|Black Mountain - Pinal County, AZ|| |
Black Mountain - Pinal County, AZ
|Hiking||5.16 Miles|| 6 Hrs 31 Mns ||1.81 mph|
|1,661 ft AEG|| 3 Hrs 40 Mns Break|
|This Black Mountain is just north of Oracle, Az.|
I started my hike at Jewell Well & Tank, on the southeast side of the mountain. To avoid a deep valley, I knew I’d have to make an arcing track on a couple ridges to get to the top. There are many intermediate ‘bumps’ along these ridges, with interim ups and downs.
I also knew that most of the hike would have a lot of unforgiving vegetation.
The mountainside (and top), is 80% covered with an assortment of attacking plants.
To name a few - prickly-pear and barrel cactus, agave, plus a lot of catclaw. Where the ‘sticky’ plants “aren’t", the ground is covered in very tall beargrass. I could plow through the tall beargrass, but was a bit leery of what kind of ground (and animal life) might be under the beargrass. Throw in some large boulders and you have all the makings for a zig-zagging, slow crawl up the mountain.
I have ‘arm gaiters’, and they worked very well, and my knee-high leg gaiters worked just ‘OK’ through the catclaw. I paid the price on my upper legs, and even got a few scratches on my neck and face.
Going down the mountain, I modified my track a bit, and it was only a tad better.
OK, enough ‘plant talk’ ……
I spent an inordinate amount of time atop the mountain, looking for all the things I normally look for.
I found nothing, except some wood, wire and flares. Black Mountain benchmark disk is gone, as is its reference mark #1 disk. I found their locations easily enough, (bore holes and cement), but not disks.
RM #2 is either gone, or very hidden under some sprawling agaves. I wasn’t about to dive into the ‘dagger plants’ to check for a disk.
There is a Black Mtn Azimuth disk, off the mountain to the northeast. I’ll locate that disk the next time I visit my Marana relatives. Hopefully, the azimuth disk is remote enough to still be in place.
The summit log had a lot of logins, mostly because there used to be a geocache up here. The Arizona Trust now forbids geocaching on their land, so the lure to climb this mountain is probably reduced.
As mentioned, the hike down was a bit easier. (Long live better ‘descent vision’).
All in all, I won’t be returning, as my curiosity is now satisfied. Once is enough.
|Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost|