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63 triplogs

Sep 14 2019
DennisWilliams
avatar

 Photos 395
 Triplogs 63

63 male
 Joined Feb 06 2012
 Mesa, AZ
Jacks Canyon / Main WallPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Climbing avatar Sep 14 2019
DennisWilliams
Climbing
Climbing
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
 Blackened Lead 5.10aSport1 Pitch40 ft
 TakeYour Pick Lead 5.10aSport1 Pitch55 ft
 Windchill Lead 5.10aSport1 Pitch55 ft
A pretty good day climbing.

My climbing buddy Brett and I spent the day at Jack's Canyon, located about half-way between Clint’s Well and Winslow along SR87 just as the pines give way to the cedars and junipers. A cool and scenic hiking destination as well as a climbing crag. It has over 200 bolted routes on decent limestone. The climbs tend to be short and with hard first moves. This means that it can be tough just to get started on a route with somewhat easier but sustained climbing above. The upshot is that you can really go for it knowing that the toughest stuff will be over quickly and you don’t have to conserve energy for higher up. The routes also tend to be pretty much vertical or overhung, reducing the risk of a lead fall as long as you are above the second bolt. It may seem counter-intuitive that overhung routes are less dangerous but with proper rope handling the risk in falling is from hitting things on the way down and not so much from hitting the ground. An overhung route has nothing to hit, leaving you hanging in space if you fall.

The three routes listed are all on the Main Wall and are the easiest to be found there. We also did Mickey Goes To Vegas over on the nearby Casino Cliffs at 5.9. I led these four and on-sighted them all. In fact, this was my first experience leading at 5.10. It's true that it is sport climbing and Jack's has a reputation for soft grading, but I'll take it! We spent the rest of the time burning ourselves out on nearby 5.11s that we top roped from anchors we could reach from the easier routes.
_____________________
"All is as thinking makes it so."

- Marcus Aurelius
Jan 26 2019
DennisWilliams
avatar

 Photos 395
 Triplogs 63

63 male
 Joined Feb 06 2012
 Mesa, AZ
Weaver's Needle Summit - East c4 RoutePhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Climbing avatar Jan 26 2019
DennisWilliams
Climbing8.45 Miles 3,235 AEG
Climbing8.45 Miles   8 Hrs   30 Mns   1.13 mph
3,235 ft AEG   1 Hour    Break18 LBS Pack
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Further adventures in geriatric free solo climbing.

Almost 2 years since my last visit. Took a different route this time. Ascended by the eastern route but brought a rope and gear to rappel off the western side on the way down. You could think of it as a loop going out Bluff Springs Trail and up the Bark's Canyon / Needle Canyon side, crossing the divide between the drainages at the chock-stone on Weaver's with a climb of the summit, then returning via the East Boulder Canyon / Peralta Canyon side and down the Peralta Trail. Solo, naturally.

Like most, I hike and climb because it makes me feel something. The more challenging the objective the stronger the emotions. I write about it to share the experience and to fix it in my mind, and to leave a record of the event so I can recall it later with satisfaction. I write up maybe one in ten adventures when I find I have something to say. Weaver's is such a one.

How fortunate we are to have a natural wonder in our back yard. The dimensions are similar to the Devils Tower in Wyoming, though of lower technical rating as a climb. You can drive right up to the Devils Tower and take a short loop hike around it and use the lodges, restaurants, and visitor's center near the base. A tourist destination, it is visible from miles in all directions. Weaver's, on the other hand, lies distant, enfolded in a vast wilderness. Shielded on the west from prying eyes by the colossal rampart of the Superstition Ridgeline it may be glimpsed from US60 looking north and is visible as part of the grand Superstition panorama seen from SR87 looking south. It is 13 miles at it's nearest to the Beeline, yet stands proud and mighty, brooding in it's isolation. You have to want to visit Weaver's and put in some work to get anywhere close. No person that sees it does not at some point entertain the thought of what it must be like to stand up there, and secretly wish they could some day do so. That thought first occurred to me over 50 years ago. It occurs to me still.

I can't just casually toss off a quick climb of Weaver's. This one stirs me up inside. I guess I'm a little afraid of it. I like to go solo but I feel like this one presents rather thin margins for safety. I am confident hiking alone on established trails even during the week. If something were to happen somebody would likely find me, even before my safety contacts kicked in. I make it a habit to carry extra food, clothes, and first aid kit just in case, and always come out with a liter of water. You never know when you or another hiker will have to spend more time than planned out there. This hike, with the need to carry a pack with rope, helmet, harness, and gear up over the chock-stone, required that I leave all non-essential weight behind. Solo climbing is one thing, climbing with a heavy and bulky pack is another, adding to the risk. This time no first aid kit, no extra clothes, no extra food, no extra water. More of a sortie instead of a campaign. A quick strike from the comfort of my home into the very heart of the wilderness. A raid. If I were to so much as twist an ankle, coming in from the seldom traveled east side, the whole thing goes downhill very quickly. Nervous.

When hiking or climbing in company there is interaction with other people to offer distraction from the impending risk. No such distraction when approaching Weaver's by myself. My mind engages in a series of dialectics that increase with intensity as the climb gets closer:

"Why are you doing this? You have done it before. You're getting older. Grow up for God's sake. What is left to prove?"

"Because if I don't I will wonder if I'm over the hill, and I don't want to grow up."

"Cut it short or head back now. Who will know?"

"I will." And on and on.

Then there is the conversation with the Needle as it looms up ahead:

"Who do you think you are? Puny mortal. Insignificant smudge of nothing. You can neither add to nor subtract from me. Why should I let you do this?"

"I come as a humble supplicant seeking inspiration in your grandest of sanctuaries. Please don't kill me."

That introspection intensifies until the moment when I strap on the harness, helmet, and pack, reach for a hold and take my first step up onto the wall. Then execution mode mercifully takes over. The focus required drives the voices down into the subconscious.

