Ten of us gather at the Pima Canyon Trail head, 8:00am, 40 degrees for the start of an epic hike. Our destination, Table Tooth (also known as Table Tower) is a 390' prominence that sits just apart from Table Mountain with the Wolf's Teeth spires a little more distant.
Our hike would follow Pima Canyon Trail for 4 miles. The rising sun illuminates one of the Wolf's Spires. Our destination is left of that and not yet visible.
Pima Canyon is very rocky so our focus is mostly on the trail but you must remind yourself to pause and look up. The colors and views always change. None of us have visited the Peak so we were very fortunate that a fellow hiker, Paul, who had already done the hike last week, volunteered to hike ahead. At about mile 4.....
....we encountered a note that Paul had left for us, indicating this is where we depart the trail and head up the canyon, for .3 miles.
The .3 mile off trail hike up Pima Canyon was fun as we worked our way around and over various bouldery obstructions. There was a trickle of water, a result of snow melt higher up the mountain. Soon we found another note left behind by Paul, informing us that is where we break out of the canyon bottom.
It's about a mile to a saddle that is just right of Table Tooth Peak, during which we would gain 1600'. From this perspective, it's impossible to know where along the ridge line we should emerge so again, it was invaluable to have Paul's help.
What a great view, Kitt Peak in the distance.
Did I state it was steep? Pics usually don't convey the steepness but this one does.
Now that I completed the ascent, had I to do it again, not sure I could find my way without the aid of a GPX route. It was oddly bewildering to me probably because was so steep, I rarely could get a visual on our destination.
High up the slope, I could see Table Mountain, a notch below it and then the base of our peak. We needed to be at a saddle right of the Tooth. Long ago, there was not a notch but a continuous wall between Table and the Tooth.
I assumed that upon reaching the saddle, we would be rewarded with amazing views and I was not disappointed. It almost causes my jaw to drop.
One of our group, Lindsey, stands in front of an adjoining spire and glad we did not have to climb it.
On a bushwhacking climb like this, it's important that you not lose sight of the hiker ahead of you or else you have no clue how to proceed. I should have mentioned the importance of this to the group at the start of the climb. Anyway, eventually, we all made it to the saddle.
What a view with Leviathan and Wilderness domes a big part of the above image. We all hiked to the base of the first rated wall. I climbed a portion of the wall and decided the exposure was too much for me so retreated while.....
....Paul was the first to ascend, followed by Lorna. She's a great climber and comfortable with exposure. I watched....
....Marc, easily ascend, then Lindsey. Paul tied a rope around the base of a tree, dropped it so I climbed the "Z" in the rock face (shown above) as before, grabbed the rope and made it. So glad that I did. Immediately, there was another wall, maybe 20" but around a corner to the right, there were some good handholds but with exposure. I took this route and then we....
....carefully navigated a knife edge. This was not as difficult as I thought it may be. Sure, a slip and down you go a couple hundred feet but there were plenty of things to grab. I was very careful here as we approached the peak, with Table Mountain in the distance.
And then we reach the peak! On his prior climb, Paul had left a can, under a rock with a sign-in sheet, past and present.
Oh the views! the Santa Ritas in the distance. Mt. Wrightson, Hopkins and Elephant Head are so insignificant.
Knowing that our friends, who had decided not to try the climb, were waiting for us we headed back. The walls were quickly passed with Paul removing his purple rope and heaving the white rope back atop, where it had been placed by a local hiker, last year. I understand that is climbers protocol. Several of our group....
...had already begun their descent, wanting to get a head start. I was concerned they would not be able to stay on track so plunged down hill too. I needn't have worried as their devices had their ascent so they could follow that.
The Wolf's Teeth are plainly visible as we descend. That destination too has been on my list but not sure I want to repeat a nearly identical hike. Of course, thoughts change over time.
While steep (an average grade of around 40%) we mostly were stepping down into dirt rather than rocks so the impact was reduced, thank goodness. In the distance, Pima Canyon.
At last, we got on the Pima Canyon Trail and began the 4 mile return. Finished with 10 miles and 3700' of climbing.