Monday, October 09, 2006

Hiking Camel Back

Today is Thanksgiving in Canada. I'm back at home with my family and enjoying the sunshine streaming in my windows during breakfast. I have a bunch of ideas running around in my head from the conference in Arizona - hopefully I'll get them blogged this coming week.

I've posted a few more pictures on my flickr account, including images from my hike up to the top of Camel Back Mountain just outside of Scottsdale. I first found Camel Back the first morning I was in Arizona when looking for a GeoCache hidden in the park. While at the park I saw dozens of early morning hikers who seemed to be racing and and down the mountain before going to work. I couldn't pass up an opportunity to check this hike out.

The next morning (Thursday) I woke at 6:30AM and drove to Camel Back park. I started up the hill around 7:00AM, without any idea about how high it was or how long it might take. Turns out that the trail is about 1.3 miles (almost 2km) long and covers almost 1600 vertical feet. That's an average grade of almost 25%. Most of the climb was shuffling up and over small boulders, loose gravel, and a couple of sections that were so steep there was a handrail to help you climb, plus lots of other "stay alert" terrain. It took me about 35 minutes to hit the summit, ten minutes to enjoy the view and about 25 minutes to get back down again. Of course, being Arizona it was already 29 degrees celcius by the time I got to the bottom of the trail.

I didn't get back to my hotel room until 8:20. Breakfast at the conference ended at 9:00AM, so I had to rush and get ready for the day - but the hike was worth the rushing. Now I just need to wait for the cactus scrapes to heal on my arm. :-)

No comments: