Sunday, August 12, 2007

Halfway to the Motherload

Road Home from Four Peaks

Operation 'Conquer Browns Peak & Scout The 4 Peaks Motherlode Feasibilty' was a smashing & scratching success. After a very long bumpy 1.5 hr drive down the 4-wheel drive only road, we finally hit the trailhead at 8am. The hike started through a nice easy climb up a wooded mountain side which was an interesting display of re-forestation following a 1996 forest fire.

In no time at all we were up to the saddle (the official end to the hike) at the base of the peaks and we started the rock scrambling to the top. There is one main scree chute to climb up which although being very steep, was fairly easy for those with any sort of rock climbing abilities. In less than 1.5 hours we were standing on the top of Browns Peak looking down on Lake Roosevelt, Lake Apache, the Superstition Mountains and the Four Peaks Wilderness. At this point in the morning, we had not seen a single other group of hikers. Our lofty future goals include tackling the 'Four Peaks Motherload' which is simply climbing the ridge line to hit all four peaks in one day so this trip was also supposed to be used as a scouting expedition. I have read that the hardest climbing is between Browns Peak and the next peak over. I figured that if this was the hardest, I would check out just how hard it was. Since it was still so early, the gang was game to try to get to Peak #2 (unname peak just south of Browns).

View of Ridgeline Looking South

Shortly after we left Browns Peak, we found ourselves traveling down loose steep rock with a lot of brush and cactus. As we were sliding down a steep nearly vertical section, Tom yells, "Look at the size of this turd!" Ah, honey really? You are this excited about excrement? Then I got a look at the size of that turd, and damn it was big. So big, that there is only one animal that makes fresh poo the size of that and it walks on 2 or 4 legs depending. According to the in-true-net, this wilderness region has the largest population of black beers in the state. So of course I snapped a pic, cause everyone wants to see a giant fresh turd. Most of the traverse to the second peak was rock scrambling and tiptoeing along a slanted ridge with some actual rock climbing thrown in for good measure. All very fun. After reaching a false summit , we finally reached the real deal without encountering any large animals and got to sign our names in the geo cache. At this point, due to water constraints, it was really time to head back.

Tom Bouldering Up to Peak #2

We reached several places which required a little back rock climbing of about 25 feet, but overall there were plenty of hand and feet grips to make it a doable but exciting decent. At the saddle between Peak #2 and Browns Peak, we had to decide whether we should go back up and over Browns Peak to the path, or just bushwack down the side of the mountain. Well I usually like to leave the known for the unknown, so we decided to venture into the bush. It ended up being a big mistake. From high on the mountain, the bushes looked small and friendly. They ended up being the meanest scratchiest, born on the wrong side of hell sadistic trees masquerading as bushes. We ended up spending two hours bushwacking through briars and while cursing leaving the nice rocky trail (see bushes below). We finally got back to the car throughly scratched but still glowing from the day after 5 hours. We only saw our first fellow hikers 20 minutes from the end. I just love the freedom of a day spent in nature with no agenda, no conference rooms, no deliverables and no limitations to what we might experience.

Our Bushwacking Decent Between Browns Peak and Peak #2.


Crazy Rower #2 said...

Wow, looked at your pics... and it looks AMAZING!!! I can't wait to do the entire thing twice: Mother/Father Lode! Very cool, nice job guys!

Tom said...

I can't believe you posted the Giant Turd! Mr. Hankey rises again.

joe said...

what is so strange about the size of that dookie? Looks like what TJ would leave in the upstairs bathroom after Thanksgiving dinner at Uncle Leon's. Nothing stirs up a good poo like rockem-sockem robots!

chris thomas said...

Does anyone else find it odd that Tom discovered the turd? Was anyone watching him the 2-20 minutes before he "found" the turd? Is that what tom took the sleeves off yet another shirt for? Seriously tom, wear sleeves, you look lie a female speedskater.

megan said...

all i was gonna say was groodie- but now i have to add you have some funny friends.