Tuesday, August 21, 2012
This morning I awoke at sunrise, ate breakfast, and packed up camp. I got a later start than I had wanted due to some stomach issues. When I finally got started hiking it was already hot. I left the trailhead near Florida Gap and headed up a rough, old road and into a canyon.
The going in the drainage was very easy at first. I traveled on slabs of smooth rock. Soon, however, the rock slabs gave way to steep, slippery scree. I would take one step forward and slide 3/4 of the way back down. To make matters worse, the vegetation was thick. I spent a lot of time bashing through the bushes. As I approached what I thought was the summit ridge, I looked at a large rock spire in front of me and assumed that this must be the summit block. I knew there would be some exposed climbing involved but this climb would be beyond my comfort level. After attempting a climb up a steep, narrow crack I was ready to give up. I pulled out the directions I had printed off and read them again for about the 20th time.
Finally, I had figured out that I was not on the top of the ridge. I had a new plan. I bushwhacked up to the ridge and then found the two spires described on my paper. in addition, there was a large natural arch in the rock that I remembered seeing a photo of.
Gerry Roach claims the North Summit (the one I had summited) was the higher of the two.
I found a much easier (and safer) way to descend back to the car. I saw some interesting looking butterflies