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347 triplogs

Mar 29 2018
syoung
avatar

 Guides 6
 Routes 23
 Photos 1,125
 Triplogs 593

40 male
 Joined May 23 2012
 Mesa, AZ
Peak 2830 - Superstition WildernessPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 29 2018
syoung
Hiking12.71 Miles 2,079 AEG
Hiking12.71 Miles   5 Hrs   44 Mns   2.28 mph
2,079 ft AEG      9 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
I've been wanting to tag this one for a while now.

Once you leave Boulder Canyon, there is no path. I tried following JJ and Johnlp's track from 2013 to the best of my ability. The paths of attack look almost impossible from Boulder Canyon. Once you begin making your way up, however, you soon realize that isn't the case. A few slick rock areas were challenging, on a similar level to Flatiron or Picketpost. When I reached the saddle the views were pretty good. Making my way over to actual peak I was blown away by the amount of poop everywhere. This place is definitely a favorite bedding down area. There is a short, exposed scramble to make the peak. Once up top, it too was coated in tons of the black pellets. I signed the summit log, and it appears the last visitors up here, besides the sheep, were the aforementioned folks in 2013.

Going down I decided to duck down into Labarge, again following their track. Up to this point in time, that is my biggest hiking decision making blunder. To go the 1/4 mile or however long it took around an hour. It was the thickest, most overgrown, off-trail exploring I have ever done. Never again.

La Barge Box (I think it is called) is my favorite place in all the Superstitions that I have traveled to thus far. It is otherworldly. I sat and relaxed for a bit while watching the fish go about their business.
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Mar 10 2018
syoung
avatar

 Guides 6
 Routes 23
 Photos 1,125
 Triplogs 593

40 male
 Joined May 23 2012
 Mesa, AZ
Battleship Mountain from Canyon LakePhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 10 2018
syoung
Hiking14.31 Miles 3,241 AEG
Hiking14.31 Miles   4 Hrs   16 Mns   3.35 mph
3,241 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners none no partners
_____________________
Mar 03 2018
syoung
avatar

 Guides 6
 Routes 23
 Photos 1,125
 Triplogs 593

40 male
 Joined May 23 2012
 Mesa, AZ
Peak 3845 - Superstition MountainsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 03 2018
syoung
Hiking8.67 Miles 3,288 AEG
Hiking8.67 Miles
3,288 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Saw this new description and figured I'd give it a go today. I was interested if it was the place I ended up with a friend back when I started hiking. She knew the way to Flatiron, as the story goes, and I was blind apparently, thus we ending up here. We were able to finally reach Flatiron a day or two later. While the location we ended up in was not this peak, I was able to stumble upon that locale and even found the rock I managed to wedge into the wall to commemorate the experience..

This is a nice little side excursion that offers up a unique vantage of Flatiron. I Definitely recommend checking it out.
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Mar 01 2018
syoung
avatar

 Guides 6
 Routes 23
 Photos 1,125
 Triplogs 593

40 male
 Joined May 23 2012
 Mesa, AZ
Ironwood Ridgeline 3108 Loop - Goldfield MtnsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 01 2018
syoung
Hiking5.37 Miles 1,683 AEG
Hiking5.37 Miles   1 Hour   53 Mns   2.85 mph
1,683 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
This one turned out to be much more difficult than I originally planned. The down climb from the last peak, to the final saddle, was more challenging for me than down climb on Weaver's a few years back. I'll have to pay attention more to the route if I ever attempt this one again.
_____________________
Feb 19 2018
syoung
avatar

 Guides 6
 Routes 23
 Photos 1,125
 Triplogs 593

40 male
 Joined May 23 2012
 Mesa, AZ
Pyramid to Goat HillPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 19 2018
syoung
Hiking9.14 Miles 2,141 AEG
Hiking9.14 Miles   2 Hrs   1 Min   4.53 mph
2,141 ft AEG
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I lost a black pair of Julbo sunglasses somewhere along Pyramid. If you stumble upon them, please let me know.
_____________________
Feb 03 2018
syoung
avatar

 Guides 6
 Routes 23
 Photos 1,125
 Triplogs 593

40 male
 Joined May 23 2012
 Mesa, AZ
Bluff Spring Mountain SummitPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 03 2018
syoung
Hiking10.04 Miles 2,789 AEG
Hiking10.04 Miles   3 Hrs   12 Mns   3.14 mph
2,789 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
I wanted to tag a peak I have yet to today and this one caught my eye a few weeks ago.

