I arrived at my friend Jay’s house at 8 am but discovered he still remained in bed. I waited 20 minutes and took the opportunity to eat a bagel. We left his house at 8:40 am and parked the car at the trailhead around 10 am. The initial hike up to the base of the hard, rock monolith was steeper and longer than I expected. The cairns on the path helped a great deal as we worked to find our way to the scree below the gully. Thanks to the clear, well-captioned photos submitted by bc44caesar, we managed to find the route up to the gully. The rock faces were steeper than I predicted, but the natural handholds in the rocks lessened the difficulty. The views were incredible the entire way up. We were glad we brought our climbing helmets as well because small loose rocks fell on us a couple of times. The spray painted arrows and handholds guided us toward the summit and once we got onto the gently sloping mountain cap, the trip became simple. We saw several hawks gliding on thermals and a couple of huge cumulonimbus clouds form and give way to the south near Mount Taylor. A couple of time on the descent, we had to lower our bags by rope because of the unstable footing provided by the rocks. We returned to the car at 1:30 pm, completely satisfied and amazed with the climb.
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