I'd been wanting to check out the Superstition Mountains east of Phoenix since Amanda started school in the area last June. It was obviously way too warm for the first few months she was there but the temps in mid January were perfect! I left the car at 9:30am passing a constant stream of elderly hiking groups. Without fail every group I would pass, the person in the back would yell, "Youngster coming through!" to the rest of the group. Funny, and yet pretty effective for clearing the trail!
I took the wrong trail hiking up to Weaver's Needle and ended up to the south of it. Then I got cut off from the base of the route by a cliff that ran out from the base of the needle. So I started climbing up thinking I would traverse into the route higher up. Well the cliff just got bigger and I ended up on top of the very loose south summit. I tried to get over to the north summit at the notch but my way was blocked. After looking and looking I down climbed back to the base and walked down and around the original cliff that had thrown me off.
Crazy cool rock feature thing.
Now on the standard route things went more smoothly. It took only 12 minutes to solo from the base of the route to the top of the pinnacle, and 14 to down climb the route. I found the trail on the way down which fortunately lacked the thorn bushes and loose rock I had encountered on my off trail approach. I was back at the car at 2:45pm thankful to have not hauled a bunch of climbing gear all that way. I can't wait to check out more of the Superstitions!