On Wednesday, March 7, I joined the Southern Arizona Hiking Club on a climb of Apache Peak and French Joe Peak in the Whetstone Mountains southeast of Tucson. Apache Peak is the 29th most prominent peak in Arizona with 2886 feet of topographic prominence and 7711 feet of elevation. French Joe Peak lies nearby to the south of Apache Peak.
I last attempted Apache Peak in December 2016. Then I drove in by myself until the road erosion and steep grade convinced me to park several miles short of the end of the road. I hiked from there to near the end of the road and climbed up the WSW ridge through knee-high grass to a rocky point to consider my situation. By then it was late afternoon, I was running low on energy, and I thought that the risks were too high to continue. After returning to my Jeep I drove out in the dark. I noted on the road hike how the brush closed in on the road and one quite steep drop into and out of a wash promised some excitement when I returned someday.