Ascent of Brown's Mountain on 2014-05-20

Climber: Shari Steiner

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Brown's Mountain
    Elevation:3253 ft / 991 m

Ascent Trip Report

Today started out to be a little discouraging as I started out with Pinnacle Peak and found that no one is allowed to go up further than the 2889' high point. I made it to that in about a half hour but was not satisfied because there was no peak involved in my trip. I walked around the mountain to try to find an alternate route that would get me to the top, but everyplace I went appeared to be a climb that would have required rapelling gear and experience, neither of which do I have. I did get a great workout there, though, as going around the mountain instead of down the way I came made it a really long hike. The hike, in general, though, was a little disappointing to me, though, not just because there was no summit for me to get to, but also because it was way too much "in the city". I've found that I really love being out away from everything when I'm on a mountain. Being in the city limits and around too many people takes away from the experience for me. When I got down from Pinnacle Peak, the plan was already to go from there to Brown's Mountain, which is very close by. I really wish I had started out with this one, because I found out there are two or three other peaks right near it that I could have done all in the same day with Brown's Mountain. As disappointed as I was with Pinnacle Peak, Brown's Mountain was the total opposite and completely made up for any disappointment I felt on my first climb. The trailhead to this climb as well as to a whole bunch of other trails next to it is just down the street from Pinnacle Peak Park. I climbed up Pinnacle Peak to the "High Point" in about a half hour and explored to find a better reason to be there for about an hour and a half before I got to my car. I went to the Brown's Mountain Trailhead and parked at 11:45. The information I got from the internet about this hike was from a meet-up group from a while back that was planning on doing the climb in about 2 hours. They described the hike as way more difficult as what I would say it was except for about the last .2 miles to the summit. I started walking from the trailhead and for quite a while it was nothing but flat and somewhat sandy like a dry wash for a little way. I came to several signs pointing directions to different ones of the trails during the flat part of the hike. The signs were very clear and easy to follow in case you didn't have a map with you. After a while of hiking through flat washy terrain, I came to a fork in the trail. The sign pointed up and toward the mountain, stating this was the way to Brown's Summit. I took the trail that went toward the mountain and at this point, the trail started to change in terrain and become a little more challenging and varied. At first the incline didn't seem very steep, but I didn't realize until a little while later that I had been subtly gaining elevation for quite some time. I turned and looked and saw that I was actually quite a ways up from where I had been. I continued to climb, and from this point on, the climb was way more steep and got way rockier under foot. It was still a moderately difficult hike for most of the way up and then I finally came to a point where there was a lookout point which is where most people stop. There was a sign here that warned that if you continue past this point, you do so at your own risk as the remainder of the climb to the summit (.2 miles) was dangerously slippery and rocky under foot. There would have been a time when I would have turned back at this point. I have grown past this, however, and was not ABOUT to let this warning keep me from making the summit when I was THAT close! I continued up the rocks, which as the sign said, were getting much more challenging to navigate. I kept going, though, keeping my mind on getting to the summit and not letting myself think about how much it might hurt if I fell and slid down several feet of mountain where there was nothing to break my fall. As I climbed, I felt more and more adrenaline coursing through my veins with the passion that I WAS going to get to this summit and nothing would stop me! I made it up the rest of the way and stood on the flat top of the mountain, seemingly able to reach up to touch the fluffy clouds above my head. The view and the atmosphere took my breath away. All I could do was stare at the beauty all around me. The majestic view was like a panoramic post card that would be etched in my brain forever.
Keeping in mind, if you have read any of my other trip reports, that going downhill on steep, slick footing is one of the biggest challenges for me, I do have to admit that right as I was getting ready to come back down, I had to give myself a little pep talk to wash away any fears of the footing I was about to encounter in climbing off the summit. A year ago, I would have been paralyzed with fear and unable to get down without help. Today, I am very capable of maneuvering these kinds of places and taking care of myself, just by knowing that being fearful will surely cause me to fall. I took each step carefully and methodically and made it perfectly down from the summit and down past the area that was labeled as dangerous. From that point on going down the rest of the mountain was way easier than I thought it would be. I felt so empowered by meeting this challenge and succeeding with it as easily as I did! The climb up took me 40 minutes and the climb down took me an hour, for a total of an hour and 40 minutes for a hike that was listed as a 2 hour hike. I felt very content with this climb, and I'm excited to go back and do the other peaks that were listed in this area. There were about 4 of them right there by each other. I have a list of peaks that I want to go to that should keep me busy and challenged for a while! :)
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    Weather:Beautiful cool breeze!

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