So I decided to try to climb Stud Mountain.
That’s it, the peak in the middle, the one the road’s pointing to. It’s something like 2150′ and I’m driving along here at something like 150′. The pavement will soon end and I’ll veer to the right until I find Road 715, which will bear left into a canyon and put me within a few miles of the peak.
This is my chosen parking spot. Stud is the peak on the right.
Stud is its real name, by the way. Leaving me to wonder why. Did someone once see a stallion on the peak? Or will I find a two-by-four wedged between some rocks once I get there? Or do I have to be a stud, as in the eighties-and-nineties slang term for a manly man, to make it to the top?
The climb begins. It’s 64 degrees and 7:45am CA time (8:45am AZ time, this time of the year anyway). With me is a 20-ounce water bottle and this old snapshot digital camera. Not with me, but probably would have been helpful, is a topographic map, a hat, a snack or two, and more water. The forecast predicts near record highs, maybe 90 degrees, by the afternoon.
On my way.
Starting to feel warm now. Decide to make for that saddle, to gain my bearings. No map, remember. Also, was there supposed to be a trail around here somewhere?
At the saddle now, looking back (southeast).
Looking forward (northwest). Still a ways to go.
And here’s a nice view (still at the saddle) of Picacho, to the north, where I enjoyed a hike with my kids over Christmas break.
Continuing on now.
But–dang it’s hot!–and I’m out of water!–I decide to abandon the adventure for another day. When I got home later and looked at the online guide, by the way, there apparently is a trail; my makeshift trailhead was a half-mile or so shy.
Now to descend.
I follow this wash . . .
. . . and find some blessed shade. Got to be 85 by now.
And this is just a shot of a quartz vein in some other kind of rock. Cool stuff in the desert!
So I never found the answer to my question–whence this mountain got its name–because I never made it to the top. Or, wait, maybe I did. Find the answer, I mean. Maybe it’s is actually option number three. But I won’t know for sure until I return to try my manliness another day.