June 8, 2011

White Pinnacle Peak 05.24.2011

This is BY FAR, the most challenging hike I've ever done!! Danger 5/5 and class 4/5. I just didn't have a clue how scary "danger 5/5" was going to be.

The trailhead is located OUTSIDE of Redrock loop, we parked the car at Oakcreek parking space on the side of the road. From the trailhead to the foot of the canyon, was a long dawnting task. Just have to go through flat land filled with desert shrubs. No shade so it's the best to start early morning. One time I walked through this area to do the different hike and it was hot afternoon during the summer. It killed me!

Foot of the canyon
REAL hike starts!

The foot of the Pinnacle Peak is full of boulders. Where we went up was a crack in between two mountains. What you call this, canyon, right?  This canyon consists of large boulders, straight-up-walls with ropes to climb on, steep inclines with loose dirt, and lots of branches and trees to manouver around. This canyon is so narrow that you have to be in a single pile if you are with group. Just enough space for one person to get by all the way to the top.

Need a rope to climb

Hop Step Jump using this boulder
Thats' right. Stone walls are exposed!
In the canyon, it requires a lot of physical strength, especially upper body. You need to be able to pull yourself up on the rock or with rope. Many walls are pretty vertical and exposed though there are lots of tiny cracks and dents where you can place your hands and feet. Finding good hand grips on these rocks are SO crucial. You rely on the grip while you are lifting yourself up. Me having short legs are in a way, disadvantages sometimes. :'(

View from narrow canyon we were in

At this point, we were about 5,500 ft above ground. To the peak on this part is knife edged. We basically have to crawl to get to the top. And the top is really pointy, not having enough room for everyone to sit down in circle and have lunch.

Going back down was, at some points, tougher than going up. When going down the almost-vertical walls, it is hard to see where the foot can go. Searching around the perfect grip on rocks and good foot holes are the key factor for the safety. Always good to hike with someone else so that you will have a spotter at parts like this. One wrong move can make you go BYE BYE from this world! So be careful!

It took us about 5 hours for the whole trip today. The sun was going down by the time we got out of the canyon. Here is the last snap shot of the White Pinnacle Peak hike :)


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