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Gimpilator
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PostWed Apr 10, 2019 8:45 pm 
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John Stolk and I hit the road for a month of peakbagging.  Several people joined us along the way, including Grant Meyers for a week.  Snow dumps and unusual rain created issues, but we were able to make the proper adjustments to our plans.  Rigidity would have undoubtedly lead to failed attempts.

Note: route descriptions here will be brief to maintain continuity.  We used standard routes, except where otherwise mentioned.  See Peakbagger.com for more specific route information.

3-4
Harcuvar Peak 4618'

Hiked road to start of a southeast ridge.  Partial use trail found lower on the ridge.  Also found a desiccated baby tortoise.  Poor fella should have stayed in the valley and not tried to climb the mountain.  Silly tortoise, peaks are for kids.


Visited both summits and believe the west is higher.

Harquahala
Harquahala

3-5
Salome Peak 3991'

Short but steep hike from the northeast.  Johnís 1000th P1k!

Harcuvar
Harcuvar

Back at the bottom, I spent several hours searching for rumored rock art, but couldnít be sure if I found it or not.  Did however find a vast cave system under the rocks.


Smith Peak 5242'

Drove up to a locked gate and hiked the road from there.


3-6
Big Horn Peak 3480'

Saw this peak from the north and asked my friend Matthias Stender about it.  Itís one of his favorites, so we decided to give it a go.  Parked at the Aquaduct and crossed a foot bridge.  Crossed a fence and then several miles of open desert.


Up the south ridge which curves west at the bottom.  Minor brief scrambling and then dense cholla higher up.  At 2750í there are some scramble variations.  We made a few short moves to keep with the crest of a south ridge.

Burnt and Saddle visible
Burnt and Saddle visible
Peak 2710
Peak 2710

More scrambling and route finding ensued, but not sustained until the final summit block which is exposed and has a single move of commitment.  Great peak!


3-7
Saddle Mountain 3037'

Saddle looked nice and had a trail, so we postponed our agenda even further.  After reaching an upper saddle the trail ceases below a slab.  Cairns and easy scrambling bring you to the upper trail which follows a narrow ridge to the summit.


Burnt Mountain 2917'

With extra time, I went to solo this volcanic rubble lump, north of the highway.  Basalt boulders galore.  Copious wildflowers and summit butterflies made this peak more enjoyable.

yum!
yum!
Bighorn
Bighorn
Woolsey, Saddle
Woolsey, Saddle
Eagletail
Eagletail

3-8
Barry Goldwater Peak 4083'

A rather long trail hike which ends on an access road to towers.  Teetering somewhere between pleasant and mundane.


3-9
Woolsey Peak 3171'

Friends Craig Barlow and Stav Basis came to join us for Woolsey Peak.  We all had further designs for the afternoon, but were able to get together for the first peak.

If you havenít heard of Stav before, I strongly suggest you check out his inspirational and useful hiking blog.  I first found the resource about 3 years ago and was blown away by the scope and depth of his exploration.  The guy has hiked just about everywhere.  Heís taken the plunge and turned his back on traditional living in favor of maximum wilderness time.  Hurrah to that!

www.stavislost.com

We hiked a rocky old road to near the base of the peak and then worked our way up through volcanic choss and brush on some ledges, which were not as serious and they appear from afar.  Two summits of nearly equal and registers at both.


Kitt Peak 6880'

Mostly a drive up, but some ladders near the top.  Barely made the road curfew.

Coyote
Coyote

3-10
Wasson Peak 4687'

Nice easy trail hike with numerous flowers and cactus.

Golden Gate
Golden Gate
Mica, Rincon
Mica, Rincon
Lemmon
Lemmon
Baboquivari
Baboquivari

Golden Gate Mountain 4288'

John was gracious to wait for me while I got one more.  61 minutes round-trip including 7 on the summit.

Wasson
Wasson
Cat
Cat
Lemmon
Lemmon

3-11
Newman Peak 4480'

Grantís first day with us.   biggrin.gif   A very rugged hike to some towers on the summit with no existing road.  I was wondering about access, but my questions were answered by the helicopter and maintenance crew on the summit.


Volcanic Benchmark 2232'

We got into position for an easier hike.  Serious rain was forecasted, so I decided to solo a couple small peaks that evening, in case the next day was a total washout.  Ran several miles of road to the base of a small peak.  This one, small in stature, was so lovely it turned out to be one of my favorites of the trip.


Tator Hills 1901'

On the way back to camp, I went over the top of another hill.  As it turned out, we had to abandon the next days peak.


