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Mar 27 2018
FLYING_FLIVER
avatar

 Routes 211
 Photos 8,858
 Triplogs 242

male
 Joined Jan 28 2010
 Fountain Hills,
Black Mountain - Pinal County, AZ 
Black Mountain - Pinal County, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 27 2018
FLYING_FLIVER
Hiking5.16 Miles 1,661 AEG
Hiking5.16 Miles   6 Hrs   31 Mns   1.81 mph
1,661 ft AEG   3 Hrs   40 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
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.

Catclaw defense.
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
J.R.R.TOLKIEN
Dec 14 2013
Booneman
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 Guides 9
 Routes 33
 Photos 736
 Triplogs 3,503

40 male
 Joined Nov 25 2008
 Chandler, AZ
Black Mountain - Oak WellsTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 14 2013
Booneman
Hiking5.42 Miles 2,100 AEG
Hiking5.42 Miles   3 Hrs   38 Mns   1.49 mph
2,100 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Last weekend I drove to Tucson (via 87 and 79) from Chandler and had my eye on this mountain. After much research, resulting in little information other than Google maps, I talked Matt into attempting a trek to reach the summit. We originally set out to hike from the North, with so much hunting going on in the area today, we opted for an alternate route that I listed in the description.

It was a tough one, and I jokingly asked Matt when we were back to the car "On a scale of one to ten, how did you enjoy this one?" His response was "Is one the lowest, or can I give it a zero?" We both laughed pretty hard at that, but seriously, those five miles took their toll. I'm still picking cactus spines out of my shins.
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average hiking speed 1.65 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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