Archive for the ‘Mountain Rains’ Tag

Hiking In The Rain Builds Hat Character   3 comments

Wilderness Rocks_20120705_0420 blogClouds begin to move into the Wilderness Rock area.

Wilderness Rocks_20120705_0423 blogKenne at Marshall Saddle with Wilderness Rock trail behind me as the rain continued.

One of my favorite hiking trails on Mount Lemmon is the Wilderness Rock trail, which is reached by taking Marshall Gulch #3 to Marshall Saddle, where you take Wilderness Rock tail to Lemmon Rock trail — the combination of which is my “Wilderness Rocks Hike.” Yesterday, this hike was really rocking!

I was the lead for the weekly SCVN Friday hike, with Edi Moore and Dan Collins assisting. We guided seven hikers on this six-mile, 850′ elevation change hike through a beautiful part of Mount Lemmon. Because I was the lead, I was only carrying my point and shoot camera, which turned out to be a great decision not take my Nikon D800. Even though I was carrying a plastic bag for the camera and a poncho to help stay dry, the rain and the length of time in it resulted in everything getting wet.

Edi was the tail guide, Dan in the middle and I in the lead. Even though we had checked our two-way radios at the trail head, I was having trouble communicating with Edi, who was falling back with a slow hiker (Dave). At a point just past the Marshall Saddle, they turned back. Dan was able to get part of Edi’s message about having lunch before returning to Marshall Gulch. 

Meanwhile, we continued on to Lemmon Rock trail, stopping for a snack. Before starting out return, I took the above photo as clouds began to move in. Shortly after staring the return hike, it began to rain. The rain was steady with plenty lightning and some small hail. When the lightning sounded closer, we sought cover  next to some of the large boulders near the trail.

One of the things you learn about mountain trails is they become streams in heavy rain. Mount Lemmon recorded about 2″ of rain.

As we continued our return the rain and lightning was creating more of a sense of urgency with the faster hikers, so I picked up the pace. Dan was setting a slower pace with Bonnie, who was doing fine, but was six months out from knee surgery. Dan and I were able to maintain communication with our radios. 

It was still raining when we returned to Marshall Gulch, where we were expecting to see Edi and Dave waiting at the trail head — but no sign of them. Knowing that it was not like Edi to leave without letting us know, Dan and I were concerned. As it turned out, Edi had tried to communicate via the problem radio that she would be returning to Tucson with Dave. Since we were all soaking wet, leaving a note was not possible. 

After returning to Tucson, which had not received any rain at the base of Catalina Highway, I called Edi. Her returned with Dave was stranger that fiction. Dave has a two-seater convertible. Apparently, he had a problem locking down the top, so they drove the 29 mile return down the Catalina Highway, with the top off, in rain and hail — yes hail. I don’t know how much hail was falling on them, but I do know that on our return (approximately 30 minutes later), there were areas along the highway where there was so much hail on the ground it looked snow-covered. Water was falling in currents off the rocks, washing large pieces of the nearby cliffs — it was freaky! Edi will have to tell her story.

Some may conclude that this was a “hike from hell,” but not for me. The resulting challenges brought back youthful memories — it was invigorating!

kenne

When Images Are Created, The Words Follow   1 comment

Misty clouds roll into the canyons

Slowly transforming the horizon

Bringing everything closer together

Turning down the mid-morning lights.

Cloud-drops by chance fall

Through the forest canopy

Kissing soft paddles

Released only by the breeze.

Santa Catalina Mountain Images by kenne

Back from the mountain hike

Monsoon clouds darken

As storms build

Over hiking memories.

kenne

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