Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Apache Junction

[by Shelley]
After leaving the Grand Canyon we stopped in Apache Junction, just outside of Phoenix, for a couple days to visit my dad and stepmom. They have a winter home there just a few minutes drive from the Superstition Mountains. Since dad went hiking in Peru with us last year I wanted to get out with them for at least a short hike. We headed to Gold Canyon and hiked the Hieroglyphics Trail up to a waterfall. Unfortunately there wasn't much water running and it was a very popular trail (including an entire scout troop!) Lots of people were out on a warm, sunny Saturday morning. (Question - shouldn't it be "Petroglyph Trail" rather than "Hieroglyphics Trail"?)

By the time we did the hike and had lunch, it was a bit late for Andrew and I to get any climbing in but we headed over to Lost Dutchman State Park (only a few kilometers from Apache Junction) to check out the approach to a route we planned to do. But when we arrived the next day there were three people there getting ready to head up. Rather than wait for them to get far enough ahead of us and then be behind them all day, we headed off to find something else to do and ended up climbing "The Hand", a classic route in the Superstitions. It wasn't difficult but a nice climb up an arete (ridge) with lots of airy exposure! Andrew belayed from the top of the first pitch with one leg on each side - and I had to carefully tip toe around him, using his shoulders as "holds" to start the second pitch. One very long two-rope rappel brought us back down to the bottom.

We also did a one-pitch climb on "The Pickle", another interesting shaped spire near the Hand. A fun couple of days!

2011-01 Apache Junction

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