Day1 was a short hike. Beautiful campsite by the river. With an 8 am bus, we were able to get ranger training pretty well complete by early afternoon. Our boys took naps. Had a terrific ranger, but he was a 1st year ranger and didn't appreciate how close we were to Abreu. Go to Abreu as a side hike for the program and/or the cantina. Alternatively, we found out later that our sister crew from Iowa (great folks) sidehiked Trail Peak that afternoon.
Believe the previous posts about the difficult Day 2 hike, navigation, and the hints for finding the Day 3 trail to Lookout Mountain - beautiful views - nice hike to Fish Camp. Plenty of flys and mosquitos during the first 5 days.
Day 4, our crew got up early to get to Philips Junction for the 8 am Conservation Project time. Sam and Crazy A were the Conservation guys and they were just terrific. The hike to Apache Springs makes day 4 a long day.
Got rained out of the program at Apache Springs layover at Day 5 (Our boys raced down to the staff cabin as the rain stopped at 4:15, but the staff said it was too late to start Archery).
Day 6 required us to backtrack back to PJ for another food pickup, then hike on to Clear Creek - another full day. Our boys started very early and we got to Clear Creek by 1. Good program group at Clear Creek.
Day 7 had been rerouted to Red Hills because of the bear incidents on Mt. Phillips. We were able to get the rerout rerouted again to Thunder Ridge - which allowed us to hike both Mt. Phillips and Comanche Peak.
This also gave us a short hike to Cyphers Mine on Day 8. Great program day - Mine Tour, Blacksmithing, Panning for Gold and the Stomp - not to mention the full moon rising over the ridge framed by the tall pine trees.
Day 9 hike to Cimarroncito is less than 3 hours. Again afternoon rain eliminated the program - Cito is a busy place. Even tho our boys got to Cito by 9:30 am, the earliest climbing time available was 1.
Day 10 our boys chose to take the long way to Clarks fork through Hidden Valley and by Cathedral Rock. Great scenery.
Day 11 is a long, long dry hike to base camp.
4 other comments -
Folks, if you're not physically ready, don't go, expecting the medical staff and PhilSar to bail you out of a problem.
Great trip, hope I get to go back again someday (I'm all out of sons).
YIS, Mark Feuer
Crew advisor 706K2