Friday, August 17, 2012

Brian's Mt. Charleston Training Finale - 8/15/12

                                North Loop Trail
 Jerry Thomas provided a great report and a few photos of the hike to Mt. Charleston Peak on Wednesday. Thanks, Jerry. And, great job everyone!

On August 15, 2012, eight hikers that had participated in Brian Dodd's training series showed up at Santa Fe Stations at 5:45am for the training series finale.  Two other non-participants got permission to tag along making a total of ten hikers.  The plan was to start up Trail Canyon to the North Loop Trail and onto the summit of Mount Charleston.  From their we would go down the South Loop Trail to the Cathedral Rock parking lot where we had positioned some vehicles to pick up the hikers.  When we got to the trail head their was a non-member who had gone on several other hikes with AtBF but did not participate in Brian's training series.  She asked if she could join us.  Brian, having no knowledge of the hikers abilities, declined but said it was a free country and if she wanted to hike on the same trail with us that was alright.  So we had one more hiker with us, who wasn't really with us (confusing isn't it?).  We started up Trail Canyon taking breaks every hour to allow everyone to catch up.  Brian was the last hiker making sure everyone was OK.  Everyone did a great job and we reached the summit at 11:30am.  We had our snack break, took the obligatory photos and started down. 

                                Summit Photo

Along the South Loop Trail there are several meadow areas where this author spotted four or five Mount Charleston butterflies.  When we reached the saddle on the South Loop Trail, two hikers expressed an interest to continue up to the summit of Griffith Peak.  They assured Brian that they could catch up with the group before they reached the parking lot.  Brian agreed and off they went to bag two peaks in one day!  After reaching Griffith Peak the two hikers started down the South Loop Trail and veered off on the old South Loop Trail to try to catch up with the group.  This strategy worked well and the two hikers actually passed several hikers before the old trail met up with the new trail.  Everybody reached the parking lot except one hiker.  The sweeper assured everyone that the last hiker was just coming down the trail.  Well, we waited several minutes and the last hiker didn't show up.  The sweeper went back up the trail to see what had happened.  The last hiker was finally located and made it back to the parking lot.  Everyone was very pleased to have accomplished their goals and Brian got many Thank You's as we got in our cars for the trip back.

                            South Loop Trail

        Elevation graph - Trail Cyn, North Lp, Charleston Pk, South Lp with Griffith Pk

                                This loop was accomplished in a counterclockwise direction.

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