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Ascent of Quartz Peak on 2018-11-11

Climber: Gustav Sexauer

Others in Party:Katrina
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Sunday, November 11, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:4x4 Vehicle
Peak:Quartz Peak
    Location:USA-Arizona
    Elevation:4052 ft / 1235 m

Ascent Trip Report

It was my birthday weekend, so we had to get a hike in. This one seemed close enough to town that I could still call it a birthday "in" and have it be a "relaxing" weekend, although some would argue otherwise. I had been near the trailhead before so I was familiar with the roads. We thankfully avoided NASCAR traffic, then made it on to Rainbow Valley and left on Riggs Road. Riggs turned to sand and I kept the pedal down to not get stuck. We followed the carsonite signs that pointed to the trail/trailhead. There was a restroom there which I was not suspecting, nor did I suspect that we would be all alone on a holiday. We marveled at the elevation profile which looked like a steady slope to the top. The trail started out flat, but soon jumped onto a ridge and that's where the average grade set in. It was not too strenuous, and had views in all directions. Eventually we neared the peak and the trail got a bit faint. We had to follow cairns and pick which route we thought was most official. Then mica began appearing on the ground and we found some of the biggest pieces I have ever seen; over 4" across. We set the bigger ones off the trail so they won't get stepped on. Then we may have gotten off the main trail and arrived at saddle which opened to a cool couloir off the north side. There were tree-like things on the north faces, unlike the saguaro pricked ultra-dry south side. Then I left my hat as there was wind on the ridge and we had to do a class three move to get to the top. This would have been avoided if we would have seen the more established trail, but that was loose dirt class 2, so take your pick. It was tollerably warm on top, although we tried to sit out of the wind. The summit crag was an impressive block of white quartz, larger than I had ever seen. We had considered hiking to Butterfly Peak after seeing it on the map, but after being on Quartz Peak and looking at a jagged ridge over to slightly higher boring normal stone colored peak that was Butterfly, we realized why the trail goes to Quartz. It's a destination worth the trip.

On the way down we hear OHVs and saw them pull into the parking lot. They stayed maybe fifteen minutes, then buzzed off through the sand, so we never actually saw anyone on the trail. On a holiday... It was a nice place.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2737 ft / 834 m
    Extra Gain:125 ft / 38 m
    Round-Trip Distance:5.7 mi / 9.2 km
    Route:Quartz Peak Trail
    Trailhead:Quartz Peak Trailhead  1565 ft / 477 m
    Grade/Class:Class 3
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Scramble
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Time:2 Hours 8 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 57 Minutes



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