Viewing posts about Arizona.

Summiting Mount Lemmon

Cool mural at the trailhead

Faint morning light outlined the bulk of Mount Lemmon ahead, a majestic scene as I eased into Catalina State Park. I paid the fee and parked at Romero Canyon Trailhead on the east end. There were a dozen vehicles scattered around the lot, a surprising amount so early in the morning, and I wondered…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted July 14, 2020
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Mountain Rescue, Recruit Redux

For the last two years I've been working on a little side-hustle. A side-hustle that took up more than forty hours a month, pulled me away from a ton of family events, pushed me physically, and didn't pay a cent. I'm talking about Mountain Rescue, of course. And earlier this year I found out the…

  • Category Personal
  • Posted December 1, 2019
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Lava River Caves of Flagstaff

Thomas and Charlotte collecting firewood

This summer I haven't had much free time to pursue my usual passion of solo hiking and backpacking. Instead, my weekends have been full of Mountain Rescue and parenting. Sure, the kids and I go hiking together, it's just not the same as the epic twenty-plus mile death marches that I prefer. Anyways,…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted August 15, 2019
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Center Mountain to Pueblo Canyon Overlook

Big trees along FR 410

Tall pines shushed in the light breeze over the narrow two-track, and I practically had to pinch myself to make sure that I wasn't dreaming about the Huron Mountains of Michigan. I was in the Sierra Ancha range, still in Arizona, and I didn't even have to drive all the way to the Mogollon Rim to get…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted August 25, 2018
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Mountain Rescue Update

For the last ten months I've been training to be a member of a local search and rescue group. The first half was spent doing pre-certification - first aid, rock climbing classes, posse training, etc - and more recently we've been working as a recruit class on foundational pieces. In fact, in May we…

  • Category Personal
  • Posted July 6, 2018
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Anchors Class

After a lengthy delay, I took a second climbing class from Arizona Mountaineering Club in April. Lengthy delay because I took the first class, 'basics', last fall and haven't climbed since, so it felt a little awkward coming back to the group for anchors. The knots and some of the techniques came…

  • Category Personal
  • Posted May 2, 2018
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Getting into CAMRA (Search and Rescue)

Being part of a search and rescue group is something that I've been thinking about over the last few years. There are a lot of reasons why it makes sense, why I think volunteering for a group would be a good fit, though I think it all comes down to how difficult I found Arizona hiking to be. Chris…

  • Category Personal
  • Posted November 8, 2017
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Basic Rock Climbing Class

Last month I took a two-week course on rock climbing, offered by the Arizona Mountaineering Club, which covered everything from basic knots to self-rescue techniques. It was an experience that, after some initially doubts, was something I ultimately enjoyed and would recommend. And yes, this was my…

  • Category Personal
  • Posted November 4, 2017
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Shaw Butte

Hot desert landscape in northern Phoenix

A few mountain hikes lay scattered in the northern reaches of Phoenix, including Piestewa (Squaw Peak) and Camelback, both of which I've hiked when I was first getting used to these desert lands. There are some less lofty ones too, such as North Mountain and Lookout. Calling these mountains are a…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted September 16, 2017
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Sycamore Rim Loop

Morning sun over Sycamore Falls trailhead

Arizona is a state of transition. The Colorado Plateau intrudes from the north, an enormous plain of pines and grasslands around 7000', and reaches almost down to Globe. Where this plain ends there is a mix of steep rims and canyons that eventually drop into the hot, southern deserts closer to…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted September 12, 2017
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