In fifteen minutes I'm at the chock-stone, to substantial relief. I know I can rappel down the western side from here and get out. No need for hairy down-climbing. After a brief minute I hear voices down below. Climbers are coming up. A young woman and young man, both early twenties, soloed up the west side. Like me they carry a rope but are not using it in the ascent. Not yet having the nerve to come up the west side without gear I am impressed. Other climbers up there provides further stress relief, and some disappointment. I won't have the summit to myself, but I'm equally certain that my presence has the same impact on them. We climb up the little wall, the ramp, and the final pitch together, but without gear, bringing the ropes with us. Topping out I enjoy a moment of blessed exhilaration, and then catastrophe strikes. I have forgotten my little bottle of Bowmore 18 years in my pack down at the chock-stone. Damn! Damn! Damn! Now it will have to wait. I spot the summit register entry by jtaylor just the day before. We don't know each other and I don't connect it with HAZ until the next day when I read his trip-log. Well done sir. You said you would not be back but by now you have had another day or two for it to sink in. I'm sure the idea has already crept back into your mind. Who could blame you?

After a few minutes it is time to descend. Together we set up a rope at the rappel rings located on the SW corner of the summit a few feet below the top. A nice 50 foot free hanging rappel takes us back down to the ramp. In fact, this was part of the reason I chose this route and brought the rope: rappelling from the summit of Weaver's. Real Hollywood stuff. We scramble back down the ramp and down-climb the little wall. Back at the chock-stone I finally get to celebrate properly with the Bowmore. Now THIS is living! We again set up the rappel from the rings located on the west side of the chock-stone. The 70 meter rope takes us down in one rappel not to the bottom but to a spot where down-climbing is now safe enough. Off come the helmets and harnesses. We pack up and say our goodbyes and they take off ahead with youthful alacrity. I see them ahead as I descend the west slope, gradually opening the distance between us.

I confess that hiking back out over Freemont Saddle carrying rope is an ego boost. The crowds on the trail simply cannot resist the urge to ask what I have done, and respond in wide-eyed wonder when I tell them, particularly given my obvious advancing age. I know I should not be susceptible to such trifles but it does feel rather good. 62 years, 4 months. Not done yet. Sometime too soon no doubt, but not yet.
_____________________
"All is as thinking makes it so."

- Marcus Aurelius
1 archive
Dec 28 2018
DennisWilliams
avatar

 Photos 395
 Triplogs 63

63 male
 Joined Feb 06 2012
 Mesa, AZ
Superstition RidgelinePhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 28 2018
DennisWilliams
Hiking12.50 Miles 4,480 AEG
Hiking12.50 Miles   10 Hrs   10 Mns   1.36 mph
4,480 ft AEG   1 Hour    Break18 LBS Pack
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
As best I can determine, this was my 9th Ridgeline.

Great day for a nice long hike. Cool and breezy. Could see my breath the entire day. Myself, my buddy Russ, and his friend Iso, a first time Ridgeline hiker, chugged along making decent time. Quite a few other hikers on the route. More than I am used to for a week day. I suppose folks have some time off during the holidays and are making the very best of it. Great cloud play as we topped out 5057. Ten hours of outright spectacular, as always.

Seems to me that over the years the ups have gotten longer and more up. The overall route feels longer too. Some freak of geology no doubt.
_____________________
"All is as thinking makes it so."

- Marcus Aurelius
1 archive
Dec 01 2018
DennisWilliams
avatar

 Photos 395
 Triplogs 63

63 male
 Joined Feb 06 2012
 Mesa, AZ
Long Dong Taiwan, WW 
Long Dong Taiwan, WW
 
Climbing avatar Dec 01 2018
DennisWilliams
Climbing
Climbing
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Rock climbing at 龍洞, Long Dong (The Dragon's Cave) on the NE coast of Taiwan about 30 minutes drive from the port city of Keelung.

Though fully in keeping with the climbing ethos, the name is only coincidentally offensive. Extended a business trip to take advantage of the offer by my young colleagues there to take me to a renowned climbing site. Packed my shoes, harness, and helmet and off I went. Lucky with the weather. This is the beginning of the rainy season when it typically rains at least 2 days out of 3. You book your tickets and hope for the best. A lovely day along the sea cliffs and a busy location as a result.

The first crag is a 5 minute walk from the parking area. Great rock. Some of the best I have climbed. A fused conglomerate hard as quartzite and bullet proof. All sorts of cracks, knobby protrusions, and even chicken heads to grab onto, but also some smooth faces. All of the routes we did were in the 5.8 to 5.10 range and they all had roofs to pull at 20 feet up. Big under-clings and super fun. Lots of families with kids there, some of whom were pretty darned good climbers! It is inspiring to watch a seven year old boy or girl zip up a tough looking route. Fearless.

Long Dong is also a renowned scuba diving location and people come from across the globe to climb and to dive there. A cool day in a cool place doing fun things with great friends.
_____________________
"All is as thinking makes it so."

- Marcus Aurelius
Nov 17 2018
DennisWilliams
avatar

 Photos 395
 Triplogs 63

63 male
 Joined Feb 06 2012
 Mesa, AZ
Sedona Spires / Queen VictoriaSedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Hike & Climb avatar Nov 17 2018
DennisWilliams
Hike & Climb3.00 Miles 600 AEG
Hike & Climb3.00 Miles   4 Hrs      0.75 mph
600 ft AEG
II  • Trad • 5.7 Sandstone  • 250 Feet 3 Pitches
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
My first Sedona climb. Can't wait to go back for more!

Jack, Greg, and myself headed for Sedona on Saturday morning for a weekend of climbing and camping. The TH to Queen Vic is about 1.5 miles up the Schnebly Hill Rd. High clearance vehicle definitely required. Short hike in but really beautiful. Love the sections where you just cruise along on the red sandstone benches above the trees. A very cool hike even without the climb.

The climb is a blast. A nice 3-pitch 5.7 trad climb with bolted rap stations. Greg led. A mix of easy big holds, cracks of differing widths from finger to off-width, a few nice lie-backs, and a mantel or two. The top is flat and about 10 feet in diameter, so plenty of room to stand up and to get everybody up there together. A cool spot with terrific 360 degree Sedona views. Love it! Two fun rappels to get down. Perfect bragging weather. A great day.

Had dinner in town at the Tara Thai Restaurant in Oak Creek Village. Good tom yum and curries. Drove over toward Prescott and camped at the Powell Springs CG. Only one other vehicle there. Lagavulin 16 year old scotch and Warsteiner beer to celebrate. Breakfast at the Cracker Barrel to stoke up for the day. Climbing at the Granite Dells on the back side of the main high rappel area. Did a few nice sport routes, maybe 5.7 or 5.8 ish. Don't know their names but really fun. The granite near Prescott is a huge change from the sandstone and limestone in Sedona. Smooth, slabby, and committing. Early dinner at Garcias and then back to town. Another perfect weather day.

