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Four Peaks 4x4, AZ
mini location map2010-01-23
15 by photographer avatarchumley
photographer avatar
 
Four Peaks 4x4, AZ 
Four Peaks 4x4, AZ
 
4x4 Trip avatar Jan 23 2010
chumley
4x4 Trip
4x4 Trip   7 Hrs      0.00 mph
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Thought it would be fun to go get a little muddy after all the rain and figured the Four Peaks area would be good. It wasn't. The Beeline is closed at Bush Hwy (which I knew) but they would not let you drive to the Four Peaks road anyway, despite the slide not being for another 30 miles. So had to access 4 Peaks road from near Saguaro Lake, which was fun because Butcher Jones was also closed. It took over an hour to get to the 4 Peaks road, and I knew from experience it would take an hour to get to the top.

I knew there'd be some snow up there but didn't figure it would be too much and was hopeful that I'd be able to make it. Ended up in a convoy of a few Jeeps and other trucks, so when we hit the snow, I felt pretty comfortable about being able to get out of any trouble that might rear its ugly head.

One of the Jeeps ahead of me slipped into the drainage ditch on the uphill side of the road (that'd be my choice too...) and it took us a while to get him out. Normally I would have turned around at this point, but we were literally 1/4 mile from the top, so I figured why not?

After reaching the top, all the trucks there decided that the backside was a better option for the trip home, and I later felt like an idiot for not realizing what is common knowledge to me ... that side of the mountain gets less sun, is colder, and therefore had much deeper snow. Joy.

Fortunately I was able to lead the way. I think its much easier to make first tracks in snow rather than to be stuck in somebody else's packed down, slick, wet tracks. This was a 4-low, 1st and 2nd gear crawl. Just keeping all four wheels rolling at all times. Nothing fun about steep drainage ditches and rock face on one side, and huge drop off on the other. I never realized how much crown these roads have until trying to drive in the middle around a switchback curve.

We passed a couple of other idiots (yes, I acknowledge that implies us too) coming up the hill. They were already stuck, and finding the room to pass them and keep us all on the road was quite an adventure. (So much so that I didn't relax enough for a photo).

But eventually, we descended low enough that the snow depth was manageable again, and finally all gone. A fun day, because I made it without a scratch. But definitely not a relaxing trip, and definitely one I would think hard about making in the same conditions again.
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