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Piestewa Peak short but technical

Peak Summited2021 Piestewa Peak
Type of HikeDay hike
TrailheadPiestewa trailhead
Hiking CompanionsHiked with a partner
Road ConditionsRoad suitable for all vehicles
Bug StatusNo bugs
Snow ConditionsSnow free
Trail ConditionsMinor obstacles posing few problems

This was day two of back to back hikes with Camelback being first and the shorter less climb Piestewa as day two. Strategy was to get the harder one out of the way first which was probably a good idea. Like Camelback we decided to leave our hiking poles behind since it was so short and thought we would need our hands free again. Unfortunately, poles would have been helpful on this one. With tired knees and quads from the day before it would have been great to have some upper body assist on the many step ups and step downs on this trail. Not nearly the same steep rock climb as Camelback but still very steep and a bit technical at spots. People use this trail to train and many do it daily as a quick training trail. We saw more than one person doing it at least twice in the same day. While challenging it was still a beautiful hike. This trail was also very crowded and not the type of hiking we prefer but everyone was patient and friendly. The true highlight for us was a man named Ken Koshio. Just before the summit we bumped into someone coming down the trail carrying a large drum. After talking to Ken for a few minutes we discovered he is a musician, performer, artist, and goodwill ambassador. His medium Taiko, a powerful Japanese drumming form that combines rhythm drumming and martial arts movements. He indicated he is at the summit many days playing. When he discovered we were from out of town and would not be back he put his pack down and played a prayer on his flute and followed with a drum and song performance. We were alone when it started but many others stopped to watch. His simple act of kindness made our day and I encourage others to look up what he does (www.kenkoshio.com).

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