As much eating and drinking as climbing and camping but hey, life is short. Go big!
_____________________
"All is as thinking makes it so."

- Marcus Aurelius
1 archive
Apr 17 2018
DennisWilliams
avatar

 Photos 395
 Triplogs 63

63 male
 Joined Feb 06 2012
 Mesa, AZ
Pass Mountain RidgelinePhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 17 2018
DennisWilliams
Hiking7.40 Miles 1,422 AEG
Hiking7.40 Miles   5 Hrs   22 Mns   1.83 mph
1,422 ft AEG   1 Hour   20 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Full ridgeline route south to north. Had not planned to hike in the middle of the week but the forecast called for a high of 74F, so got my butt out of bed early to enjoy some of the last cool weather before summer.

Started at the Medicine Wheel TH at the N end of Meridian Rd. Just after crossing the gully bushwhacked NW up the closest spur to make the ridgeline. Threaded the cliff band at the top of the ridge taking the narrow notch about 50 yds. from the SE end. The top is iffy so I dropped over to the NE side and skirted the base of the cliffs for another 100 yds. From that point I stayed on the top of the ridge for the entire length of the mountain, stopping at the summit of 3312 for lunch. Continued N along the top and scrambled up the last little knob on the N end before finally dropping down right where the PM Loop Trail cuts across the northern slopes of the mountain. Followed the trail back up over the saddle and down to the TH.

My first time hiking in the Pass Mountain area. Very nice trails and quite a lovely valley on the E side, with cliff bands and standing rocks. Gunfire audible on the W side from the shooting range. Big "POWs" followed by a long rolling hiss for several seconds characteristic of large caliber rifles heard at a distance in open country. Not complaining. They have been there a very long time and everybody should get to make use of part of the desert in the fashion that suits them. At least the shooters there are not out trashing the desert. Hazy out today. Ordinarily the views would be quite good from up top but today it was limited to maybe ten miles. Could barely make out Four Peaks, and the Supers were washed in haze. I think the PM loop is supposed to be 7.4 miles. This route was more direct and therefore theoretically shorter, but it felt like 7-ish miles due to all the bushwhacking. Fun little traverse. Sort of like a mini-Supers Ridgeline, but much easier. I'll have to go back when the air is clear.
_____________________
"All is as thinking makes it so."

- Marcus Aurelius
Feb 23 2018
DennisWilliams
avatar

 Photos 395
 Triplogs 63

63 male
 Joined Feb 06 2012
 Mesa, AZ
Red Tanks Super Loop - Peralta THPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 23 2018
DennisWilliams
Hiking18.40 Miles 2,500 AEG
Hiking18.40 Miles   10 Hrs   40 Mns   2.03 mph
2,500 ft AEG   1 Hour   35 Mns Break18 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
A fine day out in the Supers, deep into the wilderness. Did this loop as a CCW lasso out of Peralta, going out Dutchman to Coffee Flat, to Red Tanks, north past the Hoolie Bacon junction to Whiskey Spring, then back on the Dutchman to Peralta. Finally got 5.6 miles of new trail out on the southern side.

Departed the TH just before dawn. Love that spot where you top out and all of Barkley Basin is spread before you. As mentioned before, Barkley Basin is the parade ground of the 194,308th Saguaro Division, AKA the "Big Green One". Continue past Sisyphus Rock, the cluster of spires just east of the Miner's Needle. Mountain Project indicates that there are some 5.7, 5.8 multi-pitch trad climbs there. Would love to do that sometime.

Going further east over a little rise takes you into Coffee Flat Basin, another lovely basin just south of impressive Coffee Flat Mountain, a mighty uplift ringed by stacked cliffs. Starting to get into areas that see little traffic. Reed's Water is a nice spot. Continue on through Randolph Canyon to Dripping Spring. Every time I have been there it barely drips, but it does. Past the spring bang a left on the Red Tanks trail and head north and then northwest. Terrific country in there. Never seen it before. The trail is a little sketchy at times but I never lost it. More views of the east side of Coffee Flat Mountain. The pull up to Red Tanks Divide is a little bit of a puffer but not too bad. After the Hoolie Bacon junction veer west on through the Upper La Barge Box. Very cool. The north side of Picacho Butte has some of the most jagged cliffs I can think of. Loved threading the box along the north side of the canyon. I could not stop making mental compliments to it's creator like "I love this place! Nice job! Way to go!"

The tank at Whiskey Spring was full. In fact, most all of the larger canyons had small pockets of water, but nothing actually flowing. Roll back on up and over the Miner's Summit and pick up the Dutchman for the march back through Barkley's. Overall a terrific loop and not much AEG. Can pretty much cruise the whole thing. One of the easier big loops in the western Supers with very little traffic and views of things that few people ever see.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation None
A few ocotillo starting to show.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Randolph Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Red Tanks Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Upper LaBarge Box Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Whiskey Spring Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
_____________________
"All is as thinking makes it so."

- Marcus Aurelius
1 archive
Jan 13 2018
DennisWilliams
avatar

 Photos 395
 Triplogs 63

63 male
 Joined Feb 06 2012
 Mesa, AZ
Weaver's Needle CrosscutPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 13 2018
DennisWilliams
Hiking6.00 Miles 1,000 AEG
Hiking6.00 Miles   4 Hrs      2.00 mph
1,000 ft AEG   1 Hour    Break10 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The last time I was up to Weavers Needle I noticed a curious standing rock along the Terrapin Trail about a half-mile further in from the Bluff Springs trail junction. It is up and to the right of the trail about 150 yards. It is very close to the parent rock face and only becomes visible from the trail as a completely free standing rock for about a 4 foot section of trail. I'm sure most people just cruise by and never notice. As you walk along you have to be looking up at precisely the right moment to see the sliver of blue sky between the rocks. I had always intended to go back and recon that rock to see if it can be climbed. Today was that day.

