Superstition Mountains, Weavers Needle, Baboquivari Peak
By: Karen Leonard
This trip was formulated last April when I joined Dale on a fabulous trip in Organ Pipe Nat Mon and promised that I would return to that area. Who better than my good friend, who originally 'sponsored' me in the Sierras when I emigrated here in 1981, Ron Jones to join me. With that concluded Ron selected the dates and I did the paperwork. As many of you know in the last 5 years I have rather dropped out of hiking and focused my 50 days a year with the SCMA rock climbing.
At one point in September we were up to nearly 25 applicants for these peaks most of whom I don't know. This was a surprise as I had assumed that CMC was more like British climbing clubs where the list was an invite to friends and not like the Sierra Club where there is a presumption that anybody has the right to participate; this is probably why they have had so many insurance problems. As it turned out we still ended up with one participant who had never rapped before! I don't appreciate that responsibility 5 hours from the closest telephone.
Superstition was a beautiful hike with wonderful views and we all enjoyed the petroglyphs, balanced rock and a lazy hour on the peak. We also lost RJ Secor for half an hour at the end! We then drove round to the camp at Weavers and set up camp at 4.00, started the fire and enjoyed the wide variety of foods for Thanksgiving; Bob Greenawalt's contribution was absolutely outstanding. The day had been bright and windy and the night was starry and cold. We had seen Bill T's group cars. It was dark at 5.00 and various cars leaving at 5.30 to 7.00. John McCully and Karen Leonard popped by at 6.00 on their way out and reported a long but safe climb.
The next day was beautiful weather and the 3 hour hike to the base of the Needle other than the 20 minutes of bush whacking pretty uneventful. Tom Moumblow set an animal. pace most of the way. The Needle took 1 hour up and 2 hours down since a friend from SCMA, Peter Kinman also helped with the rope work and we managed to work in shifts; the only problem was the 15 mins rather than a preferred 1 hour on the top. Some used 4 belays and 4 raps and others 2 and 2. We returned to the cars between 3.00 and 4.00 with an unnecessary bushwhacking shortcut which probably added 15 mins. A total of 8-9 hours. The drive to Babo took much longer than I expected; arrivals at Babo Campground were 10.00 to 11.00 pm.
The hike up to Babo offers a stunning view of the plains; an easy 3 hours of trail to the very cold, in the shade, lichen covered, 120 feet of low class 5 rock. The cold hands and mountaineering boots made this more exciting than anticipated. The scramble to the top was pretty easy and once again interesting views in perfect weather. Participants arrived back at the cars between 3.00 and 4.30. RJ Secor achieved Emblem Status here after only 25 years of climbing. There was a discussion whether to drive back that night or party in the cold. Most partied and the event included a large fire much too much food and a debate directed by Leora Jones on the vertical and horizontal behavior? of men and women. A perfect 3 days with good friends.
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