Monday, June 12, 2017

Arizona Snow Bowl Ski Lift And Wild Flowers

Occasionally we would see deer off in the woods on our drive up to Humphrey’s Peak where we would set up the PSAR (Preventive, Search and Rescue) tent at the trailhead.

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Once up there, this one of the views.  That’s Kendrick Mountain where they are currently fighting a wildfire to the north.

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On Saturday, the winds were forecasted to be slightly less than Friday or Sunday, so I took advantage and took the open chairlift up to Agassiz Mountain.  It was a long way up there.  It took 30 minutes to get to the top.  This is just the beginning, that’s the peak.

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The farther I went, the higher the chair was off the ground.

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Follows; are pictures on the way up.

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Getting close to the top, there is still snow on the ground, some parts very deep.

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At the top it is 11,500 feet.  You can see the the false peaks, but not the actual Humphrey’s Peak. It’s behind those peaks, at 12,633 feet.  The picture to the right is a zoomed in view of what they call the “ Saddle”  along the ridge,  Robert, the Interpretative Ranger had a scope set up where you can see some of the hikers on the trail.

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He was kind enough to take my picture.  Yes, it was a bit chili, so I needed the jacket, although it wasn’t as windy as I expected.

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Behind me is a view of Kendrick Mountain.  The haze is the smoke from a wildfire.  Normally, just to the left of the tree line on the right is where you can see the Grand Canyon, but not this day.

Below is a view to the west.  I believe that is Mount Williams on the right.

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Geological Information on the area and on the wild flower that exists only on this  mountain.

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Time to head down and back to work at the Trailhead.

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This is about half way down.

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Almost down.

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Once down, it was back to work.  Below are some of the wild flowers beginning to bloom.

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It seems that this may be my last weekend at the trailhead.  I may be reassigned to help in the office at  the Rangers’ Station.

Working at 9,300 feet is probably not the best location for my health.  I’ve been to the doctor and we are adjusting my blood pressure medicine.

In the meantime, I hope that you all are healthy and happy enjoying your summer.

Thanks for visiting

IMG_2377  I sure am happy when Mom gets home.

Susan and Angel

Thursday, June 1, 2017

First Duty Weekend

This is what we teach every weekend.

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The map below shows the basic trails that we give information for.  The trail to Mount Humphreys Peak (4.8 miles, OW), is the one that goes from the left where there is a small loop that connects with the Arizona Trail.  (that’s the one that goes north to south on the left side)  The loop is the Aspen Nature Loop, about 2.5 miles of easy trail. It’s the one that we recommend for families or anyone that wants a leisurely hike.  It takes about an hour and has beautiful views of the mountains all around going through meadows and glades.   The Mt. H trail has many switchbacks and continues to the east up the mountain, then heads north from the “Saddle”,( that dark area on the map), up and over 3 false peaks and finally to the summit.  The average hike is 6 to 8 hours RT.   Below that is a moderate hike on the Kachina Trail. It goes south and east around the contour of the mountain, about 5 miles OW.  It does go up and down, but it is a prettier trail and has great views to the south.

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The picture on the right is the view from the parking lot next to the tent, overlooking part of the Aspen Loop Trail.

This young man was prepared with all the 10 essentials  to climb to the summit and he started early, (long before we got there) and he was one of the few that made it to the top.

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Below is one of the families that attempted the Mt. H trail.  They went as far as they wanted and then turned back when they got to the snow, I think.  The next picture is of Bill giving information to a small group headed to the summit.  Not sure how far they got.  Most people will turn back when they get to the snow and ice, many make it to the “Saddle”, about 3 hours from the trailhead and about 11,800’.  We remind them that coming down is much harder.  There are slippery roots, loose rocks and cinder,  As the temperature rises, there is snowy slush, which freezes overnight.  They will definitely get wet feet.  It helps to have waterproof gaiters and either micro-spikes or crampons.  Many people come down with scratches and blood from minor injuries. 

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This the PSAR (Preventive Search And Rescue) crew on duty one of the days.  Each day there will be different volunteers.  On the tables, we have information on PSAR and LNT (Leave No Trace).  There are also stickers for the kids, giveaways and extra water.  That’s me, Bill and Pamela.  We set up the tent on Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings, about 9:00 and take it all down about 3:00 in the afternoon.

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So that’s what I do every weekend at 9,300’.  It’s interesting and serves a good purpose.  The Coconino Sheriff’s Department feels that it has certainly reduced calls for Search and Rescue since the program started.

I hope that you all stay safe and are vigilant in all that you do while you enjoy this wonderful country.

Thanks for visiting

IMG_2971  Mom leaves me at home. Sad smile

Susan and Angel