TR - Browns Peak, AZ (7,657')

14ers in California and Washington state or any other peak in the USA
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TalusMonkey
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TR - Browns Peak, AZ (7,657')

Postby TalusMonkey » Mon Feb 26, 2007 4:17 pm

Peak: Browns Peak, AZ (7,657')
Date: Sunday, February 25, 2007
Team: TalusMonkey, Wyo_MtnMan, Tanya, Brian, Avram
Route: Lone Pine Saddle TH and Browns Peak trail (elevation 5,700)

To escape the Colorado Ice Age of 2007, I decided to fly south to visit Wyo_MtnMan and Tanya in Tempe, AZ. We spent Friday morning visiting the Arizona State University campus where I picked up some Sun Devil’s gear at the bookstore. Friday afternoon Wyo took me on a short hike and run up the Beverly Canyon Trail in Phoenix South Mountains Park.

Saturday, Wyo and Tanya and I headed east to camp in the Four Peaks Wilderness in Tonto National Forest. We planned to meet up with some friends and camp Saturday night and then hit Browns Peak (7,657') on Sunday morning. A view of the Four Peaks from the paved part of Hwy 88 somewhere south of Tortilla Flat:

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After driving on 34 miles of dirt road, we arrived at our chosen campsite near the Lone Pine Saddle trailhead. Soon after we set up tents and gathered firewood, Bryan and Avram arrived to join us for the night. After some campfire socialization, we turned in about 2230.

Sunday morning we woke and broke camp to begin our day hike of Browns Peak. Our outdoor thermometers indicated that the overnight low had been about 17 degrees. The “Four Peaks” are located at the southern end of the Mazatzal Mountains. They include Browns Peak (7,657’), the only named peak, and, from north to south, Peaks “2” (7,642’
), “3” (7,572’), and “4” (7,524’).

Sunrise from our camp at 5,680' with Roosevelt Lake down below:

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Although we had hoped for a possibility of doing the famous “Mother Lode” traverse of all of the Four Peaks, the north side of the peaks showed quite a bit of snow above 6,000’. It had snowed earlier in the week and Friday it had snowed another two inches.

A view of Browns Peak from our campsite:

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We hiked the short distance from our campsite to the Lone Pine Saddle TH. From there, we went straight – following the “Browns Peak” trail, rather than the “Four Peaks” trail running to the left. The TH is at (N33deg 42m19.9s, W111d 20m16.3s).

The Browns Peak trail is gentle and easy to follow. Show remained in all of the shaded areas but was generally only a couple inches deep and partially trampled by hikers from the day before.

Scott and Tanya following the Browns Peak trail in the snow:

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A view of Browns Peak from about 6,700' on the Browns Peak trail:

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After a couple miles, we reached the junction with the Amethyst Trail:

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This junction is the terminus of the Browns Peak Trail. Continue straight on the now Amethyst trail. A short ways further brought us to the fire ring on the left of the trail – indicating the turn off for the trail to Browns Peak. This fire ring is located at N33deg 41m03.8s, W111deg 19m32.6s.

Browns northwest couloir from near the fire ring (zoomed):

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Here on the saddle it was windier than during our ascent thus far. We followed the well beaten trail up toward the northwest couloir standard route to the summit of Browns. The snow got deeper, but still there were a few footprints from Saturday’s hikers. We continued on to the base of the couloir and made an assessment. Although the couloir was, indeed, less vertical than it had appeared from below, the snow coverage was substantial and deep.

The couloir from where the climbers trail meets it, near 7,250:

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We began the couloir climb by staying in the snow along the right side. A view down from early in the snowclimb in the lower part of the couloir:

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We continued up over the first challenging short vertical wall, and stayed right. A shot from just above the first vertical wall:

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The main couloir and standard route dead ended against another short vertical wall with snow and ice overhanging. I checked the rock climbing to the far right and determined that it was not suitable for all of our party members. Although I could have continued this way, it was unsafe to proceed with the rest of the party directly below me.

Wyo_MtnMan and Avram scouted the vertical wall in the main couloir route without finding anything viable. I crossed the couloir just below the wall and scrambled up the left side of the couloir above (left and north) the main chute. We determined that the rest of the party would not continue, but rather, would abort the climb and descend the couloir. Being only 200 vertical feet below the summit, I continued up the still steep and narrow couloir toward the summit. I climbed in over 6 inches of snow, while varying to the rocks on the right when possible. Branches of vegetation proved useful handholds.

This photo shows our route up the couloir:

Image

From the top of the couloir I made the short and easy scramble to the summit. The summit is at N33deg 41m16.6s, W111deg 19m47.7s. Here's a summit shot looking south over the other three peaks of the "Four Peaks:"

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After a brief snack and a drink I boogied off the summit to descend the couloir and rejoin my companions. We made our way back down to the saddle and found a good spot for lunch...and a little "pick me up."

