Monday, February 24, 2014

Motivation Monday: Camelback Echo Canyon

Weather:  80°, sunny

Time to summit:  ~30 minutes, forgot to start timer

About this hike:  Despite forgetting to start my phone's timer (fail!), I'd estimate this hike to have been around 30 minutes.  I pushed hard thru the vertical scrambling points.  I felt it in my legs, but I didn't stop.

Othewise this was a beautiful Monday after-work hike.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

New Camelback Record!

Weather:  71°, sunny

Time to summit:  29minutes

About this hike:  I'll admit that the above time is with a 2 minute handicap to accommodate some slower hikers and a bottleneck on the railing.  Still, I made virtually no stops and set a new personal best for reaching the summit.  Was a little crowded today and I had to park off-site, but it honestly wasn't bad.

Notable, today a group of guys went off trail and climbed on a rock outcropping and belted out the national anthem to the cheers of hikers down below.  SMH...some people just love attention.

Regardless, great hike today!

Monday, February 17, 2014

President's Day Bonus

Weather:  88°, sunny

Time to summit:  31 minutes

About this hike:  Today wasn't too crowded and parking was easy to come by.  It's record-breaking heat for February, but not enough to stop we die-hards (and plenty of tourists judging from today's crowd).

Despite the heat I made the summit in near record time.  I'm almost in the 30 Minutes & Under Club!!  Valley air was relatively clear today and the distant mountains were beautiful.  A PHX PD chopper was circling the summit and of course people were waving.  Was a nice unexpected bonus of an afternoon hike.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Busy at New Echo Canyon

Weather:  75°, sunny

Time to summit:  34 minutes

About this hike:  Parking was a mess today!! I hoped the new lot would mitigate this.  However, a rescue was in progress when I arrived, and cars were queuing along McDonald and wrapping onto Tatum.  Police were allowing this.  I've learned of a secret parking area nearby (not to be divulged!) so I left Jake there and walked.  Walkups were apparently OK even as the rescue was in progress, just no influx of vehicles.

Still taking it easy on the wrist, but I think the rescue's impact on crowds helped me make the summit just a little quicker.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

So Good to be Back!! (on the Camel, that is...)

Weather:  62°, sunny

About this hike:  Doctor said the wrist is all healed up.  I've been dying to get up to see the new Echo Canyon trail--it's been over a year since my boots touched it's hallowed ground!!  Got a parking space no problem in the new lot.

Love what the city has done with the surrounding area--it's a legit park now.  The new portion of the trail near the base is nicely graded too.  Took it easy today as the wrist is only at six weeks, but made it to the summit in a respectable sub-40 minute time.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Saturday at Piestewa

Weather:  65°, sunny

About this hike:  Did this one with company so I didn't take the time.  We made it to the summit pretty fast though...otherwise uneventful.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Welcome Back...

Weather:  55°, overcast/sun, breezy

About this hike:  Saturday Dec. 28, 2013 was the last time I wrote in here—and for a good reason.  It was the last time I was able to hike.  That evening I had an unfortunate accident that left me with a broken arm/wrist.  Thankfully it wasn't a super-serious fracture. Now exactly five weeks later, I'm mostly better and decided it was time to tackle my mountain again.  Admittedly, I did go up to Phoenix Mountain Preserve once a couple weeks ago and hike a few of the easier side trails I've always wanted to do—in the past the summit has always beckoned me away.

My arm is still in a removable splint, and so I took it very easy...I'm not sure it's ready to brace a fall (heaven forbid!).  I didn't record my time to the summit, but it went by quickly.  There were a lot of tourists and I had to park a ways out.  The trip down was most annoying as everyone wants to run and I normally take it easy because of myriad tripping hazards.  Today I was extra super cautious which meant frequent pull offs from the trail to let whoever was nipping at my heels pass.

Regardless, it was so good to be back.  Next week I'll be at six weeks.  I hear Echo Canyon has finally reopened...