Started up the trail around 7AM from an already bustling trailhead. That first climb up, which I am assuming is Cardiac Hill, is quite a start to the hike. The turnoff for the off trail adventure to the peak is easy enough to find. Following the cairns up wasn't too hard until the plateau. Making my way across the mesa I tagged the smaller, unnamed peak and then headed over to the actual peak. The views of Weaver's are pretty amazing from this vantage point.

I had a decision to make, to either go back the way I came or follow a track I had from JuanJaimeiii's adventure out here a few years ago. I decided to follow the track and make my way across the ridgeline and down the western flank of the mountain. While not overly difficult it was extremely time consuming and I had to cut off on a shortcut back on Terrapin.

Ran into a bunch of people on their way up the closer to the trailhead I got. Peralta was still full, the overflow was nearly but the Wave Cave, wow! It had more cars at it than the other two combined, or at least it seemed that way. The FS was there directly traffic on where to park. Pretty crazy how popular that area is now.
_____________________
Jan 25 2018
syoung
avatar

 Guides 6
 Routes 23
 Photos 1,125
 Triplogs 593

40 male
 Joined May 23 2012
 Mesa, AZ
Pass Mountain RidgelinePhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 25 2018
syoung
Hiking7.09 Miles 1,503 AEG
Hiking7.09 Miles
1,503 ft AEG
 no routes
Partners none no partners
First after school hike in 2018. Again this turned into a slog. I decided to go up the area I came down last time. I figured this would allow me to come down the easier part on the south summit. Pretty sure I stumbled upon a mountain lion rest area? A 12x9 foot area of all matted down grass with some scat in the corner. It was kind of freaky in a way that made it feel like I was being watched.
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Jan 20 2018
syoung
avatar

 Guides 6
 Routes 23
 Photos 1,125
 Triplogs 593

40 male
 Joined May 23 2012
 Mesa, AZ
Superstition Peak 5057 from Lost DutchmanPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 20 2018
syoung
Hiking16.56 Miles 6,161 AEG
Hiking16.56 Miles   5 Hrs   41 Mns   2.91 mph
6,161 ft AEG
 
With the promise of some not quite Arizona friendly weather I decided to enjoy it by trekking across the ridgeline and back. I got a start around 6:10 from Lost Dutchman. It was incredibly windy all the way to the basin. From there until the ridgeline the mountain absorbed any winds being sent towards me. I changed out of my trail runners at the basin and threw on my approach shoes for the climb up to the second saddle. I usually switch back to trail runners when heading out onto the ridgeline but decided to stay in the approach shoes. Turns out I pounded out the rest of the trip in them.

The return trip back to Lost Dutchman was a race against the approaching weather, which I lost. Ducking down from the Second Saddle to return to the basin and the skies opened up on me again.

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Jan 13 2018
syoung
avatar

 Guides 6
 Routes 23
 Photos 1,125
 Triplogs 593

40 male
 Joined May 23 2012
 Mesa, AZ
Black Top MesaPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 13 2018
syoung
Hiking13.48 Miles 2,303 AEG
Hiking13.48 Miles   3 Hrs   24 Mns   3.96 mph
2,303 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Wonderful day out here. The grasses on Black Top are all dry and matted done, which was nice compared to the forest I had to trek through last time. However, with the recent rain, tons of fresh grass has shot through the underbrush forming splotches of green. Some water pooling on Black Mesa; but none observed on any other trail.

Note to self: much easier to cruise on back to First Water via Dutchman than to slog across Black Mesa #241.
_____________________
Jan 05 2018
syoung
avatar

 Guides 6
 Routes 23
 Photos 1,125
 Triplogs 593

40 male
 Joined May 23 2012
 Mesa, AZ
Peralta to Fremont SaddlePhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 05 2018
syoung
Hiking6.05 Miles 1,581 AEG
Hiking6.05 Miles   1 Hour   50 Mns   3.30 mph
1,581 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
I wanted to head somewhere today that I hadn't been in a long while; over 2 years now. I had to get an early start due to late morning plans. It was slow going on the way up due to the darkness. Made it to the saddle and waited for the sunrise after I headed over to Pinon Camp. Absolutely breathtaking. I am no photographer but I forgot my camera and had to use my cell phone to try to capture the scene. Ah well, it is permanently etched in my noggin.