Everyone's got a little Cap'n in 'em…

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Since the couloir was not in suitable condition for all to summit, our group decided to proceed from the saddle up the ridge opposite of Browns Peak. Its just an unnamed knob requiring only an easy walk.

Our group on the unnamed knob (left to right, TalusMonkey, sbkelley (Wyo_MtnMan), Tanya, Brian, Avram) with Browns Peak behind us (left):

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After visiting the unnamed knob, we returned to the saddle and had a pleasant descent back to our camp near the Lone Pine Saddle TH. We loaded up the vehicles, said our goodbyes and headed back down the El Oso Road (FR 143). Wyo_MtnMan, Tanya and I returned to Tempe and had pizza for dinner.

Although the recent cool weather and snow rendered the Browns Peak standard route too dangerous for most of our party, we had a great time camping in the Four Peaks wilderness and hiking together on a beautiful February day in Arizona. I'll be back in a few weeks for some more desert backpacking!
"When hiking in bear country one doesn't need to be the fastest runner in the party - just not the slowest."
toollessmonkey
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Postby toollessmonkey » Mon Feb 26, 2007 4:52 pm

You are such a tool. What is your obsession with posting you silly mug up a thousand times on every report? At least I will know who to throw stuff at on the mountain :lol:
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TalusMonkey
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Postby TalusMonkey » Mon Feb 26, 2007 5:10 pm

Wow, I never thought I would be threatened by another member on this forum...and by an existing member who just created a bogus new username to talk trash. Bill's a pretty smart guy...he knows who you are...
"When hiking in bear country one doesn't need to be the fastest runner in the party - just not the slowest."
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HarryQuach
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Postby HarryQuach » Mon Feb 26, 2007 5:14 pm

I actually appreciate trip reports like the one above.
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RenoBob
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Postby RenoBob » Mon Feb 26, 2007 5:15 pm

Talus Monkey:
Another well written trail report. It made feel like I was right there. I'm so use to seeing your face in them, that it's just a blur, like a bad dream, to me. I don't care what your many, many detractors say, I think you're all right.
keep'em comin',
Reno
Some mistakes are too much fun to make only once.
badger4
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Postby badger4 » Mon Feb 26, 2007 5:27 pm

Don't read the reports if you don't want to see the pictures. Tough concept I know.
Couldn't have been asleep for more than three hours...
toollessmonkey
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Postby toollessmonkey » Mon Feb 26, 2007 5:28 pm

TalusMonkey wrote:Wow, I never thought I would be threatened by another member on this forum...and by an existing member who just created a bogus new username to talk trash. Bill's a pretty smart guy...he knows who you are...


Threatened, okay? You got some thin skin. Someone had to say it, ever read the "Terrain pics are much more useful than hero shots" part of the TR description? You do some interesting hiking, but your mug shots are really lame. Whats up with that? And posting pics of your drinking, your pretty cool dude. You dont see it in other TRs on here (or really anywhere). If this wasnt such a clean site, unlike other sites out there, I would have said it with my own usename. Sure Bill can find out who I am, does he care though?
toollessmonkey
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Postby toollessmonkey » Mon Feb 26, 2007 5:34 pm

Im sure you will get plenty of monkey lovers to comment, but the so called detractors will hide in the shadows. Probably just as well.
Last edited by toollessmonkey on Mon Feb 26, 2007 5:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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AzScott
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Postby AzScott » Mon Feb 26, 2007 5:38 pm

toollessmonkey, don't hate fun.

We had a good time, he put up some good pics, and the trip was a blast. 'Nuff said. And what's wrong with a little Capn' in the mountains? Hike with the Monkey before you bash him
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TalusMonkey
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Postby TalusMonkey » Mon Feb 26, 2007 5:40 pm

toollessmonkey:

I'm sorry that you are "toolless."
"When hiking in bear country one doesn't need to be the fastest runner in the party - just not the slowest."
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RenoBob
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Postby RenoBob » Mon Feb 26, 2007 5:42 pm

Toolless, you're clueless. What gives with the bile? If you don't like the way it's posted leave it be. TalusMonkey's TRs meet every criteria and then some. I don't know if your trollin' for a fight or if you just bumped your head.
Some mistakes are too much fun to make only once.
toollessmonkey
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Postby toollessmonkey » Mon Feb 26, 2007 5:42 pm

TalusMonkey wrote:toollessmonkey:

I'm sorry that you are "toolless."


No you are. Nanny nah nah nah nah

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