|Hiking||5.51 Miles|| 7 Hrs 55 Mns ||1.89 mph|
|1,600 ft AEG|| 5 Hrs Break|
|This hike consisted of locating a whole bunch of stuff.
It was alot of work and alot of fun.
“Diamond” and “Sun” - They are names put to most of the things I hiked to find.
Eight disks, two geocaches and a summit log. A total of eleven items, with six of them located atop Diamond Mountain. The other five items (all survey disks) were off the mountain in various areas nearby. I extended the normal Diamond Mtn hike, after descending the mountain, to locate those extra five items.
Diamond Mountain has no trail to the top. I initially took an east-west trail that passes north of the mountain, then bushwhacked up. No ‘trailblazing’ here, as a few HAZ members have done this route before. If I go up Diamond Mtn again, I’ll try a totally different track, from east to west, for variation.
The weather played a negative role in the up and down part of the hike.
On the day of the hike, temps were in the low 30s and the wind was moving at about 15 knots. Those two elements alone are no big deal, but the rain-in-the-Phoenix-valley 5 days prior, was snow on Diamond Mtn. The bushwhack part is very steep, and now with 6 to 8 inches of sloshy snow covering the slope, it made for a very slow, deliberate climb. By the time I descended the mountain, the warmth of the day had made the snow even more mushy and the ground below it was turning into mud. To be safe meant - “Go Slow”.
If I had a kevlar reinforced toboggan, I could have descended quite quickly, even over the rocks.
First I easily found the actual USGS benchmark disk. The rock it was on had no snow on it. (and I had the Lat/Long) There’s no datasheet available online for the BM (the datasheet would state the course to the two reference marks from the BM), but I knew there were two up there. My problem was, most of the rocks atop the mountain had alot of snow on them. I ‘de-snowed’ one reference mark quickly, but it took almost an hour to ‘shovel-with-my-boot’ a zillion rocks to finally locate the other one.
So, 3 out of 11 items found so far.
Next the summit log - Easy - A cairn shouts to its location.
4 items found.
Two geocaches were searched for and found. I don’t geocache per say, but one of them was placed by HAZ member ‘Southpawaz’ and I wanted to acknowledge is efforts of hauling an ammo can up there.
The second geocache is called an ‘Earthcache’. (Look it up if you desire).
I ‘virtually’ found that one also.
All 6 items on the mountain found. 5 more to go, once off the mountain.
I used the same track down to the trail (with a bit of tweaking), and used the trail until I veered off to the south, over a drainage and up a knoll.
I located another USGS benchmark.
7 items found.
Finally, I leisurely strolled over ‘hill-and-dale’ to locate SUN Triangulation Station and its 3 associated disks (including the all elusive Azimuth Mark).
11 out of 11 found.
With all that hunting, slipping and sliding in the snow, and snow shoveling, the hike took all day.
However, - - - WOW - - - -it was a fun adventure !!
|Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost|