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Tag: Superstition Wilderness (page 1 of 3)

Battleship Mountain

On Monday, the 21st, Kay, Diane, Diane, Nanci, Anne, Karin, Ben, Marilyn, and I hiked out to Battleship Mountain and back. Kay, Diane, Karin, and I went to the summit. According to my GPS watch, we hiked 12.75 miles with a little over 2900 feet of total ascent.

Early in the day on the Second Water Trail:

Looking toward Battleship Mountain from Boulder Canyon.

Diane and Nanci:

Kay, Karin, Diane and I are now on our way to the summit.  There is a steep scramble required to get atop this ridge leading to the summit. The dark spot in the reddish-orange rock just left of center is another hiker making his way back (and down at that point) after visiting the summit.

A view of Canyon Lake from the top:

Near the summit – looking back along the ridge we hiked / scrambled to get to the top.

Another view of Weaver’s Needle as we started to make our way back…

Kay and Karin make their way up one of the more exposed sections of the hike. The woman at the very top wasn’t in our group.

Looking down into La Barge Canyon on the left…

We saw this tarantula need the end of the hike.

These are a few of Kay’s photos:

In this shot, we’re still on our way to the summit. I had just descended the exposed bridge and am trying to figure out where to go next. Diane and Karin are still making the descent.

We’re heading back in this shot; another good look at Weaver’s Needle…

In this shot, I’m spotting Diane as she descends what is probably the most difficult technical section of this adventure.

In this photo, Karin and I are making our way down some more steep stuff. I think this is near the point where I had pointed out the fellow descending in the fourth of my photos.

Kay got a good shot of the weather system that was moving in over the Superstitions as we finished our hike.

Karin took this photo of the four of us at the summit:

Sunday Hike – Praying Hands / Massacre Falls Loop

Nick, Mike, Bob, Marilyn, and I did a hike in the western Superstitions on Sunday. I hiked nearly 7.5 miles with about 1700 feet of total ascent.

La Barge Battleship Saddle Loop

Marilyn, Linda, Ben, Marilyn, and Mona joined me for a twelve mile hike of the La Barge Battleship Saddle Loop. I modified the hike somewhat from the route on hikearizona.com; I turned the loop into more of a lollipop by hiking back on the Boulder Canyon Trail instead of coming back via Boulder Creek.

The hike starts at the Canyon Lake Marina and follows the Boulder Canyon Trail to the intersection with La Barge Canyon. From there, we entered La Barge Canyon and hiked up-canyon until the way narrowed and became blocked with boulders. There are some nice pools of water here; some of us stopped and ate lunch at this spot. We then backtracked slightly and hiked up to the saddle at the “stern” of Battleship Mountain. From there, we descended the other side of the ridge until we entered Boulder Creek. From there, we hiked back on the Boulder Canyon Trail (mostly through Boulder Creek) and found Marilyn waiting for us at the Indian Paint Mine ruins. (Marilyn wanted to limit her hiking to eight miles for the day.) We finished our hike by returning the way we came – on the Boulder Canyon Trail.

The route is shorter and has less elevation gain if you follow the route posted on HAZ.  However, I’m guessing that it is harder because the way back is through Boulder Creek; there is no trail for the two miles or so back.  It looks to me like it’s boulder hopping all the way.  For me, I think this would be more strenuous than hiking back on the Boulder Canyon Trail.

This is La Barge Creek, just above the point where it empties into Canyon Lake. It has water in it due to the backflow from Canyon Lake. While we did see some pools of water in La Barge Creek, it was mostly dry on the day we hiked it.

Battleship Mountain on the left and Weaver’s Needle more towards the center. I have a lot of photos of Battleship Mountain in this set of photos.

Yep, this is still Battleship Mountain.

Heading up La Barge Creek now, with Battleship Mountain on the right.

The bow of Battleship Mountain is impressively steep.

I haven’t been able to figure out the name of this peak, but it’s impressive looking from this vantage point while walking up La Barge Canyon.

This shot helps to explain why Battleship Mountain has its name. When approaching it on the Boulder Canyon Trail from the marina, it looks like it might be a blocky cube shaped mountain. But that’s not the case at all.  It’s a long mountain which forms one of the walls (for quite a distance) of La Barge Canyon.  I hope to get a photo of it someday from Geronimo Head which is taller than Battleship Mountain – it’s just across the canyon from Battleship Mountain.

Continuing up La Barge Canyon. Later on, we hiked to the top of the saddle at the right.

Minnows.

This is where La Barge Canyon starts to narrow.  There are several pools in this area.

Looking back down La Barge Canyon from the trail leading up to the saddle. Battleship Mountain is on the left and Geronimo Head is on the right.

Ben, Marilyn, Linda, and Mona:

A view of Weaver’s Needle from the saddle just aft of the “stern” of Battleship Mountain.

As we hiked down to Boulder Creek, we saw a saguaro with many twisted arms.

This is part of the ruins at the Indian Paint Mine where Marilyn was waiting for us.

A memorial for someone or something who (apparently) died while hiking on Feb 21, 2014. (It seems unlikely that it’s 1914 or 1814.)

One of the many rock formations that we saw while hiking back on the Boulder Canyon Trail.

Looking down at Canyon Lake:

Some last looks at Battleship Mountain and Weaver’s Needle just prior to losing sight of them on our descent back to the Marina…

Kevin and Marilyn:

Fish Creek Canyon

Nick, Ben, Marilyn, and I hiked perhaps a mile up Fish Creek Canyon from the bridge.  We had planned to go further, but were turned back by bees.

A view from the bridge before starting out:

Nick and Ben take a look at the bridge from the bottom just before heading up canyon.

A tiny waterfall:

There were a number of pools that we had to work around.

An especially green pool:

The piled up logs and smaller pieces of wood is evidence that the canyon occasionally carries a substantial amount of water.

Lunch break:

Looking up-canyon (while still on lunch break):

 

Roger’s Canyon

Sandra, Mark, Randy, Marilyn, and I hiked Roger’s Canyon on Saturday. The canyon is pretty and, at about 4 miles in, there are some 600 year (or so) old cliff dwellings.

La Barge Battleship Saddle Loop

On Sunday, I did a hike in the Superstitions, the La Barge Battleship Saddle Loop.  This hike starts at the Canyon Lake Marina, following the Boulder Canyon Trail until it reaches La Barge Creek. It then heads south down the creek until it reaches a narrows with pools of water.  It then backtracks a bit and heads up to the saddle south of Battleship Mountain. I took a short side trip from the route at this point and visited the “stern” of Battleship Mountain in order to see what the opening moves of this class 3 territory look like. The route then heads to the west to Boulder Creek. From there, I rejoined the Boulder Canyon Trail which I took back to the trailhead.

A view of Battleship Mountain and Weaver’s Needle from the Boulder Canyon Trail.

Another look at Battleship Mountain. I’m still on the Boulder Canyon Trail, but am near the turnoff into La Barge Creek at this point.

One of the pools of La Barge Canyon. Prior to this the creek had been quite rocky.

Looking back down La Barge Canyon from the way I had came.

I turned around shortly after passing this pool.

At this point, I’m returning to find the trail up to Battleship Saddle. The saddle is in the sunlit section to the left. The red rock near the top of the photo is actually the starboard side of Battleship Mountain. The part at the far left in the photo would be the stern.

Looking north down La Barge Canyon on my way up to the saddle.  Battleship Mountain is on the left side and Geronimo Head is on the right side.

This is the “stern” of Battleship Mountain – it’s not as impressive as the “bow” which was shown in two of the earlier photos. If you look closely, you can see two hikers making their way up at the left.

A view of Weaver’s Needle from just below the stern of Battleship Mountain.

I’ve made it through the rocky part of Boulder Canyon now.  The GPS track that I was following routed me further down Boulder Canyon, but I opted to follow the trail instead.

This is the site of the Indian Paint Mine.

This is one of the walls of Geronimo Head.

Looking toward Canyon Lake on the way back.