3-12
Deluge  shakehead.gif

3-13
Keystone Peak 6188'

Waited until late in the afternoon to make sure the rain was really finished.  Road hike.


Keystone Peak-North Summit 6160'

Main summit looks lower to me from here.  Better to do both.

Placer Peak 5920'

Went over the top of this one and dropped down directly into Ox Frame Canyon.


Pit View Peak 5816'

Up the west side and down the northwest road.  I named this for the view of nearby Twin Buttes Mine.


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http://www.peakbagger.com/climber/ClimbListC.aspx?cid=2650&sort=elevft&u=ft&j=-1&y=9999

Keep climbing mountains and don't slip!
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Gimpilator
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PostWed Apr 10, 2019 8:45 pm 
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3-14
Safford Peak 3563í

A simple truth is further reinforced on this day.  The smaller peaks in the desert are more interesting and enjoyable than the big ones.  We started in the philosophy garden and followed the trail system.  Many cactus, traversing below cliffs, and a few narrow sections make this a very fun and scenic peak.


Cat Mountain 3852'

Followed trail from the west over a pass and along the north side.  Working off-trail steeply up through brush and a short scramble onto the upper east ridge.  Super fun upper ridge walk.

Wrightson
Wrightson
Golden Gate
Golden Gate

Peak 3310

Quickly explored another peak and was able to meet the guys back at the car only 5 minutes after they got back.

Cat
Cat

3-15
Mount Hopkins 8550'

John took a rest day while Grant and I hiked up the road route.  Plenty of snow from the recent storm.  Whatís left of the natural summit is hidden behind some outbuildings and ensconced in cooling pipelines and exhaust vents.

Wrightson
Wrightson
Wrightson
Wrightson
Hopkins
Hopkins

3-16
Mae West 6726'

Rough road at the end and plenty of brush.  Cattle trails make for easier travel, but not a pleasant route.  Excellent fossils before the final south ridge.

Dos Cabezas
Dos Cabezas

3-17
Bassett Peak 7663'

Long hike with more snow than expected near the top.  The north ridge is scenic and of geologic interest.


Combinations of snow and steep slopes with considerable exposure gave us some pause.  We left the snowcovered trail at the end in favor of the brushy northwest ridge.


3-18
Reiley Peak 7640'

The guys didnít really want to do this peak and Iím grateful that they were willing to anyhow.  Itís a long rough road, that my car couldnít manage, but Johnís truck had no problem.  Unfortunately the route was just as lousy as the drive in, with lots of unstable rocks in the grass and no redeeming qualities.  Perhaps the worst peak of the trip.


3-19
North Peloncillo 6520'

Our last peak with Grant.   bawl.gif   This is one of the more scenic and enjoyable AZ desert ranges, even more so with out-of-this-world poppy blooms.  We followed the wash in Little Doubtful Canyon and then cut off into a south facing canyon and then a south ridge.  Several key breaks in the cliff bands required short scrambles.  We paused briefly in a cave for the shade it offered.


On the summit we celebrated Grantís 700th P2k with caviar and other treats.  Very few people in the history of mankind have stood on top of so many prominent mountains.

Cochise Head
Cochise Head

3-20
Guthrie Peak 6571'

You can drive to top of this peak, but the road was rough and we didnít mind walking the last few miles.


3-21
Hachita Peak 6639'

Unsure of the snow conditions on Big Hatchet, we did this peak first to get a view of that north face.  Old road and then game trail traverse around some false summits.  No snow on Big Hatchet!

Playas
Playas
Big Hatchet
Big Hatchet

Playas Peak 5868'

I couldnít resist a bonus peak in the late morning.  John drove out of his way for me and waited in the heat.  I am in his debt for such a favor.  I followed a wash north and circled around to the northeast side.  Several ammo boxes on the summit were filled with law enforcement memorabilia.  Nearby is a training facility of some kind.  105 minutes round trip.

Hachita, Big Hatchet
Hachita, Big Hatchet

3-22
Big Hatchet Peak 8356'

To our great surprise, the lower road was very recently graded, making the first 11 miles completely painless.  The next 7 were still rugged and only for jeeps or determined trucks, but we made it all the way to the trailhead.  Previous reports on this road strike fear into the peakbagger heart.


We followed the good trail and were on the summit in something like 2 hours.  It was cold and windy.

Animas
Animas

3-23
Florida Peak 7448'

Good trail primarily in Windmill Canyon, and then rugged steep route finding through dense clusters of bushes.  West from the saddle to the first peak.  The north peak looks formidable from here.

north peak
north peak

Florida Peak North' 7460'

We traversed through some bushes and along the ridge to the access gully for the north peak.  As we came closer, the chimney/crack route became more obvious and looked easier, despite being vertical in the crux.


