Better Luck in Arizona

Trip Start May 06, 2010
Trip End Oct 14, 2010

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Flag of United States  , Arizona
Monday, May 17, 2010

I got up early yesterday, Sunday, 5/16/10, and drove over to the Arizona Snowbowl, which is the trailhead for hiking up Humphreys Peak, the highest point in Arizona.  I came here with Jim last year but we ran into thunderstorms and had to turn back just shy of the summit.  Since Jim has already climbed Humphreys Peak he didn't come with me for this part of the trip.

I got ready and headed off at 7:45am.  The trail first heads across a ski slope and into the woods, which is where the snow started making it difficult to follow the trail.  The trailhead is at 9,300 feet.  By 9,600 feet I had lost the trail.  I tried to follow other tracks but that was difficult because there were tracks running everywhere.  I was hoping that as I reached the tree line I would be able to tell where I should be going but, unfortunately, it still wasn't clear.  I continued heading up, hoping I was heading for the correct peak.

At around 12,300 feet I finally found the trail again.  I hiked the rest of the way to the summit at 12,633 feet, arriving at 2:15pm.  Because of the snowy conditions my time of 6 1/2 hours is much longer than typical.  I took a few pictures and then headed down about 2:30pm.

I followed the trail past the point where I had found it on my way up.  It soon disappeared in the snow.  I knew the trail headed toward a saddle between Humphreys Peak and Agassiz Peak to the south so I fought my way through the bristlecone pines to the saddle.  I was hoping that there would be an obvious trail heading down from there but, unfortunately, there wasn't.  I struggled down through the bristlecones and headed down.  I eventually reached one of the Arizona Snowbowl ski runs, which I followed down to the trailhead, arriving at around 6:15pm.  The round-trip time was 10 1/2 hours, much longer than the five or six hours this hike generally takes.

I'm going to spend today resting up and deciding what to do with the rest of my time here.  My flight isn't until the 23rd.  I could leave early, like Jim, or possibly do something here in Arizona or in Nevada.  I'm not too far from Arcosanti, Taliesin West and Meteor Crater or I could go to Las Vegas and see some shows or go visit the vertical wind tunnel again.
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