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Sheep Mountain 3567 & 3397 - Salt River - 2 members in 8 triplogs have rated this an average 3.5 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Jan 17 2015
CannondaleKid
avatar

 Guides 43
 Routes 148
 Photos 22,171
 Triplogs 2,270

71 male
 Joined May 04 2004
 Mesa, AZ
Sheep Mountain 3567 - Salt River, AZ 
Sheep Mountain 3567 - Salt River, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 17 2015
CannondaleKid
Hiking7.50 Miles 3,271 AEG
Hiking7.50 Miles   6 Hrs   19 Mns   1.35 mph
3,271 ft AEG      45 Mns Break20 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
HAZ - Event
Closer to the summit than a month ago, but with another miss I'm convinced I need to drop this one from my to-do list even though it remains undone.
:-({|=

By now, with 2 previous recons I had the route down almost to memory (such as it is) and felt it was simply a matter of getting it done. While the first 49% went great and I was well ahead of schedule, I guess all good things must come to an end. One moment I was on what I felt was stable ground, the next, I wasn't... but with only a small area of ground moving before it stopped, just as I lifted up my hiking poles to dig in to make sure I had enough traction to resume, a huge section of ground gave way. And since I was leaning forward about to dig the poles in hard, I fell, and fell hard.
](*,)
While it was a good thing I didn't slide very far down after hitting the ground, the damage was already done... the right wrist, thigh & ankle along with the chest took the brunt of the hit. And for once I was thankful I had my new camera squirreled away in my pack than on my chest, which I usually do. I may have ruined the camera while putting a dent in my breastplate.

Time to take stock of the situation... The wrist feels like it was on fire, as though well-sprained if not broken, my right hand and thigh had a batch of cholla spines hammered in thoroughly yet broken off (now a day later there's a bunch of infected red spots bearing witness), putting weight on my right ankle was quite painful, which with the gimp wrist meant I could use the right pole as a crutch.
:stretch:
I sat for a full 5 minutes contemplating the extent of my injuries before deciding what to do next... finish the last few hundred vertical feet, or turn around AGAIN? Being so close I wanted to come-hell-or-high-water suck it up and hit the summit, but even now I'm whipped enough it'll be a chore even now.

Thinking back to last June when I had a big crash-and-burn early on during my El Recortado East & West hike, yet I persevered and got the job done... so let's give it a go. But after taking almost 10 minutes to climb just under a hundred feet, I knew reaching the summit today just wasn't gonna happen. And in fact, I wondered how I'd make it the 3.5 miles back to the car.

Well I'll be darned if I hadn't jinxed myself by packing Ibuprofen this trip, something I've never done before. Fortuitous or not, I downed it, hoping it may provide some respite from the pain while I did all I could mentally to ignore the worst of the pain enough to hobble along.

And now began the long trek back. Funny how I thought I had the best routes mapped out from previous recons and this trip out to Sheep, but now in need of the shortest, easiest route back I managed to find just that. Still, I stopped many times to catch my breath, I believe more due to the unrelenting pain than the actual physical effort.

But after a few stops I realized it was harder to get going each time, so for the last mile or so (including two ascents and one steep descent) I just took on the mantra of picking a spot 50 feet ahead, telling myself I could make it that far, and did that 50' one-step-at-a-time.

Whew! Back to the Jeep and I just want to get out of here! But wait, one more problem to raise it's ugly head... I could not believe that after having the whole front axle beefed up with trusses and boxing-in the knuckles, the right upper suspension mount broke off the truss. Of course it was the new weak-spot... although it wasn't supposed to be that weak. (I've since found out the super heavy-duty mount was on back-order so for the time being something similar to factory original was used. I can't wait for the back-order so Monday we'll just make one.)
So it was a slower than-normal drive back home.
:whistle:
Weird, but now today, the only pain I have (other than the normal on-going stuff) is from the cholla spines under the skin. And of course, on the right hand they just happen to be where they are the most aggravating, the gripping surfaces of the thumb and index finger.
:-({|=
No photos or videos this trip... due to the circumstances I was in no mood for any.
[Edit] Due to popular demand (at least one request anyway) I added a photoset of 2 photos.
_____________________
CannondaleKid
1 archive
Dec 19 2014
CannondaleKid
avatar

