Ascent of Wasson Peak on 2012-03-19

Climber: Lee Newton

Date:Monday, March 19, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Wasson Peak
    Elevation:4687 ft / 1428 m

Ascent Trip Report

I had started my trip to southern Arizona with ascents of 3 of the 4 ultra-prominent mountains in the area over 2 days, and had been hopin to add the 4th (Miller peak) to end the trip. A massive storm system put paid to that and brought the temperatures in Tuscon down to a daytime high of nearly 40F colder than in NY city where I had spent the previous week. I therefore ended my trip with an ascent of the small but splendid Wasson Peak.

Parking in the carpark of the Arizona-Sonora desert museum (which I visited later in the day) posed no proble, and it took only a couple of minutes to cross the road and walk west to the dirt pullout which is the normal trailhead. The Kings Canyon trail has 2 variations, the easiest to find and follow at the beginning is simply to follow the dry bed of the canyon up to the junction with Sierra Estrela Trail which is characterised by made steps leading out of the dry riverbed on both sides. Turning right to stay on Kings Canyon Trail the path gains height gradually and eventually meets some other trails at a signpost at about 3890ft. Turning left on Sweetwater Trail brought me a little more steeply up to the summit ridge and hence tot he top, where I didn't linger because it was freezing, and a fairly vicious hailstorm had just blocked out the view. I returned quickly by the same route and visited the excellent museum where I had parked the car.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1837 ft / 559 m
    Round-Trip Distance:7 mi / 11.3 km
    Route:Kings Canyon Trail-Sweetwater Trail
    Trailhead:Arizona-Sonora desert museum  2850 ft / 868 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Weather:Snowing, Cold, Windy, Overcast
Squally hail and snow showers
Ascent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 40 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 10 Minutes

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