Gear Review: Teton Sports Summit 1500

Photo The Morning Fresh
Photo The Morning Fresh

On the #hikerchat adventure during Summer Outdoor Retailer Show, Forrest and I both got a Teton Sports Summit 1500 to test out. My old Jansport was too bulky to for a comfortable all day mountain pack (and it was reaching the end of it’s life) so I’d been in the market for a new daypack. It wasn’t long before I was more than happy to adopt the Summit 1500 as my go-to pack.

Teton Sports Summit 1500 on Mt. Sneffels

I used it on several 14-ers hikes last year, often carrying everything for both F and I on long days. The pack was comfortable to wear on hikes as long as fifteen miles. The nylon construction seems to hold up well to abrasion from rocks and vegetation.

The pack has tons of pockets for a daypack which can be nice to stash rarely used items like first aid kits, a compass, etc. I’m a really big fan of having a “hood pocket”: a great place for stashing a map and other regularly used items. The velcro gear loop can help to carry many types of year but I’ve used it several times to carry a tripod:

Teton Sports

I even packed for non-camping weekend trips with it to avoid checked baggage fees (it’s even small enough to evade carry on fees with some budget airlines!). At $59.99 on Amazon, this pack is a great value that I can recommend to nearly anyone looking for a new day pack.

Asbestos Point

Zimmerman Point

Towing the trailer with the quad is sometimes a pain in the butt: we’re already a big tall vehicle and adding a trailer to that never helps. However, having the quad around is really nice. We recently unloaded it and headed up to do some exploring in the southern Sierra Ancha. The road we picked lead up to a saddle between Zimmerman Point and Asbestos Point. Both of these summits are easy to pick out when headed north on Highway 288 because of the bright gray streaks of overburden pushed off the edge.

View south from near Zimmerman Point

After checking out the saddle near Zimmerman Point, we headed down towards the mining area. The limestone layer that contained the asbestos had plenty of tunnel entries.

Asbestos Mine

Asbestos Mine

The road past the mines ended just below Asbestos Point. Since it was right there I decided that I would scramble up to the summit. Sprocket braved the dense scrub with me…there were some “paths” that wound their way though but the going wasn’t that easy. Luckily it wasn’t very far up to the top.

To the west from Asbestos Point

The camper is wayyyyy down there!:

Northwest from Asbestos Point

Instead of retracing our steps, Sprocket and I happily descended the north side of the Point through the pine trees. It was such a pleasant walk that we retrieved F and re-summited!

Waterfall

Ridgeline

Desert To Tall Pines Highway

After spending time in the Valley and in Globe, we were more than ready to head up towards the mountains. February and March are interesting times in the life of mountain loving nomads: we want to head up in elevation but we also like to avoid cold temperatures which can still happen. The weather seemed to promise at least a week of the gorgeous weather we’ve experienced this winter so up we went.

Arizona Highway 288

Turning on to Arizona 288, we were delighted to see that it is known as the Desert to Tall Pines Highway

Sprocket in the Salt River

We’ve found one of our most gorgeous campsites ever. There’s an awesome view of Lake Roosevelt below us, a deep canyon just to our north, views across the valley to Four Peaks, and across the highway to the Sierra Anchas.

Sunset over Four Peaks

Mountains above campsite

Parker Creek Canyon

Parker Creek Canyon

Paker Creek Canyon

Old Dominion Mine Park

In Globe, Arizona, work at the Old Dominion Mine began in 1883 by the Long Island Copper Co. and the Buffalo Mining and Smelting Co. When the Old Dominion Copper Mining Co. abandoned its workings at the original Old Dominion or Keystone mine, it took over the holdings of the Long Island Copper Co. In 1891, Phelps Dodge took over the holdings of Long Island Copper Co., renaming it United Globe Mining Co. In 1895, Old Dominion Copper Mining Co. was reorganized as Old Dominion Copper Mining and Smelting Co. Finally, the two companies were combined in 1903 as the Old Dominion Company, controlled by Phelps Dodge. In 1931, the mine was sold to the Miami Copper Co. and was closed by October of that year.

Old Dominion Mine Park Map

In 1897, the mine reached the eight level and the mine began it’s perennial struggles with water. When the mine reached the fourteenth level in about 1914, it was producing 3.75 million gallons of water everyday. When the mine closed in 1931, a combination of low ore levels and difficulty dewatering the mine lead to its closure.

Old Dominion Mine Headframe

Now, the mine site is open as a park. Although it has the barren look of a reclaimed mine, the Gila County Historical Society, BHP Bilton, Freeport-McMoran along with a state grant, the mine site features a variety of trails and a large number of interpretive signs and labels explaining the history of mining on the site. The trails form several loops and give ample opportunity to walk around and explore.

