Humphrey's Peak, Arizona (12,633')
I flew from Los Angeles to Phoenix and rented a car. I headed north to Flagstaff and started out towards the Snow Bowl ski area on the slopes of Humphrey's Peak. The turn off to the ski area was pretty easy to find, it was well-marked and I found myself winding down a forest road with many sets of glowing eyes just off the road. At about 1:00am, I was almost to the parking lot when I rounded a corner and saw a car on its side in a ditch. I slowed down, and as I drove by, I saw a hand move on the dashboard! I turned around in the middle of the road and slowly drove past again, fearing the worst.
Pulling up next to the car, I yelled "hello" to see if there was any response. I heard a woman's voice and then the car shook a little and two people kinda staggered out from behind it. Andy and his girlfriend had been "out for a drive" a few hours earlier when a deer had darted in front of them and they crashed. Apparently, I was the first car to drive by in the 90 minutes since they crashed. There were college students from Flagstaff, and were stranded, so they hopped into my car and I took them back to their dorm in Flagstaff. They had me come up to a party that was raging for a drink, but I didn't stay too long, since it was now about 3:00am...
Saturday, September 6, 1997
I woke up before the sun rose. Partly because the passenger seat of my rental car was really uncomfortable and partly because about 15 Boy Scouts were up and running around their tents that were about 30 feet in front of my parking spot. I walked over towards the far end of the parking lot where the Scoutmaser was and said Good Morning. We talked about the un-nerving lightening storms that kept waking everyone up during the night. Humphrey's Peak is known for its lightening storms, so we really hoped that we would have a good window of weather with our early start.
After changing and a quick breakfast, I stuffed my rain gear into my small daypack along with some snacks and some water. I was the fourth person out of the parking lot, just behind 3 doctors from Las Vegas. I caught up with them just as we entered the woods after crossing under the ski lift on the grassy ski slope. I hiked with Jim, an emergency-room trauma specialist who had just been filmed for one of those "real-life stories from the Emergency Room" television programs. He didn't want to talk about it, but the couple that he was hiking with kept making fun of him about it. Anyway, he was a nice guy and had done a fair bit of hiking in the Southwest USA.
We hiked up through the woods and took a short break on the saddle between Humphrey's Peak and Mt. Aggasiz. The trail up from the saddle is very straight-forward, it just follows the ridgeline past a few small false peaks to the summit.
To the north, we could see the Grand Canyon, but we didn't stay too long because of the reputation of afternoon storms...
|Please contact me with corrections, questions or comments: Matt Mueller||
updated: 15 June, 2002
revised: 27 March, 2002