On Friday morning, December 2, I met other Southern Arizona Hiking Club members John Ohm, Dave Kohnke, Tom Tutein, and Larry Wippman in Oro Valley. Our goal was to climb Peak 3272, the Maricopa Mountains Highpoint. Peak 3272 has 1432 feet of prominence making it the 172nd most prominent peak in Arizona. This peak is also a SAHC peak, which explained the interest the others had in joining me.
From Oro Valley we drove to the city of Maricopa, then further west to begin driving on primitive roads towards the Maricopa Mountains. As the roads deteriorated Tom and Larry parked their car and joined Dave in his Toyota FJ Cruiser. I drove my Jeep Rubicon with John beside me.
On Saturday morning, November 26, I met Scott Peavy and and Matthias Stender at the Gu Achi Trading Post beside Arizona Highway 86. Our plan was to climb Ben Nevis Mountain located in Pima County, Arizona. Ben Nevis Mountain has 1691 feet of topographic prominence, tying with Whitlock Peak as the 108th most prominent peak in Arizona.
We have admired Ben Nevis Mountain from nearby South Mountain and traveling the highway and were glad to have a chance to finally visit it.
On Saturday morning, November 19, I met Scott Peavy and we drove in to park below Nose Benchmark, a prominent peak in the Gila Bend Mountains north of Gila Bend, Arizona. Nose Benchmark has 1429 feet of topographic prominence, putting it down the list as the 174th most prominent peak in Arizona.
More significantly to me, Nose Benchmark is a notable peak I often see as I bypass Phoenix on AZ Highway 85 either with Linda on our migrations to Tucson or as I pass by exploring other mountains of Arizona. I was glad for the opportunity to share a climb of Nose Benchmark with Scott, who I have climbed with several times over the past several winter seasons in Arizona.
On October 6, Bob F. and I visited the Tidbits Mountain Lookout site in the Willamette National Forest of Oregon. This was the first time either of us had visited the lookout site, perched atop a rock pinnacle. I was hopeful we might also visit the higher Lookout Mountain summit atop another rock pinnacle to the east of the lookout site.
We followed forest roads from near Tombstone Pass and parked at the Gold Hill Trailhead. The Gold Hill Trail led us west through old growth forest to the Tidbits Mountain Trail. From there we continued west trail through more forest and across talus below the summit rock pinnacle. Finally we climbed up steep western slopes to reach the exposed and tiny lookout site.