Friday, February 5, 2010


I'm in Phoenix for about a month for work, so we've been exploring some of the climbing and hiking in the area.  It's awesome to be able to run up a steep trail or get a few routes in without driving too far.

Day 1
At Pinnacle Peak Park, only the climbers are allowed on the rocks.  Hikers must "stay on the trail...and off the rocks!"  That just feeds the elitist climber's ego, doesn't it?

The view from Pinnacle Peak.

Chester's new digital SLR put to work.

This is what happens at Pinnacle when you climb too long: they lock your truck behind a gate and make you call the police to get out.  Yes, we did that.  I suppose they really mean it when they say the gates are locked at 5:45 pm (not 5:55).  Other than almost getting a ticket for "trespassing after park hours," we got out okay.  The cop was pretty happy to have met fighter pilots, even under the circumstances.

Waiting for the po-po to get us out of the park, I thought I'd snap some shots on a tripod.

Day 2
After our encounter with the law, we left the metro area to climb in the McDowell Mountains.  This 2-pitch line offered tons of exposure...maybe a bit more than Chester wanted on his first day of multi-pitch climbing.

Are we in Yosemite?!  This rock is flawless.

A bit of rain made the 2nd pitch interesting, to say the least.

Day 3--The Superstition Mountains
Finally, some bigger mountains.  Chester and I did an 11-mile hike that took us to a sweet box canyon, swimming holes, and awesome views.

The first few miles of the trail offered views like this.

The last couple miles were up a clear river.  Chester snapped this photo of me improvising after not bringing my tripod along.

No trail here.  For several miles we stayed directly in the riverbed to avoid the gnarly desert nettles.

What's with all these clouds in Arizona?

Entering the box canyon.  Photo by Chester.

This cool little waterfall was surrounded by the 100+ ft canyon walls.

Canyon Lake, the origin of our hike.  Chester snapped this through the window of the car on the way out of the Superstition Mountains.

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