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Ascent of Mount Graham on 2016-11-24

Climber: Dean Gaudet

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Thursday, November 24, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Graham
    Location:USA-Arizona
    Elevation:10720 ft / 3267 m

Ascent Trip Report

as i turned onto AZ-366 there was a sign saying "road closed in 20mi nov 15 through apr 15", fortunately it seemed that i needed to go only 20mi, so perhaps i was in luck.

the paved highway is in excellent repair, obviously it must get a lot of use in season. i would spot one other person walking alongside the road, and see nobody else on the road. however as i rounded one of the switchbacks there was a rafter of wild turkeys, at least 20 strong, in the middle of the road. they scattered about 3/4 to the left, and 1/4 to the right, with two of them undecided and trying to go both directions. it seemed a fitting thanksgiving day event.

the road closure was right after the graham summit dirt road, so keep that in mind. i did pass several other lower places they might close the road, so i'm not sure how lucky you'll be if there is snow on the ground.

the dirt road is in great repair, but there are about a half-dozen downed trees, and no tire marks are visible. it would seem to not be used at all. i do spot footprints in a few brief snow patches along the way, so someone else had been up here in the past few days.

the fire damage is obvious for at least half of the hike, and provides an interesting vista. there is visibility through the burned trees in most directions at some point or another. the summit is a maze of deadfall, easily but slowly navigated. i found no register at the cairn. as advertised, there aren't any views at the summit, even with the dead trees around.

on descent i get tired of the road and cut a few corners, eventually curious enough at some of the flagging i've seen on the way up to try out one which is obviously a short-cut. i save a 0.5mi this way. i had a double-ultra day on the mind and wanted to get to mount lemmon before sunset, if i had been less rushed i would have probably taken the huge cairned trail marker which appears to correspond to 9850 on the USGS map, and a trail to the campground. it would have offered a variation on the return route (probably longer overall).

i checked the gate at heliograph to see if i could drive up... but no such luck. with mount-lemmon on my mind i decide not to take the quick hike up heliograph, it will have to wait until i decide to finish the arizona 20-20 list.

the only squirrels i see all day are well below the trailhead. they didn't get the memo.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1713 ft / 521 m
    Total Elevation Loss:1713 ft / 521 m
    Round-Trip Distance:9.2 mi / 14.8 km
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Snow on Ground
    Weather:Cold, Breezy, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1613 ft / 491 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 1513 ft / 461 m; Extra: 100 ft / 30m
    Loss on way in:100 ft / 30 m
    Distance:4.8 mi / 7.7 km
    Route:standard route
    Start Trailhead:9207 ft / 2806 m
    Time:1 Hours 34 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:1613 ft / 491 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 1513 ft / 461 m; Extra: 100 ft / 30m
    Gain on way out:100 ft / 30 m
    Distance:4.4 mi / 7.1 km
    End Trailhead:9207 ft / 2806 m
    Time:1 Hours 28 Minutes



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