I have never seen the road out there in better condition than it was this morning.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Peralta Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
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Dec 09 2017
syoung
avatar

 Guides 6
 Routes 23
 Photos 1,125
 Triplogs 593

40 male
 Joined May 23 2012
 Mesa, AZ
Superstition Peak 4648Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 09 2017
syoung
Hiking7.80 Miles 3,156 AEG
Hiking7.80 Miles   3 Hrs   38 Mns   2.17 mph
3,156 ft AEG      2 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I've been meaning to tag this peak for years now. One day, several years ago, Gardka31 and I went exploring on the southern side of Flatiron. We were trying to make it around to this peak. We stopped to enjoy the views and as we were chatting we say something get up and move around over on. We were too far away to see precisely what it was but it was only one. I am not saying it was a kitty but pretty sure the sheep in the area travel in groups (and we were certain there was only one, we stared at that rocky area for 20 minutes afterwards) so not sure what else it could have been.

Anyways, I have always wanted to check this one off but usually, if I am in this area, I am busting butt over to 5057 and back. Today I decided to knock it off.

This craggly peak reminds me of Weathertop (from Lord of the Rings) when you view it from the saddle. The actual peak is just a bunch of hoodoos all joined together. I climbed up on top of the tallest one and called it a day shortly after (much too windy, almost was blown over).

I ran into Lindaagm and The_N before they embarked on their ridgeline journey. Hopefully the wind let up on them a bit!
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Nov 18 2017
syoung
avatar

 Guides 6
 Routes 23
 Photos 1,125
 Triplogs 593

40 male
 Joined May 23 2012
 Mesa, AZ
Aylor's ArchPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 18 2017
syoung
Hiking10.52 Miles 1,790 AEG
Hiking10.52 Miles   3 Hrs   13 Mns   3.27 mph
1,790 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I got an early morning start on this one. I was on trail by 5am which meant plenty of solitude and darkness to be had. Being out in the Superstitions alone, in conditions like this, is both amazing and occasionally terrifying. I managed to catch a glimpse of a couple meteors from the shower.

The trail was somewhat overgrown, more so than I've seen out here.

I took a scary spill once off trail and navigating the dry creek bed beneath Palomino. The damage was as follows: bruised my shin and scrapped my elbow.

The final push up Palomino reminds me a lot of the final half of Picketpost. The ground is full of pinball size rock, and footing is at a premium. The mailbox and log are still mia up top.
Named place
Named place
Aylor's Arch
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Sep 09 2017
syoung
avatar

 Guides 6
 Routes 23
 Photos 1,125
 Triplogs 593

40 male
 Joined May 23 2012
 Mesa, AZ
Flatiron Hike - SuperstitionsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 09 2017
syoung
Hiking9.14 Miles 4,177 AEG
Hiking9.14 Miles   3 Hrs   40 Mns   2.49 mph
4,177 ft AEG
 no routes
Partners none no partners
#399

The portions of the trail that were washed away a month or so ago, inside Lost Dutchman, have been repaired. They put up a stone barrier to where people thought the trail was.
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Jul 28 2017
syoung
avatar

 Guides 6
 Routes 23
 Photos 1,125
 Triplogs 593

40 male
 Joined May 23 2012
 Mesa, AZ
Goat Hill Loop via Pyramid / BurseraPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 28 2017
syoung
Hiking10.79 Miles 2,434 AEG
Hiking10.79 Miles   3 Hrs   3 Mns   3.54 mph
2,434 ft AEG
 
no photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Bursera has a few spots that are eroded on the end furthest from the Pyramid trailhead. National and Pyramid are in really good shape.
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Jul 25 2017
syoung
avatar

 Guides 6
 Routes 23
 Photos 1,125
 Triplogs 593

40 male
 Joined May 23 2012
 Mesa, AZ
Flatiron Hike - SuperstitionsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 25 2017
syoung
Hiking7.04 Miles 2,683 AEG
Hiking7.04 Miles   2 Hrs   26 Mns   2.89 mph
2,683 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
#394

Now that Kili is out of the way, I decided to head up here. The rains have washed away large portions of Siphon Draw. The trail is completely gone in 4 separate areas of the park. Into the FS area the trail has 2 large areas washed away. I spoke to a ranger about this at the end and she isn't anticipating any work on the trail to be done until September at the earliest.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Siphon Draw Waterfall Medium flow Medium flow
_____________________
Jul 16 2017
syoung
avatar

 Guides 6
 Routes 23
 Photos 1,125
 Triplogs 593

40 male
 Joined May 23 2012
 Mesa, AZ
KilimanjaroAfrica, WW
Africa, WW
Hiking avatar Jul 16 2017
syoung
Hiking45.02 Miles 14,670 AEG
Hiking45.02 Miles   23 Hrs   12 Mns   1.94 mph
14,670 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
JuanJaimeiii
(Note- I wasn't sure how to add the acclimatization hikes as they ran over the main track so I cut them out of the gpx and added the stats to the totals.)

