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Ascent of North Mountain on 2014-04-19

Climber: Jason Vogler

Date:Saturday, April 19, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:North Mountain
    Location:USA-Arizona
    Elevation:2104 ft / 641 m

Ascent Trip Report

I had planned on doing the summit of Mount Humphreys on this day but due to weather conditions at Humphreys I had to postpone 1 day. Having nothing else to do I decided that maybe a warm up for Humphreys would be in order. Looking around the city of phoenix I found the North mountain park. I decided that was where I was going to go to get my hike on. I was slow and lazy in the morning and did not want to start until after lunch as getting up for breakfast just did not sound worthwhile. From Chandler I drove up 101 to hwy 60 and went west to I-10. I took 10 to I-17 and drove all the way to Thunderbird Road. I stopped and grabbed some sun screen and some food since I did not want to die from 3rd degree sun burns that my Oregon sensitized skin would suffer from.
From the intersection of I-17 and Thunderbird I drove down to N. Central Ave which was only a few miles and took a right going south. After just a few blocks from Thunderbird road I found a small parking area that was at the base of the Shaw butte section of the park. After covering the skin with 100 UV protection( no I am not exaggerating it was 100 UV protection) I forged out in high 80 degree mid-day phoenix sun. The mountain was pretty steep starting out going from just under 1400 feet to 2100 feet in just under 1 ½ miles. There were a number of people coming both up and down the hill most in workout cloths doing a short steep jog or out for an afternoon constitutional.
I summited quickly and could see the hiking trails that would lead to a summit about 2 miles away as well as another smaller adjacent summit a ¼ mile away. I first went to the closer summit which was the Shaw Butte radio tower summit. After a steep descent from 2149 to a saddle and back up to the summit of 1934’ for an easy pickings peak I again started heading back to the 1400 foot level. I had decided not to go back the way I had come, but instead I took the path that headed south and then west between Shaw butte and North Mountain peak. I only had a small bottle of water and was half way through that after hiking for almost 4 miles by the time I got to the trail that would head over to North Mountain, so I had to conserve. I had not intended to put in as many miles as I already had and the multiple miles I still intended to go but I figured I was not going to die from dehydration since I was not that far from my car.
North Mountain was an extremely steep, but slightly smaller peak than Shaw butte reaching a lofty height of 2104 feet . It was completely paved from a parking lot at the base of the peak until the last 100 yards of the trail to the summit. I had entered the paved road higher up as I crossed over from the Shaw butte trail. I did not have to stop all the way to the top, but I was struggling with the lack of water as the dry desert air kept leaving me cotton mouthed. I was only trying to keep my mouth wet and due to the steepness of the trail it was difficult to do. I again took my pictures and found the north mountain trail better than the Shaw butte trail at least in conditions as the road on the Shaw butte was rocky and jagged and in many places completely broken down.
I then headed down for my car cutting back towards the Shaw Butte area but instead of heading back the way I come I headed north back towards the parking lot. It was relatively flat with interesting terrain on either side and I was thankful for the lack of vertical gain with only a mouthful of water left with a mile walk back to my car. I took in the last bit of moisture as I entered the parking lot and thankfully there was a water fountain right at the trail head. I filled my water bottle and quenched my thirst before driving back to chandler. It was over 7 miles of 1 big loop and 3 peaks. It was a pretty good day if you ask me and I was happy that I went the extra few miles. I just should have prepared better for the length of time I was going to be hiking and had much more water. At least the sun screen worked I did not get burned.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail



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