Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Fortification Hill - 1/17/12

This Tuesday's hike was a short steep climb up Fortification Hill. To get to the trailhead, take the Kingman Wash Access Road to the north until you reach the beach area. Then take the wash that turns sharply to the right. The report of this hike was offered by Larry D. and the photos (from the peak through the descent) were contributed by Richard J. Thanks guys.

Fourteen ABF hikers drove to Kingman Wash, on the Arizona side of the O'Callaghan- Tillman Bridge, today to hike up to the summit of Fortification Hill. The weather was great -- sunny, clear, very little wind, and temperatures in the mid-40s. We started from the trailhead about 8:50 AM. The main group took the traditional ridge route from the Kingman Wash Trailhead to the base of the lava cliff. A second group came up one of the secondary washes west of the ridge and, eventually, connected with the ridge-top route near the cliff. The ascent from the trailhead to the base of the cliff is steep -- about 1,000 feet in a mile -- but all YDS Class II.

We ascended the lava cliff to the mesa atop Fortification Hill -- maybe a hundred feet of vertical gain and some easy Class III scrambling -- and hiked across the relatively flat mesa the remaining mile or so to the summit.

After a snack break at the top, the ritual signing of the register, and several summit group photos, we headed down. The group again split up, the main group this time taking the secondary drainage down, while the other group followed the ridge-top trail.

All told, we covered about four and a half miles and booked a cumulative elevation gain of about 1,750 feet. We arrived back at the cars about noon.

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