Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
Finger Rock is a landmark on Tucson's northern skyline (did I mention the city is surrounded by mountains?). Since we moved here in January, I've wanted to get on top of one of these northern skyline peaks. This way when people ask, "where did you hike this weekend?" I can just point.
Finger Rock looks like the formation making a fist with the index finger pointed up. To the left is Prominent Point and to the right is something else. This is the view on our way back down to the car. We made it about two thirds up the right side of the pinky knuckle. I have no clue how tall it is, but if I had to guess I'd say 290,000 feet.
I met up with my hiking buddy, Ross, at 6:30 am as the sun was coming up because we had no idea how long this was going to take.
We shuttled to Pima Canyon Trailhead and started up that way for an hour or two. Then it was off the trail up a side canyon. The trail quickly disappeared, and it was a hard, painful scramble that got harder and more painful as we went on. Here is the progression.
At the start of the side canyon, there was boulder hopping.
Then we saw where we were headed. Ouch. This one's gonna hurt.
Then we come to this stuff. 10-15 foot waterfalls. "Technical Scrambles," if we fell though, it'd be hard terrain to have to drag somebody out of. On the upside, I like this kind of thing, and it was breathtaking the entire way.
This is what the view looked like back down the canyon. These pictures were taken nearing the top in pretty close succession. Check out the change in perspective on the horizon.
I took this one like ten minutes and 800 vertical feet later.
This is as high as I got.
Getting close to the top of the peak we saw the base of Finger Rock. It's rougher than it looks. It's saying, "don't mess with me, boy; I'll straight whoop yo ass."
We didn't get up to the base of the finger. I thought I'd be more disappointed this catastrophic failure, but I am even more excited to go back next time. It was scary up there. I saw the route to get up to the base. It didn't look to hard, but I was worried about getting down. That, and getting up. This isn't the environment to test out your abilities sans rope. From where I took this picture I would have fallen only twelve feet; I'm sure I've fallen twelve feet when I used to skateboard, so I thought, "no big deal." But a fall from any higher, and who's covering closing costs on our house is no longer the biggest of Em's concerns... You can pry tell I was lying when I said I wasn't disappointed.
I'd like to come back here with rope and know-how and get up on this beast.
I feel like I made the responsible decision.
Looking south over the city. Santa Ritas to the south on the left edge of the pic. The Tucson Mountains are the hills on the right edge. The look puny from up here, but they are legit mountains. The canyon in front is Finger Rock Canyon, and our car is parked at the base of it.
It was a beautiful day for hiking. We hung out up here for fifteen minutes then headed. back down.
This was a great day of hiking, all 8 hours, ~50 cactus spines, 7000 calories, and I haven't been able to move my legs for three days of it. I want to get Em to come out with me, but she'll have none of it. I think I have some of the glutton for punishment left over from my skate rat days.
"Chad is out there wrecking his body for this video," Toy Machine ad for Welcome to Hell.