Back in December ‘14 I had made the long journey to Tanzania in hopes of summiting Kilimanjaro. Through a combination of illness and bad food, my dreams were derailed even before I stepped foot on the mountain. On the morning the climb was to begin, I was in my hotel room throwing up - repeatedly. Needless to say, the guides would not let me go.

For the most part, I had moved on from it. I was annoyed that I had trained for so long to get ready and couldn’t even put myself to the test, but that is life sometimes; nothing is guaranteed. I went on my way to living life, putting this failure behind me, until JJ brought it up sometime last year. He asked if I wanted to go give it another whirl.

The journey over was long, 29 hours long. I had started shifting to Tanzanian time (10 hours ahead) about a week or so before we departed. We also planned a short safari for the 2nd day we were in country, so I was hoping that was enough to get the jet lag bugs out before the climb started on the 3rd day.

Driving to the Marangu Gate and registering I was amped ready to go. Only thing is that we still had a 2 hour drive to the Rongai Gate. After registering, and buying a Coke, we loaded back up into the bus and began the trek over to Rongai. Along the way we ate a packed lunch that consisted of chicken (kuku) and various other odds and ends. I am not a huge fan of kuku but this was quite tasty. So much so that I am going to have to dig some to find this recipe for it.

Arriving at the gate we disembarked from the bus and loaded ourselves up with water. Starting up the trail, even though the pace was incredibly slow, it felt so amazing to actually be on the mountain. We marched through potato fields and corn before arriving at our first campsite. Upon arrival at the campsite the porters all stopped what they were doing to greet us with a song. It was pretty amazing.

At dinner that evening we were encouraged to eat and eat and eat. I took it to heart and ate way too much. Soon after dinner, John and I retired to our tent. John froze that evening but it wasn’t THAT cold. Ok, it was pretty cold, but I am more accustomed to it. Plus, a warm bottle of water shoved into the bottom of your sleeping bag works wonders!

I woke up around 4:30 or so. I had to pee all night but you really don’t want to get out of your warm cocoon to go take care of business. I somehow managed to fall back asleep, without making my way out of the sleeping bag. I sprung up awake around 6:20 or so. We were due to be woken up at 6:30 by the porters. Instantly, I felt lightheaded and the world spinning. I managed to get my shoes on and stumble outside of the tent. The world was still spinning. tarzan swing. I sat down at a nearby picnic table while the porters fixed me a cup of tea. I took the tea and started walking around. I made it back over by the camp hut and sat on a bench and watched the most amazing sunrise take place before me. All I could keep thinking about, however, is how in the hell is this happening again!?

After several minutes of sitting there, I realized that I had to get my stuff packed up inside the tent. I made my way back to the tent, climbed inside and told John that I almost puked out there. Started shuffling around in the tent and oh boy, I ripped back open the tent door and started smiling at the ground, as the guides put it. I made my way to mess tent afterwards and could not make any headway into eating breakfast. I excused myself and headed for the toilets and spent some time there excavating my innards.

I am not sure what happened; nerves, meds, food, altitude, but by the time we started hiking for the day, I started to feel better and better. By the end of the day I felt pretty good.

The acclimatization hikes were my least favorite part of this excursion. They are a necessity, however, IMHO. We learned that not all outfits make them mandatory. It is not that the hikes were hard, it is just so incredibly boring; but then again, what else are we supposed to do with our time? Each acclimation hike was an extremely slow and easy crawl up the mountain for a little over an hour.