The hike in is very pleasant. I love the Bluff Springs Trail with all of the fantastical rock along Barks Canyon. At the saddle I scrambled up the slope and managed to get to the neck. I took a quick look around the south and north sides, going under the rock. The rock itself is dramatically overhung on the south, east, and north sides. The separation from the parent rock varies from 6 - 12 inches. It is not directly climbable, at least not by me. I looked for access via the parent rock. This rock is probably doable with rope, at least from the vantages that I had. Summing up the recon; not doable by me as a casual scramble. I'm sure some worthy out there can figure a way up by going the long way around from the west, but it will involve a great deal of bouldering and scrambling. I encourage somebody out there to go for it, although even the parts I did involved some exposed C4 stuff. Don't fall.

I made some observations of the neck and the dimensions of the rock. The neck is about 2.5 X 4 feet. The rock is about 35 feet long by 17 feet high by about 12 feet wide. Not being a perfect rectangle I estimated the volume and mass. Converting to metric I estimate 108 cubic meters of rock. The rock itself is probably a granite and the neck is probably a welded tuff, a soft stone prone to weathering, hence the neck. For the interest of the truly nerdy out there I went on line and got some beta on the density of granite and failure modulus of welded tuff. I get a rough mass of 240,000 kg, and compressive stress of about 2 MPa at the neck vs. a failure modulus of about 100 MPa for welded tuff. It is not likely to fall soon unless directly hit by a violent wind micro-burst.

A fun little recon.
_____________________
"All is as thinking makes it so."

- Marcus Aurelius
Jul 29 2017
DennisWilliams
avatar

 Photos 395
 Triplogs 63

63 male
 Joined Feb 06 2012
 Mesa, AZ
Chicago Basin - Weminuche Wilderness, CO 
Chicago Basin - Weminuche Wilderness, CO
 
Backpack avatar Jul 29 2017
DennisWilliams
Backpack30.00 Miles
Backpack30.00 Miles7 Days         
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Weminooooch!!!

The Weminuche Wilderness. Need I say more? But I will. Meant with the deepest possible respect, a mighty upthrust in southwestern Colorado so lovely that God keeps a summer home there. Peaks with names that echo when spoken aloud, sending a shiver up your spine. Peaks like Leviathan, Storm King, Jagged Mountain, Jupiter, Eolus, Sunlight, Arrow, Vestal, Mt. Silex, and The Guardian. If there is a more stunningly beautiful place within 1000 miles of Arizona then I'm sure I don't know of it.

Late post of an easy summer backpack into the Needle Mountains, Chicago Basin, and the surrounding area, starting and ending out of Needleton. Sitting around the hotel room in Taipei over a long holiday weekend with little to do so I thought I'd post this. I've been coming to Taiwan for years and have already exhausted 99% of the good tourist stuff.

Day 1: Boarded the train in Durango headed for Needleton, a whistle stop on the Durango and Silverton line in the middle of the Weminuche Wilderness. Nothing there but a bridge over the Animas River and a trail leading up into the mountains. We were a party of six. Brother and sister-in-law, nephew and niece, family friend Tom, and myself. Most of the group had gotten to the platform early and watched their packs get loaded into the box car next to the coach. Tom and I had been busy with vehicle logistics and so got to the platform a few minutes later. We located a conductor and he told us to leave our packs on the platform next to the open box car where we could see the other packs piled inside. We offered to load them but he assured us he'd take care of it. We boarded the train and took our seats. We could see our packs from the window. Moments later we heard the whistle and the "all aboard!" call. We jumped up and found the nearest conductor and told him about our packs. We hopped off the train and stood right there while we watched the conductor grudgingly re-open the box car and load the packs, then we re-boarded the train. If we had been seated on the other side of the car we would not have seen the packs outside and would have had a very nasty surprise at Needleton. Lesson learned: If you take the train from Durango stand right there and personally witness your pack getting loaded into the box car.

The forecast had called for several days of rain. Started to rain during the train ride. Rained as we got off at Needleton and rained as we hiked in a few miles along Needle Creek. Decided to camp so we found a decent site down in the trees and set up the tents. Maybe 11,000 feet of elevation there. Deer were walking around when the rain let up a little.

Day 2: Tom, my nephew Rex, and myself decided to go for Windom Peak, a 14'er in upper Chicago Basin. Got up at zero dark thirty and went for it. Pretty much just a hike up with a little scrambling and boulder hopping. Our first encounter with the mountain goats that live in Chicago Basin. Novel at first but the novelty wears off after several days of constant pestering by them right in your camp. The summit of Windom at 14,093' offers sublime views in all directions. They are not named the Needle Mountains without cause. Splintered rock all around. An amazing place. Hiked back down to camp and packed it up and followed the rest of the group up into Chicago Basin proper for a high camp there. Chicago Basin is a destination in itself and rightly so. Unreal. A long tough day and it kicked my butt.

Day 3: Pack it up and head over Columbine Pass 12,680' to camp at Columbine Lake, 12,320'. No trees. Just tundra. A short day and provided an opportunity for nice day hikes in the area.

Day 4: Decided to stay over at Columbine Lake, so more opportunity for day hikes. My original itinerary called for a lot more mileage and a good bit of bushwhack, but the group decided to dial it back. Oh well. Guess I'll have to go back by myself sometime and get the whole shindig, so there won't be any re-negotiating the route. Did a really nice day hike over Trimble Pass 12,850' and over to Silver Mesa to visit the site of the old Pittsburg Mine. Really cool. Located at about 12,500' it sits in vast rolling open tundra meadows. Ideal elk habitat. We saw two different groups of about thirty. At the mine we found ruins of extensive buildings and window glass, the remains of a head-frame and winch, a well defined shaft, old purple bottle glass and even newer composite materials from an electrical service box. Looks like it had been in operation from maybe the 1880s through about 1940. Probably only in summer. Silver ore all over the place up on Silver Mesa. A matrix of whitish quartz-like rock with greasy looking black veins running through it. Much heavier than other types of rock nearby. Probably some lead mixed in there too. The mine sits in some chunks of patented private property surrounded by national forest. If silver goes up they might go back in to operate. Remote place and short season. Hostile winter environment.

