and arrived at Snowbowl at 6:00. Hiked through a meadow of transition before going into the Wilderness. The Iris are fading and the Lupine are just getting started. I started feeling the elevation when I hit the Switchbacks in earnest. I did take Aspirin beforehand to try to stave off at least the headache. It worked well for that. Stayed as hydrated as I could and about 3/4 of the way up to the saddle, I took a long break at a large switchback corner. I was feeling pretty light-headed by then. :sweat: About this time, I started leapfrogging 3 retired guys who were also working hard. We ended up cheerleading each other all the way up to the Peak and it was good. They even brought a Pulse Oximeter to check their Oxygen levels. Turns out 2 of them were retired Medics from Scottsdale and the other, oldest, was a dentist. And as far as the Oxygen levels went, the ex-smoker beat them all.... :y:

Finally made the saddle and took another long break, trying to let the body ease up from being so lightheaded. I then continued up and then some of the dizziness started, but it was manageable. I fell on the final small ascent to the Peak, simply because I became so slow and had no reaction time. It wasn't bad though, I caught myself with my hand and then just toppled over. :sweat:

On the small saddle just before that, I had to stop and not because I felt bad, but because of what was happening around me. It was a serious Butterfly Irruption. Hundreds of California Tortoiseshell Butterflies streaking by the Peak at a fast pace and they kept coming and coming and there was no end. There were probably over a thousand. They were in the middle of a migration to new areas according to a biologist I talked to. But they attracted the Crows and Ravens of which there were at least a dozen at times. And if the Butterflies landed, the birds were feasting on them. I had never seen anything like this, ever. I've seen groups of Butterflies near water and Peak loving Butterflies of different species, but nothing like this. I took a ton of photos and also video at that saddle and then made the final ascent.

I stayed up top for about an hour, just enjoying the views and the victory. @chumley showed up within a few minutes and after a bit we chatted. He had come up via Inner Basin and had a long way to go before he was done, so he didn't stay long. It was good to see him again.

The Weather was absolutely phenomenal up to this point. The Temp was perfect, we had a darker type cloud parked right over us the whole time so the Sun was blocked as well. I almost thought I was going to get rained on up there. Just a very light breeze until just before I headed down. At that point, the breeze became more of a wind and it was time to go. It was fairly windy the rest of the day after that.

The return to the truck at Snowbowl was probably the longest 5+ miles I've ever done. :sweat: By the time I hit the truck I was hurting. But the sense of satisfaction still helped to numb what would be temporary pain. It was a good day and it was so awesome to finally get this one in the bag.

Butterfly Videos. Unedited, so forgive the heavy breathing, LOL Also, these are at normal speed, so yes, these Butters were booking!

[ youtube video ]

[ youtube video ]

[ youtube video ]
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
The Meadow is in transition from Iris to Lupines. Other Flowers here and there along the way.
_____________________
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty & well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming, "Wow What a Ride!"
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