AZ Flashback I – Superstition Mountain

Back in late 1987 a fearsome quintet of young lads gathered at Apache Junction, AZ, winter home of Grandpa & Grandma Runner, not knowing that they were about to push themselves to their physical limits against the awe-inspiring Superstition Mountain.  I was humbled to have been able to capture highlights of the trek in vivid 110mm color.

Superstition Mountains
Superstition Mountain

Who was this intrepid band of offseason adventurers? I was joined by my three brothers, as well as Bonecracker Dennis, friend of the family.  At Apache Junction Base, they forged their plans and identified the route they would attempt: to assail Flat Iron Peak from Lost Dutchman State Park!

Superstition Mountains climbers
the Brothers Runner, Bonecracker Dennis, and Rhubarb_Runner

Standing at the base of the namesake of the mountain range that flanks the eastern Phoenix metropolitan area, foregoing pick, piton, and rope, they surveyed their nemisis.  The start of their ascent would begin easily enough, but as they found themselves passing the bleached bones of climbers who had failed before them, they steeled themselves against the increasing difficulties sure to be lying ahead.

Superstition Mountains panarama
Apache Junction, from above

The rough terrain began to take a toll on them, both physically and mentally, as did the rapidly deteriorating weather, but still they persisted towards their goal — the mountain’s apex, with the entirety of naked rock beneath their feet.  Several times within site of their destination, they defied death and journeyed onward where others had cowered and turned away.  Their years of training and planning paid off though, when standing upon the very summit became a reality!

Superstition Mountains peak
sitting in repose at the top of the world

More importantly, the erstwhile climbers returned safely to ground level, with weary legs but soaring spirits, and a strong, well-deserved sense of accomplishment.

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6 responses to “AZ Flashback I – Superstition Mountain

  1. so that is what the top of the world looks like.

  2. Strawbery Banana

    First of all, some of the words you used were too long, so I just looked at your pictures. Superstition Mt. looks like a hill; the group picture says mid 70’s to me and not 1986 (guy on the left looks like fun); the Apache Junkyard picture does look high up, but the last picture just looks high (as in on hashish).

    Conclusion: more than SLIGHTLY embellished!

  3. Cool story. I’ve climbed the mountains in White Tank Park over by Surprise in the Western Greater Phoenix Area. There are some amazing views.

    • Dang, I made a hash of that link.

      • I fixed your link for you. Looks like that’s the equivalent mountains on the opposite side of Phoenix — neat.

        I’ve also “climbed” Camelback Mt. to watch fireworks on July 4th one year; although the view was great, fireworks from a distance is a little bit of a letdown.

        btw, the story was only SLIGHTLY embellished ;).

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