Weavers Needle, Superstition Mountains, Mopah Point
By: Roy Ward
Over the Thanksgiving holidays we had chosen to do the peaks of Ariz. We were to meet at Peralta at 0730, but I had forgotten to say I meant Ariz. time. The road head is reached by driving approx. 7-1/4 miles SE of Apache Junction on US 60, turning left on Peralta Road and follow 77 to the campground following signs. Twenty-two of us met and found 4 other climbers who joined us. By 0800 26 hikers were on The Dutchmans Trail up Barks Canyon, over Bluff saddle on Needle trail, down Needle canyon to about east of Weavers Needle; then cross country to the base of the needle at the saddle between the peaks. We climbed about a 40 foot class 4 pitch using 2 separate ropes. Then up to the saddle proper on some 3rd class, then on to the top. The view was obscured, by I presume blowing dust, as we had a high cold wind. We spent about 45 minutes on top, had lunch and started down. We set up two rappel ropes and rappel led down the west side about 150 feet. We hiked back down the Peralta Canyon Trail. We arrived at the cars shortly after dark.
The wind continued during the night and it sprinkled rain a little. The weather forcast was for rain, but we decided to try Superstition. It was back to the highway, west toward Apache Junction for about 1-1/4 miles and right on Kings Ranch Road to the end of the blacktop. (Apache land on right) Go straight ahead at the fork across the cattle guard, turn right and stay to the right as much as possible to the end of the road. The road ends in a driveway. Through the fence at a gate and follow the trail up to the Hieroglyphics Springs. Climb up to the balanced rock on the skyline. We had been showered on a couple of times. At the spring, one hiker had turned back with a sore ankle; at the balanced rock, a couple of others turned back. From the balanced rock it was up to the ridge and by this time it was raining and sleeting hard and we were in the clouds. It was cold, windy and sleeting when we did one third class pitch. When we came to a protected out crop of rock, others decided to wait for us. It was on through the wind and sleet; one other 3rd class move and only a short way to the top. Eighteen out of the 27 starters made the peak. On the way down we picked up our stached hikers and were soon back to the cars.
The weather reports were bad so we decided to find out how the weather was on Baboquivari. We caravaned to a small cafe on the outskirts of Apache Junction and overwhelmed the place with about 28 people. We called the National Observatory at Kitt Peak, just north of Babo, and were told it was in the clouds and was sleeting. The temperature was dropping and the forecast was more of the same. All of us decided we had had enough cold and wet, so the Babo part of the trip was cancelled. It was decided that some of us would give Mopah a try. About 12.2 miles north of Vidal Junction on US 95 there is a cairn and a small indistinct road turning west. Seven of us met here the next day. We caravaned to the road end and hiked up the wash to where another wash, that runs on the east side of Mopah, joins the main wash. Following this we then climbed up the slope and around the southeast corner of the peak, up the chute, through a slot, a class 3 move and we then climbed to the top. We were back to the cars at about 1300. Here the climb came to an end and all went their own ways. I would like to thank the numerous people who helped on this trip with their assistance with the ropes, etc.
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