 Guides 43
 Routes 148
 Photos 22,171
 Triplogs 2,270

71 male
 Joined May 04 2004
 Mesa, AZ
Sheep Mountain 3567 Recon, AZ 
Sheep Mountain 3567 Recon, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Dec 19 2014
CannondaleKid
Hiking8.20 Miles 3,678 AEG
Hiking8.20 Miles   7 Hrs      1.21 mph
3,678 ft AEG      15 Mns Break20 LBS Pack
 no routes
Partners none no partners
It was over 18 months ago when I did my first Sheep Mountain (3567) recon hike so it was high time I got with the program. On the previous recon I was stopped by sheer cliffs and by time I figured out another route I had run out of time. With the knowledge gained from that hike I planned about the most direct route possible from about 3 miles out on Forest Road 401A.

Pretty much everything went according to plan except...
1. After a hike-less 7 days I felt lethargic with the aches & pains from inactivity
2. As a result of #1 I got a late start
3. FR 401A was in tough shape so the drive was longer than expected

So... by now I figured reaching the summit was out so I'd use this as a more thorough recon. If I managed to reach the summit, great! If not, there's always next time.

Also, by time I had gone 100 yards I knew it was not going to be an easy hike... my hiking poles were still at home and with all the ups & downs (the downs being the real knee killers) I already debated on turning around and doing an easier hike. But no... I wasn't going to let that rough drive go to waste, so let's make the best of it.

Thankfully by the second down-climb I had found an old Saguaro rib just about the right length to use as my hiking pole. Although it slipped a few times where my regular pole would not have, it worked out better than expected even though it was almost 3" shorter by the end of the hike.

So far my planned route was working to perfection... until beginning the actual climb of Sheep Mountain from the west. Unfortunately I had based my ascent route on Joe B's first Sheep Mountain hike... which meant when I reached a point almost directly below the summit, the track continued some distance farther southeast before turning back toward the summit. Based on the extra distance left to go and feeling just a bit low on energy, I decided to turn back and use the time for some random exploration along the lower western slope.

Only when I got far enough down was I able to see a much shorter route to the summit. If I'd known that earlier I'm sure I would have made the effort to reach the summit, but now well down the slope I was not about to try it today. But I took notes for the next (and hopefully final) attempt at Sheep.

Of course only after I get home do I dig around and notice Joe's Official Route takes the exact route I now felt would be best. If only I'd used that route instead of Joe's first. Oh well, live and learn.
:whistle:
But at least the hike got me out of the lethargic state and got me fired up for hopefully seven days straight of hiking before the next hike-less seven days.

Whoops! Almost forgot...
On the return leg just as I was traversing the lower western slope of Sheep Mountain I thought I found a new replacement for my Saguaro rib/hiking pole, only to realize it was a Gopher Snake sunning itself. Being in the mid 50's at the time it was a bit of a surprise. I took just enough time for a photo and a one-minute video and continued on. And that would be the only excitement of the day.

Two videos:
1. Sheep Mountain western slope panorama video
2. Gopher Snake video
Fauna
Fauna
Gopher Snake
_____________________
CannondaleKid
Dec 16 2011
joebartels
avatar

 Guides 245
 Routes 837
 Photos 12,327
 Triplogs 4,973

51 male
 Joined Nov 20 1996
 Phoenix, AZ
Sheep Mountain 3567 & 3397 - Salt RiverPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 16 2011
joebartels
Hiking14.00 Miles 3,500 AEG
Hiking14.00 Miles   9 Hrs   14 Mns   1.74 mph
3,500 ft AEG   1 Hour   10 Mns Break14 LBS Pack
 
Partners partners
HAZ - Group
BobP
mazatzal
uphill_junkie
Bob told me I needed to expand my horizons and learn new traits from experienced individuals. I had no idea what he was talking about but said let's do it. Got pretty lucky and finally got to meet the legend Mazatzal Kokopelli!

We headed back to Sheep Mtn just two weeks after round one. This time via Cottonwood Creek then up Cane Spring Canyon(CSC) passing the Hidden Water oasis.

