Friday, July 27, 2007

Taunting Peaks

Four Peaks (Photo taken 3/12/2006 by Steven Cross here)

Today at work it was suggested to me by a coworker that I should look into rescue insurance. "Rescue insurance," I asked, "what exactly is that?" It apparently is insurance you can buy that should you need to be helicoptered out of a sticky situation, you will not get stuck with the bill. They have this? Is there a big market for this? Should I get it? Do I seem like I need it?

I blame my need for rescue insurance on my friend. We recently were discussing the fact that even though they are prominently featured on all Arizona license plates, the 7657 ft jagged Four Peaks Mountains located just 60 miles northwest of Phoenix seemed to be largely ignored in the hiking world. In fact, I have never met a single person who has climbed them. Since this conversation, they taunt us, sitting there laughing at us from every vantage point in the valley. Research commenced and we found out that some people do climb them, in fact there is half trail up to the highest one called Browns Peak (the only named peak) which is considered a class 3 scramble: hard but very doable. This area has the highest number of black bears in the state as well as rattlesnakes, ring-tailed cats, mountain lions, coyotes, javelinas, and deer. Oh yeah, and it also gets quite a bit of snow which makes it only place to climb a snow mountain in Phoenix (or really even see snow). Upon further research, we learned about the really challenging option, that locals climbers have dubbed "the four peaks motherlode". This is when you bag all four peaks in one day traversing the top ridge. It's way easier to say it than to do it as there is class 4 and class 5 climbing involved, lots of rock scrambling and 50 places to fall to your death. I have read accounts of about 4 successful trips and they all said it was insane and they may never do it again.

So I may have excitedly told my coffee break group of normal safety oriented individuals about this discovery, hence the need for rescue insurance. But seriously, this looks like the ultimate adventure, although the hair raising accounts of failed attempts here makes me think twice. I am for sure going to be bagging Browns Peak hopefully in early August and doing a little scouting for the motherlode as well. And looking into that insurance...

6 comments:

Joe Studer said...

Hannah, good luck with climbing the mountain. At least it's not named Bengals peak or something stupid like that. Oh, how can you compare TJ to a 12 year old girl? I'm having some trouble with that one.

Sarah said...

"I blame my need for rescue insurance on my friend." Haha, I love it!!! We'll have to look into that...

la chaser said...

sarah, we almost needed it last night again...

Sarah said...

you know you're a nerd when you start communicating via blog comments :) anyways, i think 25 miles is a good estimate looking at the map... Brian said the trail we took was called Rodeo based on what I told him. Good times, always an adventure :)

Susana said...

I´ve heard of this said insurance before...I was talking about it with a dude on Friday who went waaaaaaaaay into the Ecuadorian rainforest (like, we´re talking 11 hour canoe ride) and he didn´t have "evacuation" insurance...or a sat phone for that matter...which would make it very hard to locate said gringo if he in fact needed to be e-vaced out.

Anonymous said...

I have climbed up to brown peak in both the summer and winter. Awesome experience!