Forum Index > Trip Reports > Southern Arizona wanderings, Dec 20-26, 2022
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neek
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neek
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PostFri Dec 30, 2022 9:08 am 
I try to go someplace warm at least once every winter. Found out rubywrangler was hanging out in southern Arizona so we decided to meet up in Tucson for a few hikes. The weather was perfect, 60s and sunny every day. I was only slightly bummed to miss ice skating around my neighborhood in Seattle. Hope everyone who was stuck here fared well during that weird event. Here's a quick rundown of the week. Pics are from the phone and IMO way overprocessed - need to play around with settings. Thimble Peak (Santa Catalina mountains) 12 mi, 2400' We didn't think this one would go, since the higher south summit is supposedly technical. But after a 4th class gully there's only a very short low-5th wall with very solid holds that I was able to go up and down no problem. Around to the left I also found an awkward chimney that could be scrambled, with basically no exposure. So this ended up being a great start to the week. Also made me want to bring a bike next time and ride to the top of Mt Lemmon as many were doing that day.
Caterpillars were all over the trail, had to step carefully
Caterpillars were all over the trail, had to step carefully
Sycamore Reservoir
Sycamore Reservoir
Approaching the easier north peak
Approaching the easier north peak
gully scramble
gully scramble
Looking across an uncrossable gap (have to go back down and around to the gully to the right) to the higher south summit. The flat wall near the center is the standard up/down route, doable w/o rope IMO. The hidden chimney is tucked away to the left.
Looking across an uncrossable gap (have to go back down and around to the gully to the right) to the higher south summit. The flat wall near the center is the standard up/down route, doable w/o rope IMO. The hidden chimney is tucked away to the left.
Pseudoscorpion hitchhiker
Pseudoscorpion hitchhiker
Finding the start of the chimney
Finding the start of the chimney
Kimball Peak (Santa Catalina mountains) 12 mi, 4500' This one was all on trail. Since we had 2 cars we did a shuttle, up the Finger Rock trail and down Pima Canyon. The upper part of the latter trail was fairly obliterated and slow-going; we followed flags and cairns and got scratched up a bit. Lower portion was very pretty. Summit is not very exiting but has good views to the north. The highlight was seeing a squadron of javelinas cross the road on the drive in.
Tanque Verde (Saguaro National Park east) 18 mi, 4800' I went solo on this one. Nothing spectacular to report, just a nice long ridge trail. Surprisingly few people out.
Ragged Top and Wolcott Peak (Ironwood Forest) 5 mi, 2000' Super fun scramble if you can avoid being attacked by a cholla. We went up the north gully, down the south (a little more 'schwacky), then finished with a quick and easy walk up Wolcott Peak.
Superstition Ridge loop 18 mi, 5500' Really pretty loop in the Superstition Mountains east of Phoenix. I started at the Lost Goldmine trailhead, going east along the wilderness boundary, and climbed Turk's Head (class 2) along the way. Then headed up to the "wave cave" which was a bit of a tourist trap. Going cross country to the upper trail looked very poky, so I went back down then up the Superstition Ridgeline trail. I took side trips to Three Sisters (trail) and Superstition Benchmark (class 3) for excellent views to the south. The next portion of the trail was surprisingly steep, requiring use of hands in a few spots. Came down the Heiroglyphic Trail and spent the last half hour in the dark.
Turk's Head
Turk's Head
Everybody go surfing
Everybody go surfing
Whoa
Whoa
Not sure if you're supposed to drink the water, but I seem fine
Not sure if you're supposed to drink the water, but I seem fine
Weaver's Needle, a feature I last visited about 20 years ago
Weaver's Needle, a feature I last visited about 20 years ago
Wasson Peak loop (Saguaro National Park west) 12 mi, 3000' Nice Christmas Day hike, fair number of people out.
Pusch Peak (Catalinas) 4 mi, 2700' Morning leg stretcher close to town before heading back home.
Sentinel Peak (Tucson) Not really a hike but good view of downtown.
Tucson Botanical Garden Probably not the best time to visit, but nice butterfly tent.
Great trip; I'll definitely be back.

Now I Fly, zimmertr, IanB, Tom, Anne Elk, Sculpin, runup  awilsondc, GaliWalker, rubywrangler
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rubywrangler
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rubywrangler
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PostFri Dec 30, 2022 5:45 pm 
Thanks for coming down and finding the route up thimble! It was a fun week, except for the obvious less-fun parts:
Vegas area late Jan/early feb? Anyone?? winksmile.gif

zimmertr, John Mac, neek
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Eric Hansen
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Eric Hansen
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PostSat Dec 31, 2022 4:57 pm 
Vegas late Jan./early Feb. sounds fabulous. I've got vivid memories of an overnighter up Anniversary Narrows, return thru Bowl of Fire. Hidden Valley in the Muddy Mts. also a good one night trip. Moapa Peak is tempting. I can't come but I can day dream.

Off trail rambler

rubywrangler
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GaliWalker
Have camera will use



Joined: 10 Dec 2007
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Location: Pittsburgh
GaliWalker
Have camera will use
PostSat Dec 31, 2022 5:07 pm 
Really cool pics! up.gif

'Gali'Walker => 'Mountain-pass' walker bobbi: "...don't you ever forget your camera!" Photography: flickr.com/photos/shahiddurrani
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awilsondc
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awilsondc
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PostSat Dec 31, 2022 5:42 pm 
That's awesome! I'm just flying back from a week in the Tucson area, visiting some relatives. It's nice to see some sun, eh?! Only one peak for me, a sub summit of Mount Fagan which was right behind my relative's place. Nice sunrise from up there, maybe I'll post some pics later... Again, it was nice to get some sun! I'm glad you two had a fun time!

neek
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RichP
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RichP
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PostSat Dec 31, 2022 9:25 pm 
Man, this looks great. Iím going to have to get me some of that this winter.

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Malachai Constant
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Malachai Constant
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PostSat Dec 31, 2022 11:44 pm 
Did you check out Kartchner Caverns they are pretty special.

"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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neek
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neek
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PostSun Jan 01, 2023 6:41 am 
Malachai Constant wrote:
Did you check out Kartchner Caverns they are pretty special.
Went there a few years ago! Very cool.

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Gimpilator
infinity/21M



Joined: 12 Oct 2006
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Gimpilator
infinity/21M
PostSun Jan 01, 2023 10:38 am 
Very interesting report. I enjoyed it. Thanks. smile.gif

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