Baboquivari Peak - 4/19/09
Jefe and I tag-teamed this Trip Report. Commentary works as follows:
The trip really started Thursday night. It's when I met her
. The one that was going to replace the other one that broke my heart ( http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=807714
). This was it I thought. I found the one
. Screw locker. He can have her.
Only problem was she wanted to come with. Jefe told me weeks ago, "It's on bro, just the two of us. Boys club!". He almost asked for it signed in blood.
Thursday was great. It's been a while. I got some. My good buddy who gave me my nickname - Tom Harvey Leroy - always said, "it's good if it tastes like chicken!".
(I so wanted to remember that
moment I had to turn the timestamp on.)
So road trip time approaches - Jefe is due over any moment. how to break the news.... How?
"Jefe, we need to have a heart-to-heart. She's gotta come with us. Team of 3 - we'll move fast. you just watch".
So we hit the road with my monkey and my chicken.
The waning day - BABO!!!
I was immediately hesitant when Nature wanted to bring a third, but whatever, at least she was cute. I just hoped there wouldn't be any drama.
The Tohono Nation occupies an expanse of some of the most beautiful, vibrant Sonoran Desert in Southern Arizona.
We arrived in camp to find it deserted except for a Border Patrol SUV. Every spot had a ramada and a cord of wood and it was tucked into a lush riparian zone. The BP agents approached us looking a little puffed up, but I de-armed them with my Hawaiian shirt.
These dudes just got done with some covert ops in one of the canyons and tried to put the fear in us. There is a spring at the base of Babo that never runs dry, so the overland immigrants make it a stop on their trail north. They said this is a hotspot for drug an human smuggling and that we should have our cells cued up to call 911. I was more worried about the massive red ants.
Wishing Piton Ron and his toys came to the party we finally cracked some cold ones around the fire.
She was cold. I was worried. The poor featherless girl. She did enjoy the fire but I couldn't help but wonder if the thoughts of a bar-b-que went through her mind. "I love her - I'd never let that happen", I whispered quietly to myself.
Jefe is an animal. Topo this, topo that. This beta, that beta. No way were we wasting time off route or missing the raps.
We put away a Mexican beer variety pack and went to "bed". I gotta admit I'd been feeling like the third wheel all night. Even though I slept on the picnic table 50 feet away from Nature's cot, I heard some funny noises in the night that kinda reminded me of my grandmothers ranch. Not cool.
They totally played asleep when I woke up to drain the vein.
Our second morning together. First light. 5AM. The waning crescent moon rising with Venus. The moment was so auspicious for me words still cannot describe. "The Three of us - Boys Cuuh... um.... yeah".
We started the hike early but were on the wrong trail. Oh well, we got an incredible view and the 30+ mph winds made the saguaros whistle.
Unfortunately we ate up most of our alloted "ruh-roh" time.
On the correct trail we trodded along until we finally got a good vantage point of the Peak. We took a break. Examining all the conflicting approach and route beta got to Nature and he proclaimed "F*#k this, can't anyone write a decent f*#king guidebook! We should just be sport climbing!" and split.
We had intended to do the SE Arete, but tentatively opted for the adventure hiking/desert mountaineering Forbes-Montoya original route.
The Forbes route follows the prominent left slanting ramp off the big jungle ledge.
I got to an indistinct fork and hoped Nature went the right way. I was tracking him by his little polo holes. I followed my nose right to the base of the route. No Nature. I called for him. Nothing. I figured he wanted more alone time with his chick.
What the f*#k Jefe?!?! Can't you hike faster than that. I'd been waiting at the base of this Great Ramp for an hour. It didn't look sofa king "Great" to me. I decided to solo up it a bit. Choss here, choss there - f*#king guide book writers... get it right. CHOSS!
I went down to the fork and waited until Nature showed up. He played it off like he was lost, but I could see the glimmer in his eye.
We decided to launch when all of a sudden there appeared four Latinos who froze like statues. I talked to them in spanish for a while. These guys don't need no stinking trail. They're bushwackin all the way to Tucson, 70 miles away. I'll just say this- they REALLY want to be in this country. We`went our separate ways. Sorry, no photo.
On the way up I pointed out some climbers I'd been watching- the leader had appeared to be stalled out over a roof. I had heard them talking and seen movement. "There's no climbers up there" Nature said, and when I looked up there were only water streaks and guano. This was a serious Native American mind trick. Weird, but not really.