Day 5: Knock down camp and head back over Columbine Pass into Chicago Basin and set up a high camp below the pass. Another short day. Took a nice side hike over to Hazel Lake at 12,435', a beautiful tundra lake right below Jupiter Mountain. Would make a terrific remote camp site. Deer and goats running all over camp. Nice 4X4 muley buck in velvet maybe twenty yards away munching the grass, broadside in the open. Doubt if he will be so accommodating come September. The goats have a nasty habit. They appear to crave human urine. If they see you get up to walk out of camp they come running expectantly and won't leave you alone while you do your business. Go figure.

Day 6: Rex and I decided to go for Mt. Eolus, another 14'er above Chicago Basin. Wonderful hike and climb with a traverse of "the catwalk" a narrow ridge-line approaching the summit. Very cool. More utterly spectacular views. Jaw dropping. Just as we were leaving the summit we heard distant thunder. Time to go. It hailed on us for an hour and a half on the way back to camp. The rest of the group had day hiked up into Needle Basin and they got hailed on too. Doesn't matter how good your rain gear is if you are caught in the open above tree line and it hails on you for an hour. We were all soaked and frozen when we got back to camp and just dove into the tents, stripped down, got into the sleeping bags for warmth, and drank whisky. Man, does that feel good!

Day 7: Back out to Needleton to catch the train back to Durango. Chowed down in Durango and drank cold beer. Nice!
Fauna
Fauna
Mountain Goat
_____________________
"All is as thinking makes it so."

- Marcus Aurelius
1 archive
Jul 10 2017
DennisWilliams
avatar

 Photos 395
 Triplogs 63

63 male
 Joined Feb 06 2012
 Mesa, AZ
Brown's PeakPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 10 2017
DennisWilliams
Hiking5.20 Miles 2,064 AEG
Hiking5.20 Miles
2,064 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I have been to the top of Brown's many times but this may be the most memorable of all.

My 14 year old granddaughter Megan is visiting from New Hampshire on summer vacation. She runs track at school, specializing in sprints and relays. She and her team have set state records. Her fitness showed through as she powered up the hike and climb without so much as slowing down except for a short break at Brown's Saddle, at my suggestion. Living at sea level, the elevation didn't seem to bother her a bit. It was 79F at the TH when we left and about 90F when we got back. Quite nice on the summit with a little breeze where we enjoyed our lunch and the terrific views.

It is a rare day indeed in one's lifetime when such a wonderful experience can be shared with someone so dear. Long, long after I am gone she can remember this day and show her own granddaughters the photos and encourage them in the words I used: "Live a big life."

p.s. Get well soon Joe. A speedy and complete recovery.
Culture
Culture
HAZ - Selfie
_____________________
"All is as thinking makes it so."

- Marcus Aurelius
May 26 2017
DennisWilliams
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 Photos 395
 Triplogs 63

63 male
 Joined Feb 06 2012
 Mesa, AZ
Camelback Mountain / Praying MonkPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Climbing avatar May 26 2017
DennisWilliams
Climbing1.00 Miles 500 AEG
Climbing1.00 Miles
500 ft AEG20 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
 South East Corner 5.6SportPG1 Pitch90 ft
First 20 feet are the most difficult.
Fun climb up an iconic Phoenix landmark. We were a party of three: friends Jack, Ray, and myself. I am the youngest of the three, so up there old guys ruled! This was Ray's first destination rock climb and he nailed it. None of us had been up there before so we wandered around on the approach figuring out the right gullies to use to get up the canyon head-wall, wasting at least an hour. Nice free hanging rappel off the south side.

Good to finally get up there. Another one of those high places that I have been looking at for fifty years. Used to fool around in Echo Canyon as a teenager doing all sorts of foolish and memorable teenager things. Finished up with Mexican food and Margaritas at Los Olivos in Scottsdale, another place that I have been going to for over forty years. Ah, the memories.

Lovely day. Breezy, sunny, and 80s during the mid-morning with low humidity. A splendid day!
_____________________
"All is as thinking makes it so."

- Marcus Aurelius
May 17 2017
DennisWilliams
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 Photos 395
 Triplogs 63

63 male
 Joined Feb 06 2012
 Mesa, AZ
McDowell Mountains / Gardeners WallPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Climbing avatar May 17 2017
DennisWilliams
Climbing3.10 Miles 1,047 AEG
Climbing3.10 Miles   5 Hrs      1.03 mph
1,047 ft AEG   2 Hrs    Break25 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
 Hanging Garden 5.62 Pitches230 ft
Quote from Greg while on the wall "Man! That is a lot of crack!"
Second day of the May cool spell. Climbing sure beats working!

Jack, Greg, and I did the Hanging Garden route on Gardener's Wall on the north side of the McDowells just east of Tom's Thumb. Scenic hike in and a little boulder hopping and scrambling through the bottom of the gulch to get to the base of the wall. Tremendously fun two pitch climb following cracks in the face with a hanging belay right in the middle of the wall, hence the name. The climb is too long to be done with just one ordinary 60m rope length so the climbers must stop in the middle to gather the rope before proceeding forward. There are two bolts in the face at that point where the lead climber clips in and hangs by their harness while belaying the others up, and then the second climber does the same while belaying the lead forward. Interesting to be just hanging on the rock wall for a period of time. Gives the opportunity to look around from the middle of a rock face, something that doesn't happen much while actually climbing.

While I was at the bottom waiting for Jack to lead he gained a point on the route where he could see the rest of the route spreading across the open face. I could not see him above me but clearly heard "Holy s... !" When Greg got to the same location I heard him say "Man! That is a lot of crack!" These things tend to play on the mind of a novice climber while awaiting their turn on the route. When beginning any new activity, playing an instrument, painting, climbing, the novice secretly hopes that they will be found to be a savant, that they have now finally found the thing that they were born to do. Alas, I have found that I am at best squarely in the middle of the distribution when it comes to climbing, but that in no way diminishes my enjoyment. This stuff is exciting right down to the core. I can hear the experienced climbers out there saying to themselves "Oh look, the newbie has 'discovered' rock climbing. How cute." Strongest is the faith of the newly converted. I pray that this feeling does not wear off too quickly.
_____________________
"All is as thinking makes it so."