8:13am - Richard stopped when the road got smooth due to lame advice and off we went
8:51am - after 1.66mi and dropping 150ft we turned into CSC
8:58am - we were greeted by the magical mid Dec Autumn Foliage of the Hidden Water oasis
9:10am - the dreaded duck, twist and scratch bushwhack was over, it wasn't too bad either
9:12am - Bob added Tina Turner to his "list" of neighbors and said he bagged groceries for Ike once. Another nod and smile moment...
10:20am - 3.02mi we headed out of CSC and up to a ridge that would deliver us to Sheep Mtn. Amy said it was steep. I slipped down about ten feet mid way up to put the sausage grinder effect onto my right shin, declaring this as an official "fun" hike. Sometime I plan in haste drawing routes that look quick. Admittingly, it was a snowman nail bitter.
10:36am - After a 520ft (almost half a Squaw) ascent in 0.16mi we arrived at a saddle. We thought it was windy in the canyon. On the saddle Gale forced us to believe it was a hurricane.
10:52am - After a breather we were on our way again. You know how Bob always waits for the team to regroup before moving on... Bob who?
12:01pm - after a 900ft brute force climb we centered out on Sheep Mtn. Amy and I took a catclaw rock scramble straight up. This was not as enjoyable as my route two weeks ago but it panned out.
12:39pm - we headed over to 3567 to check Richard and Amy into the official peak log
12:48pm - after logging in we decided to hit up 3397 and headed over. Richard started down to the sandstone ledges to meet us up on the return
1:12pm - 3397 ended up being among the easiest stroll out of CSC. The views down into the Salt River are stunning. It was so windy though it was difficult to enjoy. The views atop Skeleton Cave are better too.
2:02pm - I picked a horrible route back. It really slowed Amy and me down but we got in some good girl talk as Juliachaos calls it, wait a minute...
2:40pm - somehow we didn't take the short cut back and proceeded to head down to CSC in nearly the same steep spot
3:00pm - back on solid ground. The wind finally started to die off and the hike out was Chamber of Commerce
4:30pm - back at Hidden Water I took the man route while everyone else opted for the girl scout route. I should'a known I'm more of a girl scout and kinna paid the price dearly too. Mid way through I went to leap off a four foot drop. It was all good in theory. However a vine trapped my feet so there was no lifting off the launch pad. Instead I face planted like the wile e coyote. Aside from full body trauma I felt pretty lucky to be in one piece and not visually bleeding anywhere. It did zap the energy out of me a little.
5:32pm - the adventure came to a close

Traits gleaned: Richard taught me to smoke or you never get breaks with Bob. Kat tried to teach me this last year but I didn't catch on. Amy taught me to consume alcohol in large quantities fast after hikes with Bob to blur (think she meant ease, but it was difficult to understand with her slur) pain.

Thanks everyone, I had a great time!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0zoaOpi9qg
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Substantial
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
_____________________
- joe
Dec 16 2011
mazatzal
avatar

 Routes 34
 Photos 2,417
 Triplogs 1,167

64 male
 Joined Jul 28 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Sheep Mountain 3567 & 3397 - Salt RiverPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 16 2011
mazatzal
Hiking13.50 Miles 3,450 AEG
Hiking13.50 Miles   9 Hrs   14 Mns   1.67 mph
3,450 ft AEG   1 Hour   10 Mns Break
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners partners
HAZ - Group
BobP
joebartels
uphill_junkie
Just an excellent trip!
- Got to meet "the legend" :D
- Bagged a new summit that I've had on the list for many years.
- The cholla were kind to me today

The pools and water in Cane Spring Canyon and the tress at Hidden Spring were just spectacular.

Thanks everyone - I had a great day.
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Substantial
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
_____________________
Dec 16 2011
BobP
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 186
 Photos 4,027
 Triplogs 2,383

59 male
 Joined Feb 26 2008
 Scottsdale, AZ
Sheep Mountain 3567 & 3397 - Salt RiverPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 16 2011
BobP
Hiking14.00 Miles 3,500 AEG
Hiking14.00 Miles   9 Hrs   14 Mns   1.74 mph
3,500 ft AEG   1 Hour   10 Mns Break
 
Partners partners
HAZ - Group
joebartels
mazatzal
uphill_junkie
The canyon way(my way) was way cooler. The other way was way too girl scoutish. Driving halfway there. It would be like driving to Cane Spring and hiking to Skeleton Cave from there....yawn. The canyon with water and autumn colors was awesome. The group was made up of a UK mate, a German, a Hungarian, and a girl. The cool Polish dude couldn't make it.

