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mini location map2020-10-30
59 by photographer avatarchumley
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North Bass TrailNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Backpack avatar Oct 30 2020
Backpack37.86 Miles 8,500 AEG
Backpack37.86 Miles3 Days         
8,500 ft AEG
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My GPS route tallied 19,000aeg, which might explain why this was such an exhausting backpack! :sweat: I'm gonna do some quick estimations to bring that down to something closer to reality!

John and I made an attempt at this one a few years ago, but tornado and flash flood warnings made us revise the plan to a day hike and avoid camping under that kind of threat. Things finally aligned to put it on the calendar again, and I secured the permits sometime this summer.

We got the permit to camp at Swamp Point the night before, which made for a comfortable evening and no rush in the morning to drive in from the NF. The creek was more overgrown than I remembered, which may or may not mean it was more overgrown than it actually was. But there's definitely a difference in carrying an overnight pack versus a daypack.

The day was long and slow. There was less water and it would have been nice had I known/remembered exactly where I would be able to find it since I was expecting more and finished what I had carried in pretty early on.

The trip through the White narrows is a pleasure, but much slower with a full pack, and I'd maybe consider skipping this in the future and opt for a day hike from camp to check this out instead.

Finally we arrived at camp, though it took an hour or two longer than I had expected, and the mileage was strangely about two miles high as well. Needless to say, we were all very happy to set up our tents and spend some quality time on our butts!

Saturday we headed down Shinumo Creek to the river. Of course we were stopped just short due to a small waterfall. There's an overland route to the beach, though it climbs quite a bit to get there. We had the beach to ourselves and the weather was fine so we took the opportunity to get in the always-refreshing Colorado river swim. After some sweaty days on the trail, there's really nothing quite as exhilarating as getting into the river.

Just as we had set out on the climb back up, we spotted a rafting party headed our way, so we returned to the beach to be social for a few minutes. One of the passengers was most interested in knowing the result of the World Series, and was happy I could provide the answer. After I gave them the latest weather forecast, we continued on our original plan with 9L, Karl, and Kathy heading upstream to the South Bass crossing while I headed back to camp before exploring farther up Shinumo Creek.

Sunday morning we got an earlier start, knowing it was a long way to exit the canyon. This, too, turned out to be a longer and harder day than we were planning on ... even having done the same trail just a day earlier. There's just so much of this one that is less trail and more route. A lot of uneven footing and bushwhacking really takes its toll after a while and while the temperature was pleasant, the sun was warm and draining. Ultimately, however, we all conquered the beast and arrived at the trailhead in time for a snack and beverage.

We opted to drive off the plateau and seek out some warmer temperatures for another night at camp, which was a good choice and postponed for a night the long drive home after a big day climbing out of the canyon.

As far as backpacking goes, I think this is the most difficult exit I've done. It could be broken up, but I'm not so sure that's worth it either!

12.77mi, ~500ft, 7:08

Saturday to River:
9.34, ~1500ft, 5:28

Saturday up Shinumo:
3.6, ~500ft, 2:17

Sunday out:
12.2, ~6000, 8:01
33s over 45s
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