Saturday, September 28, 2013

Crowds Returning to Piestewa Peak

Weather:  76°, bright sun

Time to summit:  25 minutes

About this hike:  I pushed it hard and was disappointed that my time was just under 25 minutes (24:56).  Mountain was crowded today, as to be expected now that the weather's getting perfect.  I had to park in the surrounding residential streets--something I haven't had to do in a while.

At the end of my hike most of the PHX Fire Department was showing apparently a mountain rescue was about to go down.  Gratefully my hike was otherwise uneventful.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Night Hike - Piestewa Peak

Weather:  97°, dark

About this hike:  Was an impromptu after-work climb with a friend.  I didn't bother taking the time because I knew it wouldn't be my usual fast pace, and rightfully so.  I've come down in the dark plenty of times, but at least half the hike up was just after sunset.  Glad I remembered my headlamp.  Despite the temperature being in the mid-90's it felt pleasant.  Overall a nice night hike.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Saturday at Piestewa

Weather:  84°, bright sun, breeze

Time to summit:  25 minutes

About this hike:  No record broken, but still a good time.  My right knee continues to bother me after my little tumble last Saturday night but not enough to affect my hike...I just made a point of putting weight on the left knee.  The weather's getting a little cooler, and that means bigger crowds.  Otherwise an uneventful hike.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Night Hike & My First Injury!

Weather:  99°, warm breeze, sunset

About this hike:  Got back from a crazy Hawaii trip on a red-eye flight to PHX this Saturday morning.  While I consider myself pretty hardcore, I didn't have any hiking gear in the car, and I was exhausted after no sleep on my flight...needless to say, my Saturday morning tradition didn't happen.

But by 6 pm I was rarin' to get my feet on Piestewa Peak.  I didn't take my time for this hike, mainly because I was stiff and sore having spent 10+ cumulative hours crammed into an airplane seat. I knew it wasn't going to be a record-breaker.

What a beautiful evening.  I reached the summit just after sunset.  A large, puffy white cloud over the McDowell Mountains was shooting out dazzling bolts of lightning.  And there was a warm breeze.  I stayed up on the zen-like summit for a long time just observing, thinking, reflecting... And then on the way down, all was well (I remembered the headlamp this time!) til near the base when I took a tumble.  Not sure how it happened...but I skinned up my hand and knee and hurt my left ankle.  None of it bad though, and my injuries haven't stopped me from working out today (not hiking tho!).  So after 2+ years of hiking Phoenix's and the surrounding mountains, one minor fall isn't a bad safety record.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Weather:  84°, overcast, light sprinkles when at the summit

Time to summit:  24 minutes

About this hike:  Another solid new record!  It was a little cooler this morning, and overcast, but humid.  I had to push hard, as my legs were killing me at the end (a long run last night didn't help).

Monday, September 2, 2013

Laboring Up Piestewa Peak

Weather:  94°, sun, breezy, dust storm in the distance

Time to summit:  26 minutes

About this hike:  No records beat, but despite higher temps, the humidity was a lot lower too.  There was a nice breeze, and by the end of my hike it had ushered in an unwelcome dust storm from the south.  I contemplated waiting it out at the base of the mountain, but opted to drive home and take my chances.  Gratefully, as awful as this one looked, it never really amounted to much.

Dust storm approaching