Thursday, September 15, 2011

Very limited internet access -- and tornado (?) hits Humphreys Peak Trail

We are in a fairly remote location and internet access is limited. I'm able to post quick messages on Facebook easier than I can broadcast blog updates, so follow us on Facebook for daily news about our highpointing progress. When we return to New Hampshire at the end of September, I'll resume posting daily messages -- and I'll have exciting news to share about our forthcoming book, UP (Broadway Books, April 2012).

We're now in the process of acclimatizing for Arizona's highpoint, Humphreys Peak -- however, we've hit what might be a major snag. We were on the main trail yesterday hanging out at a certain elevation. We planned to go higher today, but when we tried to ascend this morning we found that the trail is now rendered impassable by a plethora of broken and fallen trees. The destruction was a sight to behold -- massive, giant pines snapped, twisted, and strewn everywhere. We descended and I reported the mess to the rangers. Later today, I was told the rangers think an actual tornado might have hit that section of trail yesterday late afternoon or evening (perhaps a mere four hours after we descended for the day).

We will continue the acclimatization process using other methods of ascent to higher elevations, but at this point I'm not sure if the main trail up Humphreys Peak will be open anytime soon. We're talking catastrophic damage -- I'm kicking myself for forgetting my camera this morning. I will try to get up there early tomorrow morning before the rangers section off the trail (if they haven't already); I'd like to take some pictures. Unbelievable scene. I'm glad the girls got to see it firsthand.

1 comment:

Don Eidam said...

Wow. Whether it was an official tornado or not, lucky you (i) missed it and (ii) then had the privilege of "discovering" it. Read somewhere that Guad. is notorious for high winds. Here's hoping you don't have your first highpointing DNF (temporary, of course).