Old Dominion Mine

Sprocket says he is NOT a man and therefore cannot go down the manlift into the mine:

Sprocket in the manlift

On The Page: One Tough Mother

When Season 4 of the #omniten arrived in Park City, we all sat down to watch this video about Columbia Sportswear’s history of #tryingstuff. My favorite part of the video was this little clip from Gert Boyle:

One Tough Mother: Success in Business, Life, and Apple Pies is her story of how she and her son Tim took over Columbia after her husband’s sudden death in 1970. Gert had helped out at the company in her younger years but retreated to life as a mother and homemaker while her husband entered the family business.

One Tough Mother

It was a difficult transition but Gert and Tim eventually sought out the guidance they needed to transform Columbia into a large global scale company. It was cool to read about how asking customers for their input on products has been a part of the company from the very beginning! It’s exciting to be part of the #omniten and that long standing tradition.

The most fun part of the book is probably the section with copy of many of the ads featuring Gert. It was a lot of fun to flip through them: I definitely remember Columbia marketing itself as being “products of an overprotective mother”!

Tonto Natural Bridge State Park

Sunday morning, F and I were figuring out our plans for the next week and gave Wilderness Dave a call to see what he was up to. He and Wilderness Wife were planning an outing up to the Payson area to check out some potential campsites and invited us to come along.

After passing through Payson, we continued north on Arizona 87. We realized that most of us hadn’t been to Tonto Bridge State Park and decided it was probably worth checking out. I blanched a little at the $5 a person entry fee but the consensus was that we really should check it out. It’s been awhile since I’ve been in a busy national or state park and was a little taken aback by how busy the parking lot and trail were.

Tonto Natural Bridge State Park

After wending our way around the people on the Gowan Trail, we got our first glimpse of the natural bridge. It was pretty darn cool. The path continues under the bridge on a delightfully slippery path.

Tonto Natural Bridge

Tonto Natural Bridge

Tonto Natural Bridge

Tonto Natural Bridge

Tonto Natural Bridge

Tonto Natural Bridge

Pine Creek

Back in the car, we pressed on to Pine to find lunch. At THAT Brewery we ordered a sampler and some food. It was nice to sit around talking beer and hiking (and plotting a Picaho Del Diablo trip). After lunch, we continued up onto the Mogollon Rim to take another short hike through the pines.

Coconino National Forest

Post hike, we drove down to Camp Verde and circled back to Phoenix via I-17. Thanks so much to Dave and his wife for welcoming us on their Sunday drive, letting us shower and stay the night at their place!

Growler Peak

Yesterday, F and I headed out on the Cabeza Prieta to hike Growler Peak. We’d already obtained our permits for both the Cabeza and the Barry Goldwater so we headed out to Charlie Bell Pass. We’d been out that way last year with Sylvia to check out the petroglyphs just beyond the end of the road but this time, our sights were set about 1,500′ higher: on the summit of Growler Peak.

The ride through the western part of the Cabeza is always really pretty but this year it is so green!

Sonoran Desert near Charlie Bell Pass

I couldn’t find many reports of people hiking up Growler Peak but the consensus seemed to be hiking up the ridge that starts near the parking area at the end of the road. We were a little curious how it would go because it looked like there were some pretty significant interruptions to the ridge but decided we’d have to figure it out as we went along.

Slopes of Growler Peak

As it turned out, the lower slopes had some fun scrambling. The rock was a little crumbly but not too bad. As we got up higher, we traversed around a cliff face to the east and then regained the ridge with some pretty easy scrambling.

Forrest on Growler Peak

Forrest on Growler Peak

Several times we thought we were approaching the summit but Growler Peak has a large broad summit ridge. It was a really pleasant walk along the ridge, however. We were treated to a birds eye view of A10s out on the Barry Goldwater and huge vistas of the surrounding desert.

Slopes of Growler Peak

Growler Peak Benchmark

When we finally reached the summit, we relaxed, ate, and enjoyed the view. A car battery atop the remote mountain was also a unique, if puzzling, find…

Car Battery on summit of Growler Peak

From the peak, we were able to pick out Signal Peak in the distance:

Signal Peak in the distance

The Growler Mountains stretched south of us:

Southern Growler Mountains

On the way down, we decided to investigate the ridge to the northeast of our ascent path. It was cool to get this view of our route to the summit:

Ridge route up Growler Peak

Our downward route was a pretty narrow ridge with several sections of really loose rock. There was one section that required some sketchy down-climbing but it “went” and we were able to turn our summit bid into a pleasant loop hike.

Ridge route down Growler Peak

The cholla were intense throughout the hike but our last stretch back to the quad was particularly impressive:

"Cholla Farm"