The day we made our way to Kibo Hut @ ~15,000 feet, was quite an accomplishment but also one of the most mentally demanding days I have ever had. First we started with a 3.5 mile hike from 3rd cave to Kibo, which took roughly 5 hours and gained almost 3,000 feet of elevation. We arrived at Kibo, ate lunch, and were instructed to rest for the remainder of the day until dinner time. John decided to go on an adventure with one of the guides. I had a slight twinge of pain in an ancient injury and decided to rest it. I also had a slight headache so I figured that was the best option.
I couldn’t sleep. I just stayed in the tent and wrote a bunch. When John got back we chatted about his hike and he was in better spirits, having been able to stretch his legs. Heading to dinner everyone was passively excited. Once dinner was finished, and the sun began to set, people hurried back to their tents and started throwing on their layers for the nights summit attempts. It was cold. The nerves were jumping, but thankfully, we both found a few hours of sleep.

We both awoke before the porters came to our tent to wake us. It was dark and cold in the tent and my head was pounding but I just started throwing on my last few layers. Even with the headache I was legitimately excited by the opportunity that was presented before us. We had made it this far and we were about to get a chance to test our mettle. Heading over to the mess tent it seemed like everyone was in a daze a bit. I mentioned that we should be excited for this chance, half trying to pull everyone together, half trying to build up my own nerve.

The start time of 11:10 came and we were on our way up the mountain. The pace was slow and deliberate. Pole pole as the saying goes. I have never been a fan of hiking when I should be sleeping and the nausea set in rather quickly for me. Within the first couple of minutes I had a gut check in that I had to make sure I didn’t upchuck. Thankfully, I was able to keep my stomach contents down. Thanks to the Sports Beans John had given me, I also started to get a bit of energy once the nausea settled. We walked for roughly an hour before stopping for a short break. Everyone still seemed good so we continued onwards.

During the next segment we had a particularly scary incident occur. A team member was led, hand in hand, from the rear of our line to near the front by a concerned guide. Apparently he had been struggling a bit. In a few short minutes it would become evident just how much he was struggling. The group pulled up and the guides huddled around the stricken teammate. They asked him a bunch of questions to which he had no reply. In the confusion the lead guide called John up front, thinking it was his friend. Turns out, the altitude had rendered him near the point of losing consciousness. He had no recollection of where he was, how many fingers were flashed before him, or who he was. It was scary. Thankfully, the guides made the quick determination to give him oxygen and then hightail it back down the mountain with him. As the guides got him taken care of and started down the path, Davis (the lead guide) summoned the rest of the team to continue forth into the darkness.
As we climbed higher and higher you fought the urge to look up. When you did, you caught a glimpse of a trail of head torches gleaming away, seemingly forever. I would stare off along what I thought was the horizon, and hence the end of this segment of our journey, and try to figure out if the speck of light I was focusing on was a star or torch. If it was a star, then hooray! We were much closer than I realized. Unfortunately, they were never stars as they invariably began to move.

The pace we maintained was slow; very, very slow. It made breathing easy enough, but maintaining body heat was tough for the team. People were starting to get cold and started questioning if they would be able to make it at this pace. These grumblings eventually made it up to the lead guide and we stopped moving to discuss breaking up into two groups. For myself at least, I was perfectly fine temperature wise. I was actually slightly too hot and had unzipped a few layers. I was happy with the pace as I was pretty sure I could keep it up all day long. The only concern that I did have was with how slow it was and thus how long we were spending at altitude. The group eventually decided to stick together. Team Simba was a team and we weren’t going to change that.

The rest of the climb to Gilman’s Point was uneventful. We had one teammate become ill and came up a few minutes after everyone, but the 8 of us remaining all made it. According to all the reading I had done, all the countless hours scouring people's blogs about the climb, once you reached the top of the crater, the real work was done. I was feeling downright jovial at this point. Holy hell, I had been redeemed from my previous failure!

We drank ginger tea, the guides drank some sort of non-alcoholic beer energy drink. Soon we were on our way. Our slow pace was still intact. We gawked at the views of the crater below us, we were downright jovial. It was only a little over a mile to Uhuru Peak and the Rooftop of Africa!

Upon pulling up to Stella Point, however, I felt a bit off. I started to develop a severe headache. It felt like someone had put a vice around my temples and began squeezing it, tighter and tighter. At Stella Point, I popped some pain meds to hopefully alleviate the pain. It did not work. Onward we went.

In all of that research I did, and the information I found about once you reach the crater rim the hard work is over, I never once stumbled across anything talking about the false summits. I lost count but there were several. And they sucked. I just kept my head down, Pole, Pole, and stopped when I had to stop. The team encouraged me to keep going. I had made it this far and was so very close. The pain was immense but there was no way I was going to stop.

