Friday, July 8, 2011

Cockscomb Peak - 7/7/11

Cockscomb Peak is reached by first hiking up Trail Canyon to the North Loop junction saddle then turning right onto the Cockscomb Ridge trail. After hiking nearly all the way to the end of the ridge, you drop down to the left and circle around to climb to the rock summit. The photos on this entry were taken by John Snail and Mike O'C. graciously offers the words below about this challenging hike. He entitles it "Walkin' in the Rain."

The forecast called for rain, and sure 'nuff, it looked and smelled like rain. And indeed the floodgates did open, but not before 11 stalwart hikers made the Class 3 ascent to the summit of Cockscomb Peak. With the approaching storm looming more menacing by the moment, it was high time to abandon the summit.

Halfway down that dicey descent (it's always trickier going down), a few isolated sprinkles hit the group. Alas, this was only a precursor. As we arrived back at Cockscomb Ridge to begin our 2000' descent to the trailhead, God reminded us that He was in charge up here. Jackets were hurriedly donned as a cold mixture of rain and hail pelted us mercilessly at the 9500' level. Brrr.

The rain intensified as we descended Trail Canyon. Had we had paddles, we could have taken a kayak back down to the cars. And just to remind us that He was still running the show in these mountains, the Almighty tossed a few lightning bolts at us, followed by some lusty thunderboomies. Heartbeats, as well as the pace, immediately quickened. It was off to the races.

An hour later, a sense of normalcy returned as we approached the trailhead. The storm had abated and the thoroughly saturated hikers made for the comfort of the automobiles. Good friends, a little shower and lots of laughs. Another grand day in the Spring Mountains.

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