Backpacking posts, page 5 of 8.

Mazatzal Peak Loop: Retreat down Barnhardt

Dim silhouette of Sandy Saddle in the morning

Sleep did not come easy on the banks of Horse Camp Seep, though it was mostly my fault. The campsite was perfect and the night sky was clear and beautiful, filled to the brim with stars with only a dim glow of city far to the southwest. I was just not prepared for the cold temperatures. My…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted May 4, 2016
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Mazatzal Peak Loop: Beyond Chilson Camp

A broken water trough at Chilson Camp

A steady background hum of bees, flies, and wasps surrounded me as I sat on a half-rotten table at Chilson Camp and plotted my next move. Davenport Trail, my planned route, wasn't going to happen. If I had come up Barnhardt Trail this morning and had a few more hours, maybe. But I didn't have those…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted April 29, 2016
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Mazatzal Peak Loop: Behind Mazatzal Peak

Towering cliffs of crumbly rock up on Mazatzal Peak

Time slipped away as I relaxed near the junction of Y-Bar and Mazatzal Divide Trails. There were a few things to take care of - change to dry socks, eat some breakfast snacks, filter that dirty water I had collected from a spring - so it wasn't a complete break, just a pause from hiking. A well…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted April 26, 2016
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Mazatzal Peak Loop: Up the Y-Bar Trail

Dim sunlight on the eastern horizon

Fighting the urge to shiver in the predawn coolness, I busied myself with getting my gear ready to go. The van was parked at Barnhardt Trailhead, an hour's drive from Phoenix, right on the edge of the eastern Mazatzals. At 4000' it was a bit chilly up here - the van's thermometer claimed it was only…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted April 18, 2016
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Club Cabin of the Mazatzals

Walkway under the Horseshoe Dam spillway

The Mazatzals. For the last year I've wanted to venture into this wilderness, to take a break from the Superstitions and try out some new (and potentially more temperate) hikes, and never got around to it. Now it was time. I had a challenging weekend planned out that would start at Horseshoe Dam and…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted March 30, 2016
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Establishing Hiking Tiers

For the last eight years I've embarked on a wide variety of hikes. Most of them have been easy, quick treks less than five miles in length near or in well-traveled areas. Some hikes, on the other hand, have been fraught with danger. Long distances, remote locations, and difficult off-trail sections…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted March 4, 2016
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Hiking and Backpacking in 2016

Hiking in Arizona has become more appealing over the last year. To avoid the hot summer temperatures I can start early in the morning or drive to the higher elevations around Payson and Flagstaff. I've only run into a handful of poisonous creatures and never felt like I was in actual danger. Cactus…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted January 21, 2016
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Rainy Supe Loop: Final Haul up the Coffee Flat

Where the trail meets the wash

A warm breakfast can do wonders. After yesterday's all-day rain, missed dinner, rough night of sleep, and frosty pre-dawn start this morning, I had been feeling pretty beaten up when I finally reached JF Ranch. I was also on mile thirty or so for the weekend, with thousands of feet climbed under a…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted January 11, 2016
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Rainy Supe Loop: Cold Drop to JF Ranch

Hints of the too-distant sunrise

Ice cracked and shattered off my tent's rainfly in large, unreal chunks. If I had any question on how cold it was this morning before getting out of my comfortable sleeping bag the ice chunks gave me a clear image. This wasn't a bit of sparkly frost or some clothes that were left out and stiffened…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted January 7, 2016
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Rainy Supe Loop: Wet Slog up the JF Trail

Dark, cloudy skies over the JF Trail

Rain drummed hard on my poncho as I slogged south on the JF Trail in the heart of Superstition Wilderness. I was so sick of being damp and cold. Six hours of rain with only two brief, twenty-minute pauses had sucked away most of my motivation for this trip. I kept my head low, glancing around…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted January 5, 2016
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Activity Stream

  • Blogged about hiking | Lava River Caves of Flagstaff.
  • Created branch master at jacobemerick/advent-of-code-2015.
  • Created repository jacobemerick/advent-of-code-2015.
  • Read Nemesis Games (The Expanse, #5) by James S.A. Corey.
  • Read Cibola Burn (Expanse, #4) by James S.A. Corey.
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