Friday, March 18, 2016

Looking for the Piestewa Alternate

Weather:  75°, sunny

Time:  23.5 minutes

About this hike:  This was a fairly routine Piestewa hike.  I've all but given up on Camelback.  I went Wednesday just before noon and parking was impossible.  Maybe once tourist season is over and the crowds thin out I'll try it again.  Or maybe I'll get the urge to try again next week :-)

I enjoyed fairly uncrowded Piestewa trails this morning, but then right as I reached the summit a bottleneck began.  Not feeling at all patient this morning, I turned around and headed right back down without any rest period on the summit.

On the way down I tried exploring to find the alternate summit trail and I ended up going off on a side trail.  It eventually dead ended.  I know where the alternate trail starts at the base of the mountain, so I might try hiking up that way next time...

Getting closer to the trailhead, I saw an older gentleman with a fresh injury.  He was being attended to by numerous other hikers, but there was blood everywhere.  My stomach immediately turned and I had to look away for fear of dry heaves.  I am very squeamish and wouldn't make a good paramedic!  That was a sobering reminder to be extra cautious and respect the mountain.  Thoughts and prayers are with that gentleman.

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