Joined: 12 Oct 2006
Posts: 1420 | TRs
Location: Edmonds, WA
Adalac Benchmark – 5715'
The standard approach for Adalac comes from the east. The problem is that the road to the standard is really bad sand and many folks have had close calls getting stuck over there. Because of that, I wanted to explore a longer western approach with a much better road, hoping that once established, a new route might be used by more people.
We drove past the new solar farm and then parked below a big west canyon in the Lucy Gray mountains. We ascended the alluvial fan and entered the canyon, which was pleasant for travel. 3 miles from the car, we turned southeast at a fork. At the second fork we ascended the rib in-between. Ascending traverse southward and then minor class 3 on the final east ridge of the peak.
From the summit, we saw Calada Peak a mile to the north. We decided to get that one too.
Calada Peak – 5640'
From Adalac, we descended the same route to 4500 feet and then traversed north. It might have been easier if we had dropped further. We then ascended the southwest drainage to this bonus peak.
This craggy little peak is right next to the highway. Various route info is available, but we wanted to explore a shorter route in the southeast gully. Because of the presence of dryfalls, we had no idea if it would work. As it turned out, the main dryfall has an easy work-around.
Greenwood Peak – 4339'
Greenwood is an attractive sight from Highway 93. I have been looking at it for several years now, but only recently discovered a very good dirt road which passes near the south side of the peak. This road could be driven by any sort of vehicle in the current condition.
The long south ridge has numerous humps. We traversed around the east side of the first few of these before gaining the crest. Cactus is very thick in this region. There were a few cholla patches which required special care.
As we came closer to the peak, the final scramble looked doubtful. Consulting the map didn’t provide any obvious alternatives. However, as we came face to face with the final 50 feet, there was an easy way around the northeast side.
Lech Benchmark – 1169'
We met up with Matthias in Phoenix and he drove us to the Cabeza Prieta. The first peak was small, but a lot of fun. This type of granite looks great and is fun to walk on. It would be nice to spend a lot more time exploring this area further. Hopefully!
We had some extra time, so we bagged another peak near Cipriano Pass. Several northwest draws offer easy access to the upper north ridge. Steep with minor fun scrambling.
That night we met up with Andy Martin at Tule Well. It’s been 6 years since the last time I hiked with Andy, and it was good to see him again.
Tule Benchmark – 2307'
We entered a northeast canyon and then turned south to reach the upper mountain. Genuine class 3 in this canyon. Higher up there was a short but steep loose slope below the final east ridge.
The Mexican border is only a mile away from the summit. We could see some nice looking peaks in the Sierra el Choclo Duro. We could also see the brownish summit of Cabeza Prieta Peak which we would do the following day, and the more whitish Cabeza Benchmark, which Frances and I climbed very recently.
Sierra el Choclo Duro
Cabeza Prieta Peak and Cabeza Benchmark
Sierra Arida Peak – 1760'
Approaching from the northwest, we followed the notes of Richard Carey, entering a western draw and then traversing the northwest ridge all the way from Point 1702. We didn’t really this ridge which is a bit loose and slightly exposed.
Cerro del Pinacate
For the return trip we agreed to try a less direct but hopefully more pleasant route. We descended the canyon immediately west of the summit and then went over a few small passes to reach the lower flats. We did like this route better.
Cabeza Prieta Peak – 2559'
Extremely remote and seldom ascended, Cabeza Prieta Peak is one of the hidden gems of southern Arizona. We crossed 4 miles of open flats to reach the lower south volcanic boulder slopes of the peak.
Cabeza Prieta Peak
Crossing a gully, we went over a saddle at 1870 feet on the southeast ridge and then traversed into the white gully that runs up alongside the east side of the peak. This gully is flaky large grain granite.
Matthias, Frances and I scrambled up a short dryfall and then went straight up loose rock to finish with class 3 on the upper northeast ridge. Andy explored more carefully and found a better way, traversing some on the north side and we used this variation for the descent.
Picketpost Mountain – 4375'
For our last hike on the way home to pack for Africa, Frances and I stopped for a popular hike in the Phoenix area. It was slightly crowded, and over-cairned, but still fun. Lot’s of big walls on this peak. I could see Weaver’s Needle to the north, a peak I look forward to.
Please note that there’s a difference between 2000th ascent and 2000th unique summit, because of repeats and failed attempts. My 2000th ascent was actually the first hike I ever did with Frances, about a year ago.
Keep climbing mountains and don't slip!