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Higher than all the rest!

Peak Summited2021 Humphreys Peak
Type of HikeDay hike
TrailheadHumphreys Summit Trail
EncounteredWildflowers blooming, Ripe berries
Road ConditionsRoad suitable for all vehicles
Bug StatusBugs were not too bad
Snow ConditionsIntermittent snow - not hard to cross
Trail ConditionsTrail in good condition

This was one for the books. This was the last hike of my 52 Hike Challenge and it was such an incredible and very peaceful hike! This one I hiked solo!! Hiked 10.2 miles in 5 hours!!! It was the determination that helped me all the way to the top. As I started at 6am, I noticed several cars already parked thinking “these people are somewhere half way up the mountain probably!”. As I started my trek, it was brisk, hands were cold but still some life in them. Had my music playing while I concentrate on the cold morning air. Along the way all I see are dead spruce trees laying about as I hear the birds beginning to awake. Still, focusing on my breathing, I notice the trail is beginning to gain elevation. I have good momentum going and again it’s just me. Still on high alert for any signs of big wildlife. 2 miles in I pass two separate groups already breaking for air and resting their legs. I say my hello and goodbyes and wish them good luck while I continue on the trail. This point I’m making great time! At 3 miles and 2 hours! This gives me great motivation. Halfway there to the saddle I begin to notice SNOW!!! Patches here and there and on the trail. Still cold out so the snow on the trail was ice hard. Again!! Pushing through!! Passed the last hiker on the way up, as he sat there eating a snack, I waved at him and praised him for making it thus far! Ok here we go!! The incline gets steep here as we near the saddle! And…..we make it!!! No one up there but me!! Taking on the views of the mountain range below and Flagstaff at the base!! So beautiful! BUT I’m not quite done just yet!! Another mile to go!! Now here’s where the challenge came..from the saddle to the summit was the hardest part as it inclines rapidly, very rocky, and one wrong step you’re tumbling down the mountain. Step after step, the closer I get!! AND I MAKE IT!!! 12,633 FT!! ON TOP OF THE ARIZONA WORLD!! It was amazing!! Just me! BY MYSELF!! The first to reach the summit! I sat there, meditated and soaked in every single quiet minute that I had to myself just to reflect on how far I came since I’ve started the 52 hike challenge and as I begin this new 6 peak challenge!! I rewarded myself with some pictures, a burrito and a beautiful medal! After that I began my way down, passing every one I passed on the way up and more. The hike was easy but I did have to break out my shoe spikes as the frozen ice before became very slick. From here on out I’m ready for the next three peaks!!

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