When the famous sign came into view I became emotional. I couldn’t believe that it was right there in front of me. We had made it! Wow!

We spent several minutes up there taking pictures and congratulating one another. When it was finally time to descend I decided that I had enough of the elevation and started my way down like I was coming off of Flatiron. I knew that I had to get down lower to start feeling better. The guides called out but myself and a teammate were feeling it bad so we took off together. Eventually, a guide caught up to us around Stella Point.

Overall, my life will never be the same. This was a trip of lifetime. The culture, the pain, the friendships forged, the struggles, the triumphant; it was the most alive I have ever felt. I can not wait for the next adventure.
_____________________
Jul 03 2017
syoung
avatar

 Guides 6
 Routes 23
 Photos 1,125
 Triplogs 593

40 male
 Joined May 23 2012
 Mesa, AZ
Nakalele BlowholeMaui, HI
Maui, HI
Hiking avatar Jul 03 2017
syoung
Hiking1.07 Miles 200 AEG
Hiking1.07 Miles
200 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Heading back down here again but took the shorter route. The hole wasn't as active as it was back in October but still impressive. The tide pools here were much more limited as well.
_____________________
2 archives
Jun 19 2017
syoung
avatar

 Guides 6
 Routes 23
 Photos 1,125
 Triplogs 593

40 male
 Joined May 23 2012
 Mesa, AZ
Mount Whitney 14,505Sierra Nevada, CA
Sierra Nevada, CA
Hiking avatar Jun 19 2017
syoung
Hiking20.84 Miles 7,162 AEG
Hiking20.84 Miles   10 Hrs   11 Mns   2.71 mph
7,162 ft AEG   2 Hrs   30 Mns Break30 LBS Pack
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
With Kilimanjaro coming in a few short weeks I really needed to get some more mental prep work done. Whitney is something that is great at being a test of your mental mettle.

On the journey out we stayed in Anaheim for a couple days prior to visit some friends. I really didn’t think much about it until the drive to Lone Pine when I was thinking about the ocean. And now the first doubts started to creep in. I had been scouring the various message boards and groups to get as much info about the trail conditions for several weeks. WIth the record snow in the Sierra’s now melting, that alone had planted the seed of doubt into my mind.

I started up the trail around 1:30AM. Instantly I had to backtrack as I left my camera back in the car. I snatched that and started to head back up again. A few minutes later I noticed that my backside was wet. My Camelbak was leaking. It was a good thing I was dropped off at the trailhead otherwise I might have packed it in. (Ok, not really) Turns out, I think at least, the connection with the tube and bladder came loose. All I know is that it didn’t present any issues for the rest of the day.

With the amount of snow the mountains received this winter the stream crossings were going to be their own mini games. The first crossing was crazy! It was pretty unsettling starting across a stream and not being able to see the bottom, nor the other side, due to the darkness. The really creepy part is the sound. It sounds angry, powerful, and downright hateful. One mistake and it is ready to send you rushing down, down, down.

I was shocked that I passed two separate groups on their way down. I made small talk with the first group, about trail conditions and the alpine start; but the second group was an Asian collection who didn’t say much.

The log bridge crossing was hairy. One of the logs broke and is angled weirdly, necessitating a leap. The water underneath the logs (just barely) is rushing by in a low rumble as well.

I had read that the snow abruptly starts right past Lone Pine lake and that was spot on. The sign stating that you need a permit to proceed was buried. I grew up on the east coast, in the lake effect snow belt of upstate NY, but was still in awe. The snow, at times, caused the trail to disappear into the night. It made for quite an ordeal in trying to follow it. There is quite a well trodden path in the snow but it can easily be missed in a few spots that transition from dirt to snow.

The waterfall by Outpost Camp was monstrous. The sound literally shook the ground as you ascended around it. I was making decent time at this point. I took the approach of just going but not overly fast. I wanted to try to maintain a decent clip but able to breath and talk.

Approaching Trailside Meadow the trail is submerged under ankle deep water for the majority of it, with some points being at mid-calf. Thankfully the gore-tex boots I have, along with the gaiters, kept my feet dry throughout this trip.
Much of the route past this point is directly over snowfields. This presented a whole new set of issues. The day before I read a triplog about how a guy fell through into waist deep water. Well, with that vision in my mind I stumbled upon the first of many cavities in the snow fields that harbored raging water. Now, not only would a spill into one of these end your summit attempt it very well could end you. If you were sucked down under the snow I can’t imagine any sort of positive outcome to that situation.

