PSC 2014

“I have read that the Scotch once had a custom of making a yearly pilgrimage or excursion around their boroughs or cities – ‘beating the bounds,’ they called it, following the boundaries that they might know what they had to defend. It is a custom that might profitably be revived. We should then know better the cities in which we live. We should be stronger, healthier, for such expeditions, and the better able and the more willing to defend our boundaries.” –John Finley, Traveling Afoot (1917)

PSC14_pano edit
Phoenix – from the top of Dixie Peak

15 November | Saturday
Phoenix Summit Challenge 2014!
7 summits – 26.4 miles – 6000 ft

Hike 1: Alta Trail @ South Mtn
4.6 mi | 900 ft

Hike 2: Summit Trail @ Piestewa Peak
3.0 mi | 1,200 ft

Hike 3: Dixie Peak @ Phoenix Mtn Preserve
3.0 mi | 900 ft

Hike 4: Lookout Mtn
3.2 mi | 600 ft

Hike 5: North Mtn
2.3 mi | 700 ft

Hike 6: Shaw Butte
5.3 mi | 800 ft

Hike 7: Holbert Trail @ South Mtn
5.0 mi | 1000 ft

This was my 3rd time completely the Summit Challenge and, as in years past, it was such a great event. The 2014 event marked the 10th Anniversary of the “non-competitive hiking event”, whose mission is to promote outdoor recreation, educate the public about the desert ecosystem, and to “increase environmental awareness, outdoor etiquette, and conservation efforts among participants and the community.” 

My partner, JK and I went from before sunrise until just after sunset – starting and ending the day in head lamps. Each year the list of summits is slightly different, which is awesome as it familiarizes you with new trails – and man does Phoenix have some great ones to choose from! I had never hiked Dixie Peak and it was my favorite of the day; I’ll definitely be adding that into my regime. Hike #6 has historically been the most challenging both mentally and physically for me and this held true, though I must say, physically I felt really strong. North Mountain and Shaw Butte have some serious glute-builder portions of trail, which I have noted for the upcoming Ragnar Trail Training.

PSC 2014
Here’s my partner and crime and I at each of the summits. I can’t wait for next year, right Jennifer?!? Team Beer & Pizza 2015!

And this is what your mileage tracker looks like the week of the Summit Challenge:


Jennifer and I joked that we should re-name the hike based on where we felt each the most. So I did. Sort of…

  1. “Dick-Swingers” | The hike that separates all the douche bags from the rest of us who understand what “non-competitive” means
  2. “The Ant Hill” | Piestewa Peak on a Saturday morning – need I say more?
  3. “Preeeetty” | The scenery and the Park Rangers
  4. “The Tease” | You gotta walk all the way around the base of the mountain before you get to the good stuff
  5. “Christmas” | Because KK needs to keep that shit under wraps. Or start doing some squats
  6. “Your moccasins are nice, but let’s chat when you have a wristband” -or- “Here, have some headphones” | That one’s for JK
  7. “Fuck Yeah!” |  If it weren’t dark I’d do another one

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