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Humphreys - Fremont Loop, AZ
mini location map2022-09-23
15 by photographer avatarLJW
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Humphreys - Fremont Loop, AZ 
Humphreys - Fremont Loop, AZ
 
Hiking16.27 Miles 5,074 AEG
Hiking16.27 Miles   8 Hrs   32 Mns   2.49 mph
5,074 ft AEG   2 Hrs    Break
 
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Couldn't wait the few more weeks for fall and had to have a look for myself at the damage from the summer. Redrew a familiar loop to play within FS rules, avoiding lower Weatherford and Kachina east of the Spur Trail. The whole mountain is still green, except for upper IB, which is just starting to change. Might be back in a week or two; Inner Basin is staying open up from the Waterline junction.

Was hoping for a day of clouds what with the rain and the cool weather we've been having. Forecast called for fog early, and the plan was sealed. Ended up a near-perfect day. Humphreys 151 same as ever. Passed a half dozen groups from saddle and up, and then another half dozen from summit back to saddle. Lots of folks got up for a sunrise summit and missed out on the clouds.

I had upper Weatherford to myself, as well as everything from Humphreys Saddle to Kachina TH for that matter. Lots of traffic on 151 all day long. Low clouds and great visibility. The Ridge from Fremont Saddle was untouched. Clouds built around the summit as I climbed.

Fremont is the summit with the best view of the damage. From there it appeared that Doyle, Schultz Ridge, Fremont's E ridge to Doyle Saddle were burned entirely. The fire did an astonishingly thorough job. Weatherford Canyon below Doyle Saddle, and it's hard to say for sure, was burned about 95% through. The bottom near Schultz Tank seemed to be okay, but everything in between looked like Doyle's slopes apart from a patch or two. Schultz Peak looked similarly, with only a few areas spared.

After an hour, I headed down the SE ridge toward Kachina. That was burned except the highest reaches. In order to avoid the closure, I stuck to the S ridge which was rather clear and stable but very steep. Dense forest and good aspen stands lower down. Emptied into a meadow above Kachina and for the first time since the 2020 Snowbowl closure had that trail to myself.
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Autumn Foliage Observation Isolated
Just starting in upper IB
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Wildflowers Observation Light
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