Date: August 14-15, 2009
Destination: Humphreys Peak - Flagstaff Arizona
Who: Julia, Jeff, Justin, Auxanna...(I am sure I spelled that wrong.)
Details: Arizona's highest peak at 12,637 feet. It is in a group of old volcanic peaks known as the San Francisco Peaks. Approximately 9 miles round trip with 3,300+ feet of elevation gain starting from the "Snow Bowl-Humphreys Peak Trailhead.
GPS mapped this route from the trail head...as you can see, it is pretty much up all the way to the top.
Front Row Left to Right: Auxanna, Julia, Jeff
Back Row Left to Right: Justin and myself
Several friends of mine hiked this peak a few months ago as training for climbing Kilimanjaro. They said that it was a great hike and they would really like to do it again...but that they would like to backpack in several miles and then hike to the summit the next day. With that idea we planned a quick weekend backpacking trip...to cut out a little early from work, drive to Flag, backpack in and summit/come home on Saturday :)
"It would have been better"...if we could have cut out of work a little early...but it was not to be. Of course a critical work issue kept us all there until after 5:30...we then met at Julia's house to get organized and head out to Flag. We reached the trail head about 8:30pm for a little night hiking. Lucky for us...it was another adventure. Being that it was Julia's first time backpacking/camping ever!!!...we had to make it a memorable experience :)
Julia gearing up for her first backpacking trip
Finally on the trail...not sure how I got stuck holding someone's pack.
Julia had the brightest headlamp of all of us...probably 1,000,000 candle power. After the 4th or 5th time of shining it in "Gentlemen Justin's" eyes while talking...he threatened..."if you shine that in my eye's one more time I will punch you in the face" :)
After about 2.5 hours of hiking and enjoying the dark, we made it to our campsite. Justin got the fire going while I fired up the stove and boiled up water for the mountain house meals.
First backpacking fire with her husband Jeff.
Getting ready for lights out...1:30am.
Justin got a good "mountain" morning pic of Julia and Jeff. Julia still has the towel on her hair from a great refreshing shower...(quite the tent.)
Auxanna met us at camp early in the morning to hike with us to the top.
Not sure what Justin's deal is...but that is 2 trips in a row with his famous "short bus wave."
Julia, Justin, and I taking a quick break at the saddle just above the tree line...things are beginning to get a bit windy...
The last push to the summit...what a great time. For the past hour we have been hiking in 30-40 mph winds...now they are gusting to 80 mph...people are being knocked over...girls are crying and covering their ears...Justin is laughing so hard his sunglasses fill up with tears.
12,637 feet...highest altitude I have hiked to. Nice for us other hikers had built these rock walls to shield us from the wind. Felt like a sand blaster up there with the dirt/gravel blowing around.
You can do some crazy things in 80mph wind
My hair really gets to be a hastle in this crazy wind...
Now that Julia has summitted Humphreys twice...Kilimanjaro no problem :)