On Hikearizona.com a group was started to tackle all 4 of the Four Peaks. Nobody in this group had ever attempted this before and we did not know what we were getting ourselves into. In this trip report Browns Peak is Peak one and the most southern peak is Peak 4.
At 5:00 in the morning I had met 2 of the guys at In And Out Burger to car pool to the Four Peaks restroom area. There all the rest of us met up and by 6:00 we were headed up the road to have the adventure of a lifetime. We started at 7:16 and made it to the Amethyst Mine by 8:40. We started out making some really good time.
We then bypassed the gate with the sign marked “No Trespassing.” Before we knew it we were heading up the gully between peaks 3 and 4. The climb up this gully was quite rigorous as we were bushwhacking and scrambling up the rocks. We then started to climb up towards Peak 4 through the trees, brush, bushes, rocks, loose soil and the few inches of snow.
At one point somebody had knocked a rock down and as it came down it was picking up speed fast. I noticed it was headed straight for me. I was in a situation that I was stuck, just a target waiting to get hit. The rock flew past the person in front of me and headed straight toward my face. I had to think fast of what I was going to do. I took my trekking pole and waited to try to deflect it from me. Right before it could get to me it hit a rock and redirected around me hitting my pointer finger. I escaped with just a miner cut.
Near the top of Peak 4 I kicked a cactus and its spines stuck into my little toe. The rest of the hike up was a bush whack through thick brush. Not fun. On the peak is when I took the spines out of my foot.
We enjoyed the view for a while then headed back down to attempt peak 3. The next peak was full of surprises. It was more of a rock climb up it than a scramble. It consisted of a lot of exposed class 4 scrambling and basic rock climbing. It was about 12:00 by the time we reached the summit. It did not take too long to reach it.
Then the fun really began as we headed down to the lowest saddle between Peak 3 and 2. We somehow got off route and headed down off the ridgeline too steeply. We climbed down a very exposed crack with few handholds.
Going back up was not an option. While the group slowly went down one by one a few of the others went ahead to scout out a way. Me and 2 of the other guys tried scouting out an easier route just to be unsuccessful. This is where I got stuck in the palm with a dead agave plant. We then went the way that the others went, down yet another crack. We then crossed over the rocks by a tree to get out the collier just to end up in another one. We followed a small crack/edge down. From there it was back up. We then got into some exposed rock climbing heading back up to the ridgeline. I have no technique climbing rocks and I felt my forearms giving out. I did not know how much more I could take. I was nervous, scared, and stressed out!!!! I was not having the fun I thought I would have. Once we got to the saddle it was about 4:00pm, the time we had guessed we would be nearly finished with the hike. We still had 2 left to go and it was to late to consider it. A few people scouted an escape route while Pete decided to finish the hike over the Four peaks by himself.
Those who scouted out the escape route were successful in finding one. We then headed down the 600 vertical foot climb to the trail. This was the easiest part of the day. The worst part of it was just bushwhacking. We caught the trail and headed back to the parking lot. Not to much later we got a call on the radio from Pete stating that he had made it to Peak 2. Then about 5:30 he radioed in again and said he was at the top of Browns and he needed direction how to get to the Scree Chute.
The sun was setting fast and we got a wonderful sunset.
We were back at the parking lot about 6:00. We sat around had hot dogs and waited for Pete. 7:00 came and still no Pete. After awhile 2 of the guys went back up the trail to find Pete. I waited at the Trailhead with George as everybody else had already left. 8:00 came and soon it was 9:00. Where were they? This was really getting to me. I was really worried about the guy. Did he get lost, did he fall, is he okay? About 10:00 I saw three headlights in the forest and they were all spaced. This told me he was fine and was not being carried out. What a relief. This could have been a huge disaster.
I was back home at 12:00 ready for bed. Every muscle in my body ached. It WAS the worst, and scariest hike I had ever been on. I will never attempt this one again. Peak 2 will remain unhiked. I have no interest in doing it any more. 3 out of 4 is good enough for me. I’ll do Browns again, but never the others.
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