A couple weeks ago I decided it was getting too hot so we are taking off to snow bowl. Unfortunately it ended up being a waste of a day. The day before our trip the neurologist gave me some migraine and seizure medicine for the vertigo and it made it worse. So we had a late start to the morning because I wasn't feeling good. Eventually I decided we needed to just get out and go. There was a 30% chance of rain in Flagstaff and five minutes into our drive I could see storm clouds building north of Anthem. By the time we got up to Flagstaff we could see that Mt. Humphrey was covered in clouds. When I got out of the car I was shaking, kidneys hurts, felt light headed, it just wasn't a good day. The first time I took that medicine was the last.
It was over 115 in the valley that day but at the chairlifts it was just 61 degrees and 10 or more degrees colder at the top with high winds. We had to wait over an hour because tickets were on weather hold After an hour we thought it wouldn't clear up so we started down the mountain. But at a pullout it looked like the weather was getting better so we turned back, got tickets, and waited 45+ minutes in line before they shut it down again. When they shut it down they said that the tickets are good until October so we just went home without getting a refund.
So all last week I was watching the weather and every day the chance of rain was changing for Flagstaff. Finally on Friday they decided it wouldn't rain on Saturday so we made another attempt. This time it wasn't as hot in the valley, under 110, but it was a lot warmer and sunnier at Mt. Humphrey. The week before we probably would have froze at the top, this time we had more than enough clothes.
It's about a half hour ride up to the top. It's a 2,000 foot vertical, 6,000+ foot long lift. A little over half way up, almost at tower 14, Zach took off his shoe that he had worn for the first time that day and threw it on the ground. Right after that Natalie's sweater took a fall. Adri saw it fall and said something but we didn't believe her. At the top Natalie noticed her sweater was missing and I got to hear about it all day since it was next to me when it fell.
We stayed at the top a little more than an hour. Mt. Humphrey is 12,633 feet above sea level. The chairlift goes to 11,510 and we hiked up to about 11,600+. Hiking at that elevation is a bit harder with the kids so that is why we only made it about an hour. On the way down we found Zach's shoe and Natalie's sweater but of course we were 50 feet above it in the chairlift. So when we got to the bottom I decided I'm going back for it. Natalie kept insisting I don't and that it's not worth it but I didn't want to hear about how I lost her sweater until I die.
The guy at the bottom told me to tell him when I get back and warned me that tower 14 is a long way up. I didn't care. My only regret is that I was wearing my Sketchers and not my hiking boots so I had several slip and slides and banged up the sides of my feet on rocks. It was a very steep and slippery hike but I managed to get up in about 35 minutes. The whole way up people are questioning me. Once I got past tower 8 everyone was asking if I'm heading up to the blue sweater. People were yelling it's not worth it. I'd yell back I don't want to hear about it for the next 60 years. Well I managed to get both the shoe and the sweater. I was pretty sore after all my hiking but I got a killer cardio workout out of it.
Overall it was a pretty fun trip. When the kids get bigger I'd like to make a whole day of it or go without them and hike Humphrey with Natalie. Allegedly you can see Sedona, Grand Canyon, and Meteor Crater from up there but I couldn't see any of them. I was able to see downtown and several of the other volcanoes. There are over 600 volcanoes in the Flagstaff area.
Zach's shoe and Natalie's sweater were more than halfway between these two towers. 1,000 plus feet above the bottom and about 1,400 yards up. I'm estimating all the towers are 100 yards apart. This was the hardest part of the hike.
Epic photobomb of my picture of the highest "official toilet in the state". I say official because one day I will use the toilet at 12,633.
Going down it got cloudy and we were going to put on sweaters. However I figured it wasn't worth the effort and sure enough five minutes later it was warm.
This is where I found the sweater.
Heading back down.