The Forbes route is also the descent route so it's mostly class 1-3 with a 90 foot section of 5th class, which was fun. There are all kinds of remnants from a C.C.C. project to build a ladder all the way to the top. Bolters!
The summit in incredible, as Babo towers over the entire region at 7730 feet, rising 5000 vertical from the desert floor.
It is customary to leave a gift for I'itoi (ee-ee-toy), the creator, which we did, and took some summit pics.
At this point Nature got kinda weird. Yoga dudes are all in touch with their bodies, so when he started checking his pulse I knew some thing was wrong. HACE? HAPE? Nope, my Woofer diagnosis was HOPE-Hung Over Pulmonary Edema. We had to lose altitude, and FAST!!!
HOPE and HAPE
Then, out of nowhere
Locker's X-Chick! Nature's X-Chick!
Turns out she's been lurking on the Taco and knew just where to find us. Stalker chick!
She'd been in Guadalajara,. hitched a ride on the backs of some immigrants (Chick smuggling) to the base and sent the SE Arete.
How'd she manage that? Better ask Bachar. She's testing out a new custom formula.
Turns out she's been making her rounds in the climbing community for years, like a groupie. Her Camp 4 stories were off the hook!
And get this- she even had a Tramp Stamp!
But there was immediate tension- she didn't like Nature's new gal and things escalated.
Nature's trippin' cuz his chicks is arguin.
Stalker chicken ain't messin' round!
After the brutal submission hold, the chicks decide to be cordial.
But Nature had to get down quickly. We descended withuot incident, cuz, well, we had climbed the descent route.
After the fanfare was over and the hens were happy it was time to head home. 7 more miles out. yikes. But Jefe and I... we were in love. No not like that
, not with each other (NTTIAWWT). We had our hens.
Back at the base, nature still had to move, which was fine with me. I was really looking forward to some one-on-one with my new chick.
After a quick feed and smoke I heard the unmistakable sound of a machete. This is right where we had seen the immigrant bushwackers and I feared the worst.
Luckily it was just a Native American dude,James, doing trail maintenance. All the way up the trail was clear, until the last few hundred feet. It was clear now, but it wasn't when Nature split! Ha! He hates bushes.
I started down, but couldn't wait to pull off the trail for a little funky chicken.
I had faked a nasty ball rash and foot blisters so Nature would go on without me. It worked. Now we could be alone.
We shared some M+M's. She likes the green ones, hehehe.
She was so experienced, she showed me the way. I'm a vegetarian, this was my first taste of chicken. MmmmMmmm goooood.
We cuddled afterwards too.
and enjoyed a smoke
It was time to go- didn't want Nature to worry about me and my ball rash/foot blisters. hehehe
The afternoon light on the way down was fantastic.
There is truly nowhere like the Sonoran Desert
Jefe's nut sack was sore, his feet hurt. He took an extra hour getting out. Me and my girl drank a beer and ate some dinner while we waited for Jefe to limp his way out. Or... I dunno... maybe the two new lovers got it on in the agave bush. Either way...
... it was dinner time!
For Me and The Girl
I finally made it back to camp and was greeted by a really kind group of Native American's having a Sunday picnic.
They graciously offered the weary climbers food. Guess what? CHICKEN! And beans with mashies, of course.
But for Nature and I there is only one kind of chicken for us.
We couldn't be rude and turn down the meal, though, so we accepted and took it back to the truck.
We didn't feel right wasting the food, and just then James, the trail maintenance dude shows up. We get to regift the meals to him, and he deserves it. Much respect for this man. He's hardcore.
After a few coldies the stalker chicken laid it on the line.
She's on a mission to get to the TARBUSTER Benefit, but can't risk getting caught by La Migra.
She said that if we didn't smuggle her over the border into California, she would release her "little black book".
This book supposedly contains the names of big name climbers past and present, some of whom post here on Supertopo. I mean, come on,she'd done her time in the Valley, JTree, El Potrero, Hueco.
Nature and I conferred, and decided that there was no way we could risk our hero's names being tarnished with past indescretions. In order to keep "the book" closed and to save reputations, we agreed to take her to JTree and the TARBUSTER BENEFIT. We would be putting our own livelyhoods at risk, but we think it was the right call.
And the sun sets on us and another good adventure...... Baboquivari Peak: