Tuesday, February 14, 2012

wintry hiking to Guthrie Peak

I'm spending some time visiting friends Guy and Janet in Tucson, enjoying some warmer weather and hoping that the ski conditions back in Wyoming will improve by the time I get home.  I arrived in Tucson last Saturday, I changed into T-shirt and shorts for a short afternoon hike on the outskirts of the city. Sunday we did some road biking west of town.

In spite of the weather forecast, today we went hiking up in the mountains. The forecast predicted 60% chance of showers, highs in the low 50s, snow line at about 5000', winds 15 to 25 with higher gusts. We did a six mile hike to Guthrie Peak, starting at 6000' on the Mt Lemmon road, out and back to the peak at 7250' or so. The forecast said that conditions would deteriorate late morning and into the afternoon, and they had it pegged exactly. It was chilly on the climb up, though it didn't start snowing until we were at the summit. Thirty degrees and breezy at the top.
Curt, Ed, and Janet taking a short lunch break just off the summit, out of the wind.. 
We had some light graupel pelting us as we started the hike back down. That gradually changed to light sleet, and by the time we were reached the trailhead it had changed to snow.
On the drive back down into Tucson, it was raining steadily. The airport got about 0.1" of precip, by 3pm the skies over Tucson were nice and sunny but it was still cold. Soaking in the hot tub at the RV park felt great!

The trail to Guthrie Peak is easy-to-moderate, well-maintained, with a short section of Class 2 scrambling near the summit. My GPS log is online at EveryTrail.com

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