I reached Trail Camp a little before sunrise. I strapped on my crampons, pulled out my axe, and started weaving my way up the chute. The sunrise was breathtaking; just like the climb. The snow was crisp and firm making the traction easy to be had. Oxygen was the rare commodity and I fell into a routine of a few steps followed by a rest period and a few breaths. The chute took forever and a day. I managed to catch up to a couple groups, who had mercilessly been sending chunks of snow down on me throughout, right near the top. We chatted a bit about the conditions and then parted ways.

From Trail Crest to the summit the trail is basically clear. I really had to mentally force myself through this section. The altitude hit me like a ton of bricks. It wasn’t in a headache or nausea kind of way; just in a way that sapped all energy and desire to continue. This is what I came for, although I didn’t want to deal with it. I just focused on the summit hut. I went when I could, I stopped when I had to. It was slow going, but eventually I reached the base of the plateau. Typically, the main trail sweeps around the western side of the plateau but with the snow the chosen way was climbing the boulder field of the southern face (I hope my sense of direction is accurate).

The summit hut had its door blown off this winter. Inside, from the ground to the roof, was snow. I am pretty amazed that a couple people were able to survive in there, overnight, a few weeks back.

I made it back down to Trail Crest and had a decision to make; either glissade down the chute or plunge step. I decided to plunge step to play it safe. It is remarkable how fast the descent is compared to the ascent.

Upon reaching Trail Camp I ran out of water. I had brought up a full Camelbak of 100oz. I pulled up the lake and got out my filter. Turns out (and I should have tested this beforehand) that my filter was busted. So I was left with either no water or drinking unfiltered water. I chose the unfiltered water approach on the assumption that I could make 6 miles before my intestines exploded. With all the water out there I figured my odds were good. Going on a day and a half later and my stomach still doesn’t hate me.

Just below Trail Camp I bumped into a solo SAR member from Inyo County SAR. We chatted for a good amount of time about what I saw, how far I made it, my gear, etc. Apparently with all of the tragedies that have already transpired this year on Whitney they are out trying to do preventative work.
The stream crossings that were troublesome in the early morning hours were downright terrifying during the midday melt period. Thankfully I made it through them all but I am not so sure it isn’t just dumb luck.

Overall, my 4th ascent of Whitney was my most challenging to date. The conditions out there were no joke, but more importantly, the mental aspect of it was tough. It is really easy to keep going when it is a new peak, trail, etc; but when it is something you’ve seen before, it can become easy to throw in the towel when the going gets tough. The lessons and experience garnered from this adventure will last me a lifetime.
Meteorology
Meteorology
Sunrise

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Lone Pine Lake 76-100% full 76-100% full

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Mirror Lake 76-100% full 76-100% full

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 North Fork Lone Pine Creek Heavy flow Heavy flow
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3 archives
Jun 12 2017
syoung
avatar

 Guides 6
 Routes 23
 Photos 1,125
 Triplogs 593

40 male
 Joined May 23 2012
 Mesa, AZ
Flatiron Hike - SuperstitionsPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 12 2017
syoung
Hiking7.08 Miles 2,795 AEG
Hiking7.08 Miles   2 Hrs   15 Mns   3.15 mph
2,795 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
#393
I decided to take advantage of the cool temperatures and bust up the mountain after summer school. I passed one person on their way down by the parking lot and that was it. There is some sort of sticky residue all over the rocks from the first saddle to the second saddle. It looks a little like sap but like it was sprayed out of something. I have no idea what it was, but it was super annoying to put your hand somewhere and feel it stick.
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1 archive
Jun 10 2017
syoung
avatar

 Guides 6
 Routes 23
 Photos 1,125
 Triplogs 593

40 male
 Joined May 23 2012
 Mesa, AZ
Tom's Thumb Loop off Windgate Pass TrailPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 10 2017
syoung
Hiking12.19 Miles 2,918 AEG
Hiking12.19 Miles   3 Hrs   9 Mns   3.87 mph
2,918 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The spring was just about dry, I didn't see any water but still plenty of visitors there looking for water.

Made really good time all the way to Windgate pass, just a little over 2 hours. Had an annoying knot in the muscle I strained a few years back playing kickball that caused me to pull up the rest of the way.

dry Mountain Spring Dry Dry
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1 archive
average hiking speed 2.53 mph
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WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

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