We put on our rope gear and I led up, placing one initial cam and then two nuts in the crux area above.  Rock stars can do this climb without any gear, but we were glad to have it.  Not much to work with on the summit, so I cleaned out pebbles and dirt around a large boulder and created a moat for an extra large belay sling.

John took a picture of me at the top of the route
John took a picture of me at the top of the route
south peak
south peak
harvest
harvest

3-24
Organ Needle 8980'

We ascended a very steep climbers path to a saddle, working some ledges along the way.  From the saddle we followed cairns and flagging through tunnels of brush and up slabs to reach the upper tree choked gully.  It would be very easy to get off-route just below the big gully.

looks like The Pickets of the desert
looks like The Pickets of the desert
Organ Needle far right with ascent gully showing
Organ Needle far right with ascent gully showing
Organ Peak
Organ Peak

The top of the gully held some shaded snow, but not enough to cause issue.  We went through a gap and then traversed to the base of the crux slabs.  Class 3 gully and then class 3/4 flake.  A man was climbing down and came more directly over technical terrain rather than downclimbing the awkward class 3/4 flake.


I trailed the rope and scrambled up.  Above it, I tied a sling around two contact points and belayed John.  Above the crux, there was a bit more scrambling, but when we got to the summit, we felt like we had completed a great quality climb.

Organ Peak up next
Organ Peak up next

Organ Peak 8872'

I was hoping for enough time to solo the third highest peak in the range before descending.  From where I was able to bushwhack to the other trail, it was only another 2500 feet of gain.  I followed the second trail through The Narrows and then left it for Rock House Spring Canyon.

The Narrows
The Narrows
Organ Needle
Organ Needle

Finished up on the northeast ridge, which had a great view of Organ Needle.  Two hours up this one and two more hours to get back down to the truck.


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http://www.peakbagger.com/climber/ClimbListC.aspx?cid=2650&sort=elevft&u=ft&j=-1&y=9999

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Gimpilator
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PostWed Apr 10, 2019 8:46 pm 
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3-25
North Franklin Mountain 7192'

After the 6k gain the previous day, I was glad for an easier trail hike.  It was a hot day, and my first peak in Texas!  Anthonys Nose to the north looks inviting and some woman on the summit told us that it is known as the toughest hike in Texas.  Iíll be back for that one.

Anthonys Nose
Anthonys Nose
South Franklin
South Franklin

3-26
Eagle Peak 7484'

You have to call the Rancher and secure permission for access to this peak.  She was very nice and even seemed happy to have us visit, the famous peak in her backyard.


Peak 7282

Peaks over 7k are rare in Texas.  We decided to do an easy add-on.  John measured the prominence of this one with his altimeter and it came in well under 300 feet.


On the way down, a snake was so startled by me that it fell over backwards, belly up for a moment.   lol.gif   When it regained composure, it backed down it's hole, tail first.

snake
snake

3-27
Capitan Mountains 10,201'

A very rough road goes to some towers.  We were stopped near Padilla Point by icy snow and mud, so we walked the rest of the way to the upper trailhead.  The trail has a lot of blowdown and brush.  This peak is on the very edge of the abyss.  No more mountains to the east, nothing but flat all the way to Arkansas!

Sierra Blanca
Sierra Blanca

3-28
Carrizo Peak 9605'

Road turns awful just past the ranch.  The trail is overgrown and covered in blowdown much of the way.  Not really a good one, but we were in the area.  Just enough snow in the shade to give us some trouble.

Capitans
Capitans
Sierra Blanca
Sierra Blanca

3-19
Manzano Peak 10,098'

For some reason everyone does the shorter east route on this peak, which is burned and reported as a bad route by multiple sources, difficult to follow.  After checking in with Stav, we opted to take the longer south route which has a nice trail most of the way.


Someoneís hunting dogs had been left out intentionally and one of them was lonely and decided to come with us all the way to the summit and back.  We called her Manny at first and then Manuella after the name of the peak.


There was a section at 9400 where the trail faded away, so we turned north and went up to the ridge crest.  After a bit of snow we found the trail again along the crest.  Later on, near the top, the final 200 feet was solid snow, and somewhat icy.


3-30
Ladrones Benchmark 9210'

Several reports had concluded with coming out in the dark of night, so we started early.  At 7000 feet, where some parties turn south and work up onto the ridge, the cattle trail continues east, around the left side, so we stayed with that.


