Sunday, December 18, 2011

South Mountain Alta In 3 Hours By Foot

The boy and I did a "practice hike" on Friday, along the Alta Trail at South Mountain park.  It served multiple purposes
- made sure everyone's knees were in good order
- tested out the new Merrell Moab hiking boots we both had recently purchased
- test ran the trekking poles
- tested out both camelback hydration backpacks
...all prior to the grand Canyon hike we're going to do later this month,  down South Kaibab and up Bright Angel trail.  Physiology and hiking equipment all in good order, we hiked from 12:30 to 3:30 and drove home by 4pm (where we drank wine [Argentinian Malbec], ate French brie, English stilton, organic celery & hummus) and waited for Dr Desert Flower to get home from work & happy hour.

South Mountain Alta trail is much friendlier, less stressful, and more beautiful in the day time hiking it with your son than it is after dusk, alone, on a cold December night after already hiking 2 previous mountain ranges, 15 miles horizontally and 1 mile vertically.  We saw a pair of middle aged women with their little dog, and a woman in her 40s all decked out with the latest mountain bike & protective pads, armour, and helmet during the 3 hour round trip trek.  Lots of javelina, coyote & bobcat scat, but no identifiable mountain lion signs.  At the far Western peak of the Alta trail, we took an "arm's length" image with Estrella behind us, showing the mountains & park where we climbed last year, in a retrospective backdrop. 

We are looking forward to the G.C. trek.  It'll be 1/2 of the rim-to-rim-to-rim that crazy "extreme" out door enthusiasts do, so we should be in good shape.  Nathan Jr used the google to find that the "fastest rim to rim to rim time" was 6 hours, over 42 horizontal miles and almost 5 vertical change miles.  That's a 7 miles an hour run, on average.  We'll be going much slower, and 1/2 the distance.  =)


  1. Sounds like a great upcoming hike. South Mt is a good training site for the South Rim trails. Not many places are as vertical for that duration. Our hike up/down was capped off by dinner at El Tovar dining room, I recommend the trout, and advil.

  2. Are you on Phoenix for Christmas?


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