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Camelback Summit - Echo Canyon TH
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mini location map2020-12-17
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Camelback Summit - Echo Canyon THPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 17 2020
Hiking2.62 Miles 1,882 AEG
Hiking2.62 Miles   2 Hrs   37 Mns   1.15 mph
1,882 ft AEG      20 Mns Break
1st trip
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I was going to do this hike last Thursday but the rain graced our valley so I stayed inside. @Sun_Ray pointed out to me a couple hikes ago that I was nearing 1000 trip logs so I saved this hike for that milestone. I happened to talk with Kathy and sent a text to see if she wanted to join me and she agreed. Altho, I often wonder why I ask these great hikers to come with me as it puts a bit of pressure on me but at the same time; they motivate me to complete some of these tasks.

We met at the TH a little after 3PM and so it begins. The last time I was on top of Camelback was in 2006 and that was from the Cholla side. I've never hiked Camelback from Echo. I have to say, the area is so impressive, even before you take the first step. So up we go with all sorts of people coming up and down the entire route. The first thing you have to tackle are those steps, and there are some big ones. And then on to the next tier of rock climbing, barely a break and then up again, step aside for people coming both ways, repeat. Up the next tier of rock climbing, barely a break and then up again, repeat. This seems to go on and on :sweat: .

I was glad I had done my practice hike but it was still a daunting task as you slice your way higher and higher. But I have to tell ya, it's really beautiful. I need to come back when I can take my time... at least I think I need to. This afternoon, we had to beat the sunset so UP we continued. The rocks can be a little rough to grab onto at times. Got a few words of encouragement on the way from others so that was a surprise. And just when you think you're at the top, nope, one more tier : rambo : and then, "You've arrived" to quote Android Auto.

We didn't have much time to dally and then I look over and Kathy had two little champagne bottles in their kozies for us to toast with. First she grabbed some pictures of me to celebrate my 1000th triplog and I had also made a sign. I hate pictures of me for the most part, especially selfies or up close but alas, I participated and tried to make the best of it.
Kathy let me choose which photo she would put on FB before I even started going back down the mountain. I grabbed some more pics and sent one to my boss who used to climb this mountain quite frequently back in the day. We sipped a little more champagne🥂, put on a layer and started down the mountain in the low light due to the overcast sky.

I knew the going down would take about as long but at least it is easier on the lungs. I initially followed Kathy, who has been up and down this mountain a number of times, but after awhile, I tried to find a little easier route. She skedaddles pretty good and I'm not quite as proficient at that. But then again, she flies up and down Grand Canyon routes like they're a breeze. The going down was as beautiful as the coming up so I grabbed a few photos.

And then it was time for hanging on to the railing time. Apparently no covid issues here as everyone pretty much used that railing. There are some slippery sections, some big down steps and with waning light, it was a little hard to see well. I was glad my shoes were relatively new. As we rounded the corner as saw the incredible sunset, it made it all worthwhile too. It was 5:51 when we got to the parking lot. We went to Oregano's to celebrate :y: . Thank you Kathy for making it a great ride up and down the mountain. She knows the mountain well and with the conversation, it didn't seem as grueling.

It just so happens, earlier this week, I came across a letter I wrote to my mom in July 1992 from Waterton Park. It was here that I did my first real hike and this is part of what I wrote:
I've never done any hiking per se so I am trying to learn as I go. (The only hiking I did was when my horse threw me or a tractor broke down.)
And how does one determine what is a great photo opportunity when there are so many. I'm always afraid I am going to miss the perfect shot.
I saw lots of chipmunks on the trail. I think I did manage to get one picture. It's kind of lonesome on the trail so they provided a little entertainment for me.
The air is so fresh I had to keep reminding myself to breathe the air through my nose. There is nothing like the smell of the mountains and their meadows.
It's real fun when you reach your destination on a hike. You feel so darn proud of yourself and I guess it's really not that big of deal. Perhaps I feel satisfied because I'm not used to this hiking thing.
That nite there was a huge thunderstorm that blew through the rickety Prince of Wales Lodge too. My last comment in the letter said:
"I thank God and my family that I can live to enjoy such majestic and overwhelming splendor. It truly is like being somewhere else in time and space."
And because of hiking and HAZ, I've got to re-live that feeling many times :) .

A 1/2 year later I would write to my friends overseas:
"I did some walking and hiking last summer and found it very enjoyable and invigorating. The trick is to avoid the camping and stay in a hotel and drive to the trailhead. I never quite understood the "one with nature" thing 'til last summer."
Well needless to say, I did get past the "hotel" thing :lol: but it was 17 years later

WATCH: 2.35 miles in 2:38:13 at avg .8 MPH. 129 avg BPM, 168 max (35 min in Zone 5, 40 in Zone 4, 48 min in Zone 3, 10 min in Zone 2 burning 919 calories) Temp at start 62.5%, humidity 23% partly cloudy. Made it up in 1:15 or so.
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.
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