- Marcus Aurelius
2 archives
May 16 2017
DennisWilliams
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 Photos 395
 Triplogs 63

63 male
 Joined Feb 06 2012
 Mesa, AZ
Superstition Mtns - NW / HandPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Climbing avatar May 16 2017
DennisWilliams
Climbing4.00 Miles 1,200 AEG
Climbing4.00 Miles   6 Hrs      0.80 mph
1,200 ft AEG   1 Hour    Break25 LBS Pack
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
 The Razors Edge 5.6SportG3 Pitches
When I saw the extended forecast for this week I knew I needed some time off. Three days of breezy low 80s in Mesa. The last hurrah of the low desert activities for the summer months. My climbing buddy Jack will have shoulder surgery in June so we figured to get in a climb or two. Today was The Razor's Edge on The Hand, a reprise of my AMC grad climb last March.

Windy as all get out up there and almost chilly. What a treat for May in the Supers. Terrific climb. I know it is unusual for climbers to admit to falling but I don't care. I did come loose on pitch #3, over 100 feet up in the air. Got a few feet off route and onto a bit of featureless wall on the north side. Was using smeared feet and ran out of time before they just let go. Oops. Dropped about a good body length before the belay and anchors and a nice, stretchy climbing rope kicked in and arrested my fall. Provided a few milliseconds of contemplation during which you wonder if your partner has set good anchors and if the bolts are new and going to hold. If they don't, well... . After arrest I just moved a couple feet over to the edge of the arete (back on route) and went right up. The long rappel from the top was real work. It was super windy so we had a friend provide a fireman's belay from the bottom. The wind, the belay, and rope weight really put the breaks on and we were bounced around all the way down.

I never claimed to be the best climber, but it was damned exciting! Just so some of the readers that have thought about rock climbing will know; not everyone out there is a flawless rock star (pun intended) that scampers effortlessly up whatever climbing challenge presents itself. Some of us are old, clumsy goomers that do our best and try not to get killed or kill our climbing partners, and enjoy ourselves immensely while doing it! Try it. You might like it.
_____________________
"All is as thinking makes it so."

- Marcus Aurelius
1 archive
Apr 07 2017
DennisWilliams
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 Photos 395
 Triplogs 63

63 male
 Joined Feb 06 2012
 Mesa, AZ
Weaver's Needle Summit - East c4 RoutePhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hike & Climb avatar Apr 07 2017
DennisWilliams
Hike & Climb8.45 Miles 3,235 AEG
Hike & Climb8.45 Miles   8 Hrs   1 Min   1.25 mph
3,235 ft AEG   1 Hour   15 Mns Break18 LBS Pack
Solo II  •  Volcanic
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Funny how ideas take hold and won't let go.

A few months ago I had hiked from the Terrapin into the little basin south of Weaver's as a recon. Worked up the scree slope to the base of the Needle proper, to the rock face on the east side where the climbing begins. Someone has left an old rope hanging there. It was already late in the afternoon but I thought about trying out the first pitch. There were climbers descending the crack just above and they kept yelling "rock!" Didn't have a helmet so I left it for another time. That started the itch. Having done Weaver's a few weeks back from the west with protection and then The Razor's Edge, I kept fixating on an attempt at Weaver's from the east. My recent experiences had included some edgy stuff (for me anyway) which tends to dull your reaction to risk, but this effect has a short half-life. Also getting warmer out there so it seemed like now or never for a go at it.

Back to the present; came in late Thursday night from the east coast. My darling wife told me she had plans with the ladies for the day on Friday so I set the alarm and tried for some sleep. Tough to settle down once you know there is something big in the offing. Up with the alarm. The routine of packing up and getting going helps to distract from the nerves. Then the driving out and getting ready at the trail-head. It is real now. Love that feeling!

You catch the first glimpse of Weaver's along the Bluff Springs Trail approaching Bark's Canyon. It looms up bigger and bigger as the trail miles roll off. It's getting more real. Take the cut-off from the Terrapin past Bluff Saddle and up into the little basin. Weaver's is now a giant fang of rock rising a thousand feet above, the route up in plain view. Nobody else around. Good! That is just how I want it. Scramble up the scree slope. The east side is worse than the west side for this. No trail and only a cairn or two. Loose and crumbly. Get up to the rock face. The old rope is still there. I consider taking it down and bringing it out but I know I will be busy just looking after myself today. Can't use the rope and don't want to anyway. Don't know how long it has been there or how it is anchored and it is only your life that you trust to it if you do. Have a snack and some water. Make the final disposition as to what goes in the little pack and what stays at the base. Achingly real now. Time to go.

The old rope hangs off to the left of the first pitch as you go up. Good hand and foot holds but after you gain thirty feet any notion of safety is left behind and it is just you and the rock. Keep telling yourself "this is do-able" and focus on the rock in front of you. Make frequent mental notes about the way back down. Don't want to get off route in here, but I think if you did it would be quickly self-correcting. You would just plain run out of possible and have to back up. Some interesting moves required. This is not the scree chute on Brown's. Fifteen minutes of climbing and there is the chock-stone. Relief! I know the route from here on. Not a cake walk but at least I know. A little ten foot vertical face with good holds and then a scramble for the next few hundred feet and around a bush to the ramp. Follow that to the end past the fifty foot cliff face and climb up the last pitch. It hangs you out a bit over the west side but again the holds are excellent. Top out. Ah! Time for some Bowmore!

Didn't spend too much time up there. Just some photos and a little video. The realization that you now have to down-climb this whole thing starts to take hold. Going up is easy. Down-climbing is where bad things happen. Can't avoid looking down and there are some places where you hang out over space and simply have to lower yourself down and be confident that your foot will find something. Can't see the next hold. Just too vertical. The nerves rev up when you get back to the old rope. A few more moves and you will be down! Don't want any mishaps now, nearly done. Getting back down onto solid ground is when I finally allow myself to exhale and celebrate with a couple of well earned rebel yells and of course, more Bowmore. Deservedly or not, got away with it again.

At 60 years and 7 months I am not nearly the oldest to do this but I'm guessing that the over 60 free solo club is relatively small. Need to set the bar high for the youngsters. I realize it ain't Nanga Parbat, but it'll do.
_____________________
"All is as thinking makes it so."

- Marcus Aurelius
Mar 25 2017
DennisWilliams
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 Photos 395
 Triplogs 63

63 male
 Joined Feb 06 2012
 Mesa, AZ
Superstition Mtns - NW / HandPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Climbing avatar Mar 25 2017
DennisWilliams
Climbing4.00 Miles 1,200 AEG
Climbing4.00 Miles   5 Hrs   30 Mns   1.14 mph
1,200 ft AEG   2 Hrs    Break25 LBS Pack
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
 The Razors Edge 5.6SportG3 Pitches
I hope you like air.
The Razor's Edge.

