|Bunyan Loop - Woolsey Wilderness, AZ|| |
Bunyan Loop - Woolsey Wilderness, AZ
|Hiking||13.43 Miles|| 7 Hrs 42 Mns ||2.06 mph|
|2,416 ft AEG|| 1 Hour 11 Mns Break||6 LBS Pack|
||no linked trail guides|
Nobody will get the Woolsey Wilderness bug. Thought it'd be cool to see the flipside of the wilderness after hiking the Perfect Ridge last week. With a hint of uber cool hitting it twice ignoring the namesake goto peak.
Studied the two shared routes and informative triplogs by Outlander & AZHiker456. Combined, it hollered... tempting loop. Only needed 750ft / 0.3 miles to bridge the gap. After an exhausting minute editing, calculating grades and dancing it was ready to go.
Gila Bend Mountains
jj drove us further in than stock 2WD HC could handle, saving a couple miles. Worked out nice, jj found a ridge to be a kid in a jeep.
7:30am - Hike
Shivering in subarctic temps the balance of the group is chatting nail polish. Girls, let's go!
The hike to the good stuff is blah. Cross the dry Gila River, 530 ft above sea level, through what topo calls a Borrow Pit Reservoir. We experienced a half dozen warm pockets along the way.
8:45am - 3.15 mi
On a saddle between 1899 & 1574. Begin a 230 ft drop into the mountains. Terrain held my attention with each step.
Next we strolled up a valley between two high ridges. I loved this area. Perfect light, temps & views. National Park quality South Mountain came to mind.
9:40am - 4.95 mi
jj & I made a field decision to ascend the bridge gap a tenth of a mile sooner. Bruce & Denny opted for my satellite etched route. The moment of truth turned out to be the equivalence of the class 3 ten foot wall up to Flatiron. Just a twin pitch on rotten rock, maybe 50 ft net. Checked each move thoroughly and figured out right handed - left elbow assists. Two underhand grips, a toe wedge and a final awkward knee touching chin mother-of-a-step got 'er done.
200 ft in 34 minutes... lol
10:14am - 5.25 mi
After my solo crawl I expected everyone to be long gone. Bruce and Denny were in the next obstacle, a 475 ft steep slope of healthy teddy bear jumping cholla.
10:37am - 5.43 mi
We summit 2275 and break for 15 min. Nice to relax, tough to enjoy. Apprehensively pondered a bad cholla stretch comment Amy made... we were just now onto her track.
Leaving, Denny tripped. Scary moment. He rose and lifted the arm in question!
11:27 am - 6.20 mi
Luckily I misread Amy, she was talking about traversing net cholla on a 4 day trip. Cholla on the descent turned out to be more scenic than concerning. Hallelujah for small miracles.
Group decision, mock
The Beatles - Strawberry Fields
The Needles - Cholla Fields Forever
Quick, relatively easy/flat terrain.
I enjoyed the hike and company. Intriguing distance mountain views up top. Once is possibly enough. Never say never, didn't touch the North Face...