Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Mummy's Toe - 8/6/13

Panoramic View from Mummy's Toe

Mummy's Toe from Ascent

Shelter Near Cabin Resort
We started with twelve hikers, summited with ten hikers and one hiker wandered away. Not a typical Super Tuesday hike but a fun one nonetheless. Today, we set out for an out and back hike to Mummy's Toe via the Deer Creek dirt road from the first parking turnout on the right after the North Loop Trailhead. The morning was crisp and the energy was high. When we reached the place where the road turned to the right at the cabin resort, we kept going straight up the wash on a small dirt path.

Starting the Steep Stuff
The path led us up through columbines passing a really cool looking shelter then took a turn up to the right where the trail became steeper as we gained the ridge. From there, we followed the light trail balanced on top of the ridge until we T-boned into the trail that leads from Raintree to Mummy Springs and on to Mummy's Toe. A few stops were made in these first couple of miles for direction and gathering the group.

Climbing Onto the Ridge

Desert View from Deer Creek Wash Ascent

Climbing Ridge Above Deer Creek Wash
 While the group gathered at the Mummy's Toe Trail to wait for the last hiker up, Mummy's Toe was in view up to the left. Straight up the mountain, it was clear that the warm up was over. The really steep stuff was coming up. First, there were seven switchbacks to contend with. These switchbacks took us across the upper regions of the Mummy Springs wash. After that, the trail did small zigzags in the dirt while taking the hikers steeply up to a wall of rock.

Climbing the Really Steep Stuff
 The trail goes up through a chute in the rock wall where the easiest point of negotiation is found. After getting through the chute, the trail presents confusing scenarios. Up and to the left is the most straight forward way to get to the Toe, however, many hikers opt to continue up where they can get to the cliffs of the Knee or Thigh. Today, a couple of choices were taken but ten hikers made it to the top where a well-deserved break was taken.

View from Mummy's Knee

Smoke Plumes Across Kyle Canyon

Ten AtBFers on Mummy's Toe
 Things got tricky ... and a bit dangerous ... on the descent. Since the writer was one of the ones who didn't summit, Mike OC describes what happened. "We truly experienced sheer terror on the descent. The sight of a one-ton boulder barreling down a 35° slope will certainly put the fear of God in you. Had it not squarely hit that tree, it may very well have gone all the way to Mummy Springs and beyond. Makes a man shudder." The story does not explain clearly who or what set off the boulder but some descriptions have the boulder the size of a small car!

Forested Really Steep Section
 The other non-summitter escaped the group for his own summit of Mummy's Tummy. Would have been fine if he had talked to the coordinator about it beforehand AND driven his own car. Needless to say, there were three unhappy hikers waiting down at the trailhead for two hours for this wayward trekker. Not cool.

Today's hike was almost 6 miles with an elevation gain of 2700 feet.

Angel Peak from Above Mummy Springs

Black Stallion near Deer Creek Hwy

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