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Eleven Peaks Challenge

Yesterday I hiked 22 miles in one day. I’m a total rock star.

One of my many hiking goals has always been to complete the Seven Peaks Challenge, which involves hiking to the peak of seven mountains in Phoenix in one day. Technically, part of the challenge is also to complete the entire trip (hiking and driving included) in under 11 hours. To be honest, I could care less about the time limit, as I find it enough of an accomplishment to COMPLETE all seven peaks in one day without my legs giving out ;)

We turned it into an Eleven Peaks Challenge by stopping at Four Peaks Brewery at the end of the day. (7 + 4 = 11). Aren’t we clever?

So yesterday I set out with Tony & Mike C. at what was supposed to be 6:30am, but ended up being more like 7am. Tony and Mike did the challenge last year, andthey finished in under 11 hours. I wasn’t too optimistic about finishing under their previous record, because, well, I’m slow. But, hey, I’m a girl dammit! And, as it turns out, none of the other guys in our hiking group seriously thought I would be able to do it. They all were entirely shocked that I finished the whole thing. I remember being somewhat surprised when Tony said after the 6th peak "Wow, I never thought you’d make it this far." WELL, I SHOWED THEM! Ha.

Originally Tony wasn’t going to go, then he decided to tag along for a few peaks, and somehow he ended up sticking it out through all seven peaks. I’m seriously glad he did, because he kept me company when super speedy Mike took off on some of the upward climbs.

I’ve included the stats below. Between driving all over town, finding parking spots in super crowded parking lots, eating lunch at Pei Wei’s, and my two bathroom breaks at McDonald’s and Safeway, we tacked on nearly four hours of non-hiking time to the trip. All in all, not too bad for my first attempt.

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Eleven Peaks Challenge

Total Mileage: 22.2 miles
Total Time: ~13 hours 22 minutes
Total Hiking Time: ~9 hours 29 minutes

Peak #1: Papago Park West Buttes (1,700ft)
Length: 3 miles
Elevation Gain: ~200ft
Trailhead Start: ~7:30am
Peak: 7:52am
Trailhead Finish: 8:00am

Peak #2: Camelback Mountain (2,704ft)
Length: 2.2 miles
Elevation Gain: 1,300ft
Trailhead Start: 8:20am
Peak: 9:19am
Trailhead Finish: 9:55am

Peak #3: Squaw Peak (2,608ft)
Length: 2.4 miles
Trailhead Start: 10:43am
Peak: 11:24am
Trailhead Finish: 12:04pm

Peak #4: North Mountain (2,140ft)
Length: 1.6 miles
Elevation Gain: 614ft
Trailhead Start: 12:28pm 
Peak: 12:47pm
Trailhead Finish: 1:00pm

**Lunch at Subway/Pei Wei’s**

Peak #5: Shaw Butte (2,149ft)
Length: 5 miles
Elevation Gain: 670ft
Trailhead Start: ~2:15pm
Peak: 3:03pm
Trailhead Finish: 3:55pm

Peak #6: Lookout Mountain (2,045ft)
Length: 1 mile
Elevation Gain: 475ft
Trailhead Start: 4:11pm
Peak: 4:29pm
Trailhead Finish: 4:47pm

Peak #7: South Mountain/Gila Valley Lookout (2,690ft)
Length: 7 miles
Elevation Gain: 1,310ft
Trailhead Start: 5:37pm
Peak: 7:15pm
Trailhead Finish: 8:52pm

Peaks #8-#11: Four Peaks Brewery
Start: ~10:15pm
Finish: Whenever satiated :)
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And here are the pictures of us bagging the peaks.

Peak#1: At the "peak" of Papago Park. Technically, we were at the saddle. Definitely looking bright-eyed and not yet glistening from sweat.

From 2.15.09 SevenSummits of Phoenix

Peak #2: On top of Camelback. I look quite chipper considering I had an unbelievable stomachache at this point.

From 2.15.09 Seven Summits of Phoenix

Peak#3: On top of Squaw Peak.

From 2.15.09 Seven Summits of Phoenix

Peak#4: On top of North Mountain. It’s not official until you touch the metal gate!

From 2.15.09 Seven Summits of Phoenix

Peak #5: On top of Shaw Butte.

From 2.15.09 Seven Summits of Phoenix

Peak #6: Hiking down Lookout Mountain. This was my favorite mountain of the day. Short and sweet with nice, sweeping views. It was also the only green mountain.

From 2.15.09 Seven Summits of Phoenix



Peak #7: South Mountain trailhead. Two more friends (Greg and Mani) and Rocky (Greg’s new pooch) joined us for the last hike of the day.

From 2.15.09 Seven Summits of Phoenix

Peak #7: On top of South Mountain. We reached this summit in the dark. At 7 miles, this hike was by far the most painful.

From 2.15.09 Seven Summits of Phoenix

Peaks #8-11 Four Peaks Brewery. Those beers were well earned.

From 2.15.09 Seven Summits of Phoenix

2 Responses to “Eleven Peaks Challenge”

  1. kledus says:

    well done! sore?

  2. admin says:

    Nope! Crazily enough, I’m in no pain whatsoever. In fact, I feel REALLY good. I didn’t really feel it until the last 3 miles, when I started developing a shin splint in my left leg. My calves are a little tight, and my ankles are a little achey from where I was bending them back and forth.

    My main problems were gastrointestinal :P I’ll never eat salmon panang the day before a hike again.

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