Sunday Hike – Dacite Super Loop in the Superstitions

Marilyn, Ben, Marilyn, and I hiked the Dacite Super Loop in the Superstitions.

This was an early view from the Lost Goldmine Trail:

Marilyn, Marilyn, and Ben on the Carney Springs Trail:

After leaving the Carney Springs Trail, we went the wrong way by following some prominent cairns. I hiked to the top of a ridge to see if there was a shortcut to get back to our trail. There didn’t appear to be anything easy, but I noticed this really cool rock formation while I was looking around.

Weaver’s Needle:

One of the views as we descended to Fremont Saddle:

Ben and Marilyn with the famous pine tree & Weaver’s Needle in the background:

One of the many great views from the Cave Trail:

Ben spots Marilyn as she makes her way down one of the steeper sections of the Cave Trail.

Minnow Canyon

Marilyn and I had a canyoneering adventure in Minnow Canyon on Thursday, the 19th.

The route is only 2.4 miles in length, but has some bushwhacking, down-climbing, and one rappel.  There were several spots where we lacked the skill and nerve to do the down climb. In those spots, I rigged a rappel, usually no more than 20 to 30 feet, so we could get past that point safely.

The long rappel near the end was a lot of fun. It was about 130 feet in length and an overhung section near the end, in which you can no longer touch the rock with either your hands or feet.  There’s a large boulder which can be used for an anchor at this point. There were already two slings in place, one of which still felt supple enough that I was willing to trust it.  I rerouted the second (and presumably older) one a bit so that they were equalized.  The one problem that I saw with the way that the anchor was rigged was that rapid links (rappel rings, though which you pass the rope) were set back too far from the edge.  Setting it up this way makes it easier and perhaps safer to get over the edge, but it creates a lot more friction when it comes time to pull the rope.  That proved to be the case; I had to pull very hard on the pull cord to get it to move.

It was dark when we got to Fish Creek, so we strapped on our headlamps so that we could finish the adventure.  There was water in the creek; I saw pools that appeared to be at least three feet deep.  I was able to find a way around these pools though.  The climb back to the road at the Fish Creek Bridge was challenging in the dark.

It turned out to be a 2.5 mile walk on the Apache Trail to get back to our vehicle. We left our headlamps on so that cars would see us.  It might have been safer doing this part in the dark because cars could definitely see us.

The hike starts on Forest Service Road 213. Hiking the road is easy, but there are still some pretty good views.

I left the road to photograph this view.  I got us lost for about half a mile while trying to get back to the road.

At this point, we had entered the wash which eventually led to Minnow Canyon. To get here, we had to descend a steep(ish) hill in the rain and then make our way through some cat’s claw. I was happy that I chose to wear a long sleeve shirt and long pants.

Bushwhacking was not over though…

Making our way further down the wash…

As the walls started to steeper, the way became easier for a time.

But after a while, the way down started to get steeper.

I found the striations in this wall interesting.

I took this photo when I was scouting a way down. We ended going down a short wall which had a nearby tree which helped us get down.

After taking this photo, the way got considerably harder. I was so focused on figuring out how to proceed down the canyon that I forgot to take pictures of our adventure.

I took a few more photos when we (finally) reached the 130 foot rappel. The larger boulder to the right is the anchor. The rope bag with 200 foot rope is in front of the boulder. If you look closely, you can see some purple and green webbing. The green webbing was in better shape. I used a carabiner block along with a pull cord for rope retrieval.

Marilyn down-climbs an easy section just before the rappel.

Marilyn, starting the rappel.

Marilyn is scoping out the upcoming steep section of the rappel. She was also trying to figure out whether or not she could get the rope on the other side of the tree. (She couldn’t.)

This was the view from the top of the rappel. After the rappel, there was still quite a lot of down climbing and I, again, forgot to take more pictures.

Sunday Hike – Rock Creek Trail – Mazatzals

 

Sunday Hike – Massacre Falls Loop

Bob, Nick, and I hiked the Massacre Falls Loop on Sunday. Starting from First Water Trailhead, we hiked a loop of a little over eight miles with nearly 1300 feet of elevation gain.

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