After going up Weaver's earlier this month my friend Jack recommended I take the intro outdoor rock climbing class offered by the AMC. A curriculum of two 3.5 hour classroom sessions, a Saturday / Sunday two day rock climbing extravaganza first at the McDowells and then at Queen Creek, then two 3.5 hour rock gym sessions practicing self rescue (a.k.a. fun with prusiks, and they are no fun at all), and finally a graduation climb. There were eight grad climbs to chose from; easy single pitch to multi-pitch, slabs, cracks, tough routes in the McDowells, on Pinnacle Peak, the Praying Monk. But of all those on offer The Razor's Edge on The Hand in my beloved Superstitions was the only one to pique my interest. It was not the most difficult, being rated at 5.6. Some of the slab climbs in the McDowells were rated up to 5.9 (well beyond my present capability). The Razor's Edge is renowned for it's extreme exposure and that is the attraction. Man, they are not kidding!

The Hand is the furthest of a group of rock spires detached from the very northwest corner of the Supers. It is accessed from the Lost Dutchman State Park at the Cholla Trailhed via the Treasure Loop trail. It is the one that appears to be slightly bent over toward the south, because it is. Rising almost 200 vertical feet from the little saddle that separates it from the group it is usually climbed in 3 pitches, as we did. We were a party of six; four students and two instructors.

It must be remembered that the following observations are those of a novice climber. The first pitch is really a short scramble that can be done without ropes but it is easier to gear up at the bottom where there is room to move around. There is certainly no room to spare at any of the stopping points along the way up. It begins to get exciting at the top of the first pitch where the route narrows down to maybe six feet in width and the drop off on either side becomes noticeable. The second pitch offers some fairly vertical stuff with excellent holds all the way as the route further narrows and your heart rate goes up. The top of the second pitch is referred to as the "chicken ledge". There is room for about three climbers to wedge in there with their ropes and gear. We wedged in five. At that location the route is about three feet in width and you actually straddle the rock like sitting a horse. The drops on either side are vertical and about seventy feet. You could drop a rock and it will not bounce until reaching the bottom. The third pitch is really exciting. Curl your toes, speed your breathing, guts in a knot, and make your heart race. The route is straight up the edge of the rock wall and at points is no more than two and a half feet wide, hence the name. You can actually wrap your arms around the route and it gets pretty close to vertical. Even though the holds are excellent your world shrinks down to a very small chunk of rock right in front of you. Nothing else focuses your attention like that. It becomes just too frightening to look anywhere else. As you go up the drops on either side grow to one hundred fifty feet. That is a whole lot of air around you and very little solid ground, and none of it to stand on. Topping out you once again sit astride a fin of rock, now over one hundred sixty feet off the deck. Vertical drops on either side. The descent is a real treat. How often do you get a one hundred sixty foot free hanging rappel? Trust your training, trust your gear, and step backward off into space. The wind blew us all around on the way down, occasionally bumping the rock face. Thrilling!

A smaller party could have done it much more quickly. With such a large group there was necessarily a lot of waiting for climbers to come up and to manage all the rope and gear safely. Short bursts of climbing exhilaration in between long periods of jittery anticipation mixed with dread. There were about twenty total students in the class and a high level of interest in The Hand as the grad climb. I think the instructors limited our climbing party knowing there was very little room on the route. Maybe they drew lots. There were certainly better climbers (compared to me, at least) that wanted The Hand. Prior to the grad climb the lead instructor looked each of us four right in the eyes and said "No freaking out! Barring extreme emergency the only way down is to go up." As it happened we all made it up without showing overt panic. At the very least we all hid it well. If you want to test your response to what is called exposure this climb will do. The instructors did a fine job of getting us all up there and back down without so much as a chipped fingernail. Saw a nice rattler on the hike back out. An exceptionally fine day. Deluxe!

There is an excellent drone video on YouTube made in 2015 showing the route for The Razor's Edge on The Hand.
_____________________
"All is as thinking makes it so."

- Marcus Aurelius
Mar 03 2017
DennisWilliams
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 Photos 395
 Triplogs 63

63 male
 Joined Feb 06 2012
 Mesa, AZ
Weaver's Needle SummitPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hike & Climb avatar Mar 03 2017
DennisWilliams
Hike & Climb8.10 Miles 3,414 AEG
Hike & Climb8.10 Miles   12 Hrs   24 Mns   0.78 mph
3,414 ft AEG   2 Hrs    Break25 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Well now. That was a peach!

Prior to last summer I had never worn a climbing harness. My buddy Jack took me for three practice climbs in the last few weeks to get ready for this one. We did some climbs at Papago Park and also the North McDowells. Gardeners Wall and the Girlie-Man Wall. Hey, I didn't name it. West-side Phil rounded out our climbing trio.

Funny how Weaver's seems so much bigger when approaching with the intent to climb. The trip stats of 8.1 miles and 3400' AEG don't do it justice for sheer exertion. Make no mistake, this is a long, hard day. As so many other trip reports have written, the 45 degree scree slope approach to the base of the Needle and then the return down the slope afterwards are the least fun part of it. Humping up and down all the gear and such. We found the cairned use trail north of Fremont Saddle and that did make it easier so I won't disparage Cairn Builder Man this time. The climbing was pretty much as advertised. Solid foot and hand holds everywhere, though there were times it was tough finding spots to place protection. Jack ran out a 30+ foot lead before taking the chock-stone on the left. I was happy I didn't have to do that without protection. Above the chock-stone we used rope only for the rappel on the way down from the very top. We could have down-climbed this part but we had the rope and the free hanging rappel off the summit was cool.

Some climb the whole thing without rope, even the western route. I guess I can see how that's done but it would take some nerve. I won't do it, at least not from the west. If the east side is easier I might harbor the possibility as a stretch goal. A really big stretch that is. Truthfully, you never have to look for more than 5 seconds to find an excellent hand or foot hold that will comfortably support your weight and you don't have to plan quick moves ahead. Even for the down-climbs you can take your time and look for the next hold with confidence and move only when you are ready. Exposure is in the mind and there isn't any if you don't look down (says the tyro with next to zero climbing experience). The only problem ( ! ) is that if for some goofy reason you did fall, there are many stretches where the consequences would be the most extreme imaginable.