We hiked down Cottonwood Creek and then headed up Cane Spring Canyon. On google earth, Hidden Spring looked pretty thick but it wasn't too bad and with the colors it was pretty awesome. The climb out of the canyon was steep and I topped out and was looking for our next route when I was greeted by a branch that sliced my cheek. A good friend would ask if I was okay and a better friend would take a picture of the blood dripping from my face. As Amy made the saddle, a piece of cholla was hanging from her hand and someone tried to help her....and another guy actually did fix it.

The cholla fields were next. I have nothing but intense admiration for the Cholla. They are the King of the prickers. They tried to slow me many times and sometimes they succeded but in the end the cholla is our friend.
We decided to hit the other end of Sheep and then after lunch we changed our minds. Then after the 2 new register signers...signed in....we changed plans and headed over to the other side. It was a good decision because it wasn't that far and it was worth the effort and Richard missed out on the best views in the State of AZ. I was taking a few pictures and then turned around and saw a blank spot where Amy and Joe were standing...I guess they just vanished into the abyss. I hiked down into the abyss and came accross Richard but Joe and Amy were no where to be found. We were once again a team and moments later...team Jomy took a diferent route and cliffed out. Yada..yada..yada.. we were a team again.

The rest of the hike has kinda boring going back the same way we came. Then I let out a yell I usually hold in. I smacked my knee as hard as I smacked my elbow the week before. My breath was stolen from me and I felt like I was gonna blow chunks. The pain was giving me a difficult time and then it passed. It hurt to the touch but I decided not to touch it anymore. I found Amy's bandanna but I didn't know she lost it so Richard retrieved it for her.

Meanwhile back at the truck, Amy whipped out cookies and beer. What a great way to end an awesome hike.

Richard told me he had a lot of admiration for Joe before the hike and for some reason after the hike he still held him in such high regard.

I truly am blessed to have such fun partners who put up with me. They aren't only hiker partners...they are friends.
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Substantial
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
_____________________
https://www.seeitourway.org
Always pronounce Egeszsegedre properly......
If you like this triplog you must be a friend of BrunoP
Dec 16 2011
uphill_junkie
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 Guides 2
 Routes 9
 Photos 1,486
 Triplogs 944

female
 Joined Apr 28 2010
 Tucson, AZ
Sheep Mountain 3567 & 3397 - Salt RiverPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 16 2011
uphill_junkie
Hiking14.00 Miles 3,500 AEG
Hiking14.00 Miles   9 Hrs   14 Mns   1.74 mph
3,500 ft AEG   1 Hour   10 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Partners partners
HAZ - Group
BobP
joebartels
mazatzal
:whistle: tip toe, through the cholla, ohhhhhhh tip toe, through the cholla, tip toe through the cholla with meeeeeeeeeeeee......... :whistle:

Now it's time to go play in the snow all day tomorrow! Wahoo!!!!! :FG: (pretend that's her throwing up snow)
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Substantial
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
_____________________
No pants!
Dec 02 2011
joebartels
avatar

 Guides 245
 Routes 837
 Photos 12,327
 Triplogs 4,973

51 male
 Joined Nov 20 1996
 Phoenix, AZ
Sheep Mountain 3567 & 3397 - Salt RiverPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 02 2011
joebartels
Hiking8.11 Miles 3,636 AEG
Hiking8.11 Miles   6 Hrs   35 Mns   1.60 mph
3,636 ft AEG   1 Hour   31 Mns Break14 LBS Pack
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
BobP
Thanks for a great hike Bob! I've wanted to do this one for years. The views are phenomenal as expected!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=moc2zZUH0-M
Named place
Named place
Sheep Mountain 3567 - Salt River
_____________________
- joe
Dec 02 2011
BobP
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 186
 Photos 4,027
 Triplogs 2,383

59 male
 Joined Feb 26 2008
 Scottsdale, AZ
Sheep Mountain 3567 & 3397 - Salt RiverPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 02 2011
BobP
Hiking8.11 Miles 3,636 AEG
Hiking8.11 Miles   6 Hrs   35 Mns   1.60 mph
3,636 ft AEG   1 Hour   31 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
joebartels
I've been thinking about this hike for about 2 years. I'll probably do it again from a diferent route(maybe you can make that one Richard) ;) . The weather was just about perfect and the company was better than nopnotch.
_____________________
https://www.seeitourway.org
Always pronounce Egeszsegedre properly......
If you like this triplog you must be a friend of BrunoP
average hiking speed 1.58 mph

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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