Friday, November 10, 2023

Calico I Scramble Exploratory - 11/9/23

Scrambling at Calico I

Overlook at Calico I

Calico Wash heading toward Calico I

South end of the Calico Hills
Three of us went out to do a hike/scramble in the southern Calico Hills. It was a hike I had done before that we had named the Backdoor Calico Scramble, ( a year and a half ago. At that time, I had no problem finding the particular crack that climbs all the way up to the top of the hills. This time, however, it eluded me. (We had a fun time scrambling anyway.)We began from the Calico Basin Road wash trailhead, went through the fence on the right then followed the trail to the left to climb up to the trail that follows along the ridge toward the southern end of the Calico Hills. Using a descent trail, we dropped into the Calico Wash at the bottom and ascended until we found the waterslide as seen five photos below. Last time, we were able to climb up the waterslide into the slot above. This time, we had to use the go around on the left side.

Looking at the Calico Hills

Calico Wash Scramble

Calico Wash

Changing to the Parallel Trail
From there, we continued up until we found the slot climb on the right that is the beginning of that sought after crack climb. Up until this point, at the top of this little slot, we were good. THEN, I got off on the wrong trajectory! And, unfortunately, try as I might, I could not recover! But, it was fun! We were climbing all over the rocks and cliffs ... and a few catclaws (honeysuckle mesquite). There were several other scramblers and rock climbers around and no one knew where it was I was trying to get to! It was that "wave" formation as seen in the second photo of the blog from 2022. Never found it this time! My bad! So, after making a circular route up, around and down, (... found a new ascent/descent route!), we returned to Calico Wash and had a break.

Mike inspects the Rock Pile beneath the Waterslide

Slot Climb

Overlook from Scramble to Wash

Kay stretches Up
Deciding to "just go home," we connected with the trail above us and followed it all the way back to the descent trail that we had used before. Again, we descended to the wash. But, this time, we continued straight at the bottom to follow the trail all the way back out to the cars. For me, this was great! I had never returned to the cars this way before. It was like being on the freeway! No exits! The guys assured me that it was all good. We still did the distance and elevation gain that we had set out to do!

Stats: 4.5 miles; 900' gain; 3.25 hours

Steep Scramble

Needed a Break

Connecting to the Trail on the Other Side

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