Ascent of Mount Wrightson on 2019-05-25

Climber: Gustav Sexauer

Others in Party:Katrina
Date:Saturday, May 25, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Mount Wrightson
    Elevation:9453 ft / 2881 m

Ascent Trip Report

This was it. After moving to Arizona in 2017, we had set a goal to hike all of the county highpoints together. I had done 3/15 at the time, but we quickly got even with a hike up Harquahala to catch Katrina up, and then we slowly picked away at the rest. It was our final weekend in Arizona before moving to Vermont and this was our last bucket list item to check off. We camped Friday night near the trailhead on a forest road with dispersed camping and were first to park in the lot while it was still dark. We started hiking the Old Baldy Trail which was supposed to be steep and rocky. It didn't seem bad in either way. I would say it was moderate and mostly dirt. It got lighter and we warmed up, mostly due to our own exertion. We could see the prize, the rocky summit dome, intermittently through the trees. At Josephine Saddle we found out about the boy scouts who died up here in the 50's. This was the final piece of the puzzle to figure out what Kenny's girl was afraid of we he hiked it with her two months ago. She said she had a hard time sleeping at the final saddle due to being afraid of bears, mountain lions, and ghosts... We continued up the combined trails and discussed how Bellows Spring got its name. The views were getting better and better, and the forest changed with the elevation in textbook sky island form. On the final saddle we started to feel the cool breeze and left whatever ghosts there were behind. The Crest Trail took us from there to the top, but made some impressive switchbacks up the rocky face to get us there. Good work, CCC. The final pitch mellowed out and we walked between the grasses to the foundations of something at the summit. We had done it! All 15 Arizona COHPs were under our belts and in our memories now. We weren't on the top for more than a couple minutes when the second summiter of the day ran up and turned around to run back. Then a man showed up as well while we were there. In every direction we could see peaks familiar to us, and many that we had hiked. We still left a few on the table (Mica and Baboquivari), but I have a feeling we will get to them someday.

We went back down the way we came to Josephine Saddle, then mixed it up by going down the Super Trail. The trail wasn't as steep as Old Baldy, but it did have some uphill sections which made it a little annoying. We thought it would be easier on us to come down the less steep way, but I'd say you could come down either way. We hadn't truly finished our goal until we were back at the car. There, we pulled out our Arizona flag and got a picture with it. That's a wrap. On to Vermont.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4088 ft / 1245 m
    Total Elevation Loss:4088 ft / 1246 m
    Round-Trip Distance:12 mi / 19.3 km
    Grade/Class:Class 1
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:4008 ft / 1221 m
    Distance:5.4 mi / 8.7 km
    Route:Old Baldy - Crest Trails
    Start Trailhead:Mt. Wrightson TH  5445 ft / 1659 m
    Time:3 Hours 37 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:4088 ft / 1246 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 4008 ft / 1222 m; Extra: 80 ft / 24m
    Gain on way out:80 ft / 24 m
    Distance:6.6 mi / 10.6 km
    Route:Crest - Old Baldy - Super Trails
    End Trailhead:Mt. Wrighton TH  5445 ft / 1659 m
    Time:3 Hours 46 Minutes

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