Ascent of Apache Peak on 2018-04-23

Climber: Richard Hensley

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Monday, April 23, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Hi-Clearance Vehicle
Peak:Apache Peak
    Elevation:7711 ft / 2350 m

Ascent Trip Report

Got an early start, so I could wear my long rip-proof clothing before it got too warm. Jones/Poulin thought their route was best; but recent reports of an unmaintained trail to the main saddle had me hoping for even better. Since I had the time, I decided to use each for comparison.

Since I always choose to ascend the steeper route, I went up Jones/Poulin. There are a lot of small grassy areas to maneuver through, but still the issue with prickly plants there, and then some tree-whacking high to avoid the highest hump. But on the ridge, where it should have become easier, large areas of grass were filled in with mesquite, that presented a maze to walk through, and you still had to push through some and take your scratches to make progress. Throw in some extra humps, and this is a worse route in many ways. In all due fairness to Jones/Poulin, they could not have known the existence of the lower trail.

I returned via the trail first reported by McClellan and the Southern Arizona Hiking Club. This trail was obviously made many years ago, but is rather faint at the beginning, thus easily missed. Start up from the middle of the turnaround area, curve left toward the side ravine (that blocks the road), bend right to go past a large juniper, then angle down to cross the now-shallow ravine, where it bends sharply left to exit the ravine. I enlarged the first cairn, and built several more to mark it better. The good news is that the trail gets better as you go. Still a couple slide areas at ravines, branches to duck under or push aside, and a couple slightly messy reroutes around tree growth, but overall so mild in comparison to the ridgetop. I'm guessing that groups from Fort Huachuca have been keeping this trail beat down.

Unfortunately I lost part of my gps track on the return, so I'm not posting it. Use McClellan's or McEntee's.

Coming down the cliffy section of the west ridge, I passed near a rattlesnake I did not see in the grass or rocks. Didn't rattle at me until I was below. Scrambling through this section seemed better than the loose scree/grass beside it.

McEntee missed the large mason jar deep in the summit cairn. A good argument for not leaving a new register until the previous one is mostly used. 4 good registers in there, though a couple are old and flimsy.

87F when I got back to the trailhead.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2721 ft / 828 m
    Total Elevation Loss:2721 ft / 829 m
    Round-Trip Distance:4.8 mi / 7.7 km
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack, Scramble
    Weather:few cirrus; viz 40 dust; breeze; warm
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2571 ft / 783 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 2311 ft / 705 m; Extra: 260 ft / 79m
    Loss on way in:260 ft / 79 m
    Distance:2.6 mi / 4.2 km
    Route:Pk5898 rij; W rij
    Start Trailhead:31.82005,-110.45924  5400 ft / 1645 m
    Time:3 Hours 23 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:2461 ft / 750 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 2311 ft / 705 m; Extra: 150 ft / 45m
    Gain on way out:150 ft / 45 m
    Distance:2.2 mi / 3.5 km
    Route:W rij; trail
    End Trailhead:31.82005,-110.45924  5400 ft / 1645 m
    Time:2 Hours 17 Minutes

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