It was a real thrill to finally get up there. Have been looking at it for 50 years. Profoundly humbled, I see it now with new eyes. No silly notion of conquest involved. As with all such adventures Weaver's simply deigned to let me get away with it. Aeons after the last human being has lamented the passing of our species it will still be there, a mighty obelisk erected by nature in celebration of it's own majesty and human-kind's insignificance.
Culture
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_____________________
"All is as thinking makes it so."

- Marcus Aurelius
Dec 16 2016
DennisWilliams
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 Photos 395
 Triplogs 63

63 male
 Joined Feb 06 2012
 Mesa, AZ
Battleship Mountain - SuperstitionsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 16 2016
DennisWilliams
Hiking11.80 Miles 2,100 AEG
Hiking11.80 Miles   7 Hrs   22 Mns   1.85 mph
2,100 ft AEG   1 Hour    Break15 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
A fine, rainy day for a hike up the Battleship.

Took a friend from the gym up there. I had not been to the top of Battleship before. Got up on the stern once but had to leave due to poor time allocation. Really enjoyed the traverse along the length of the ship with the sheer drops on both sides. A great hike and one that I will put on my short list of favorites. Will definitely go back and take others that might be in need of an intro to scrambling. But for sure the best part are the views. I have seen the same terrain from many different vantages and the western Supers are some of the best country on earth, but on Battleship the sense of space and the overall composition of form, color, and scene in every direction are true masterpieces.

Here one enters the Great Cathedral of the Superstitions. Upon gaining the top of the southern mesa, the narthex of the cathedral, the use of hushed tones comes instinctively. Proceed north in solemnity along the nave and past the great eastern transept, where views into the ragged gash of the La Barge Box are evocative of the silent pipes of some colossal organ stretched toward the heavens. Continue the pilgrimage to reach the narrows, the architrave in inverse, and a sudden quickening of the pulse. Approaching the sanctuary that is the upper reaches of the summit block the need to maintain four points of contact with the rock induces spontaneous but entirely appropriate genuflections. From the top the apse extends to the north, the bow of the ship, unifying the whole. Here behold in astonishment the stupendous act of creation encircling you. Here High Mass has been in continuous celebration for aeons.
_____________________
"All is as thinking makes it so."

- Marcus Aurelius
Nov 18 2016
DennisWilliams
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 Photos 395
 Triplogs 63

63 male
 Joined Feb 06 2012
 Mesa, AZ
Marsh Valley LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 18 2016
DennisWilliams
Hiking17.00 Miles 2,630 AEG
Hiking17.00 Miles   8 Hrs   29 Mns   2.56 mph
2,630 ft AEG   1 Hour   50 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Did this nice big loop CCW and threw in a scamper up to the top of Black Top Mesa from Bull Pass for my morning break. Terrific 360 degree views into the heart of the western Supers from there. Met a couple HAZers at the TH and passed two other hikers near Marsh Valley doing the same loop but from the opposite direction. A few people on the Dutchman and Second Water near the trail-head but otherwise enjoyed the solitude and lovely weather. Saw a nice tarantula on the Cavalry Trail.

No water anywhere except at the bottom of Second Water, and you always see it there. Nice to know where there is "save your life" water in case of need. A beautiful day and a fine stretch of the legs.
_____________________
"All is as thinking makes it so."

- Marcus Aurelius
Sep 18 2016
DennisWilliams
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 Photos 395
 Triplogs 63

63 male
 Joined Feb 06 2012
 Mesa, AZ
Superstition Peak 5057 via HieroPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 18 2016
DennisWilliams
Hiking8.00 Miles 3,000 AEG
Hiking8.00 Miles   6 Hrs   20 Mns   1.51 mph
3,000 ft AEG   1 Hour   2 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
First time back in the western Supers since spring. Nice to get in a late summer hike up Hieroglyphic to the summit of Superstition Mountain. Started at 0540 to beat the heat and got back down right at noon. I knew it would be brushy up above the petros so wore long pants and was glad of it. Still had lots of cactus and cats claw encounters. No snakes. Quite a bit of smoke to the north from the fires below the rim. Could even smell it occasionally. Back down at the bottom my car thermometer showed 100F but there was a cooling breeze for the last couple miles. With the 35F dew point it was still quite pleasant. So many easterners think you're crazy if you tell them you hike in the desert during summer. They don't understand that if the dew point is below 50F even 100F air temperature is quite pleasant. Perspiration evaporates quickly cooling you off and you stay dry and comfortable. Relative humidity is a relatively useless number.
_____________________
"All is as thinking makes it so."

- Marcus Aurelius
Sep 05 2016
DennisWilliams
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 Photos 395
 Triplogs 63

63 male
 Joined Feb 06 2012
 Mesa, AZ
Humphreys via Inner BasinFlagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 05 2016
DennisWilliams
Hiking15.80 Miles 4,400 AEG
Hiking15.80 Miles   9 Hrs      2.02 mph
4,400 ft AEG   1 Hour   10 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
A fine stretch of the legs in celebration of a milestone.

The weather map showed low dew points so I decided to go up for my fourth time this year. Maybe one of the last good weekend days for a while. Moisture is coming back this week and soon it will turn much colder. Made a late start on the trail at 0915 and got back just as cars at the trail-head were beginning to turn on their headlights. The aspen cathedral is still green but the low plants above tree line are brown. It is coming. Super windy and cold on the summit, but no clouds. Moved well and felt stronger today than in quite some time. A pleasure at any age but more so now. The gang on the summit sang Happy Birthday, copyright notwithstanding. That was fun and I really appreciated it. Good clear air. Sighted Four Peaks 110 miles to the south and Navajo Mountain about 120 miles to the north-northeast. Almost 10,000 square miles of God's country in view. That is more than all of Vermont, the 45th largest state, and five others.

Correction: In my senility I used a radius of 55 miles, or half the distance to Four Peaks. If I use the full 120 miles that gives 45,000 square miles of country to look at. Larger than Ohio and 17 others. Now that is a good chunk of country!
_____________________
"All is as thinking makes it so."

- Marcus Aurelius
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average hiking speed 1.47 mph
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