After some pleasant side traversing, we entered a narrow canyon and bushwhacked up and out onto the upper west face which is brushy and has some rock fins.


The upper south ridge has several bumps, some of which are easier to traverse around rather than to go over.  10 minutes on the summit, 2.5 hours up and 2 hours down.


3-31
Timber Mountain 7565'

John drove us up the better than expected road to the false summit with towers.  We hiked in fierce sub-freezing wind to the summit and back.


Mount Withington 10,115'

This peak has a lookout and road to near the summit.  Snow blockages on the road turned it into a 4 mile hike.  We were sort of testing out the area, so as to do West Blue the following day, but the amount of snow here made us re-think that idea.


Near the summit a storm covered us up and falling snow began escalating.  We barely made it back to the truck in time to escape the worst of the blizzard and were nearly trapped up there.  John decided to drive down the shorter north side road, and while this was a gamble, it turned out to be the right choice.

4-1
Cookes Peak 8408'

The trail up the northeast canyon on Cookes is hyper-developed.  There are cairns every 3 to 5 feet and flagging every 10 feet even though path is very easy to see.  Seriously.  About 15 feet of scrambling to get onto the upper south ridge.


4-2
Silver Peak 8008'

Purported to be an enjoyable trail hike, one of the best in AZ.  Yep.  The east side of the Chiricahua Range is a hidden gem.  Nice big cliffs everywhere.  Almost like what I would imagine Yosemite to be like, but on a much smaller scale.

Cochise Head
Cochise Head
Portal
Portal

The best part might be the area around the trailhead, because the trail just traverses away from the best scenery.  There is an east peak with a separate register, which we also visited.


4-3
Mount Glenn 7480'

Followed old switchbacking road to engulfing steep dense brush.  Emerged onto east ridge crest which was decent, but the final ascent was again in brush, through burned forest and somewhat unpleasant.  Two summits of nearly equal height.  Do both.


4-4
Apache Peak 7711'

Long rugged drive to arbitrary road ending.  Thanks Dean Gaudet for another fantastic driving log.  Have used your excellent beta countless times and learned to trust you explicitly.


A good trail has developed, from the parking area at 5400 feet, which goes easily onto the west ridge crest.  From that point onward, itís an exercise in brush and cactus avoidance.

Wrightson
Wrightson

4-5
Table Top 4373'

This was a nice peak for us to end the trip on.  Lovely saguaros and chollas reaching over our heads.  Plentiful birds, wildflowers and butterflies.  We followed the trail to near the summit (well beyond false summit), and then cut off more directly from the well known cairn.

hawk
hawk
Vekol
Vekol

Afterword

party.gif  Congratulations to John for 1000 P1kís and Grant for 700 P2kís!!! party.gif

Furthermore, Iíd like to thank John for the obscene amount of driving he did, for the patience he showed me when I was stubborn about getting extra peaks or finding the right camp spot, going out of the way for panaderias and taquerias, and for being one of the best and most competent partners Iíve ever had in the mountains.

Weíre not done yet.  Stay tuned for more maniacal peakbagging.  Climbing a peak near YOU, very soon.  wink.gif

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Fletcher
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PostThu Apr 11, 2019 1:36 am 
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Hey, you ok??
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awilsondc
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PostThu Apr 11, 2019 10:05 am 
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Gettin' after it, as usual!  Nice to see some sunny skies in those photos.  And congrats to those two on the milestones, that's a lot of dedication right there!
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Fletcher
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PostThu Apr 11, 2019 10:58 am 
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Seriously though, awesome dude. I better start conditioning if I hope to keep up with you this summer. Love all those Saguaros!
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Jake Robinson
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PostThu Apr 11, 2019 2:28 pm 
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If you're saying the roads are bad, they must really be terrible! RIP to your new Subaru...

Joking aside, quite an effort! Thanks for all the details and photos and congratulations to everyone on all your accomplishments.
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chandlerhaberlack
chandler haberlack



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chandler haberlack
PostMon Apr 15, 2019 10:14 pm 
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outstanding! what an achievement. Those are some great desert bloom shots too.
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HermitThrush
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PostTue Apr 16, 2019 6:38 pm 
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What do you do for a living that allows you to get so much time off work? Wow. Well done.
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luv2travel
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PostWed Apr 24, 2019 4:08 am 
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thanks for sharing here vivid pictures
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Forum Index > Trip Reports > 50 peaks in a month, Milestones 1000 and 700, AZ/NM/TX, 2019
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