Mount Ajo, Kino Peak


By: Bill Bradley


On Saturday morning we met at the slag heap just south of the town of Ajo. After driving about 15 miles on a good dirt road, we parked about two miles past the Bates Well Ranch. FRAN SMITH broke in his brand new car on this one. Twelve of us headed cross-country to find the canyon on the northwest side of Kino. This canyon turned out to be rather brushy and the heat took its toll with the assistant leader dropping out half-way up the canyon. We arrived at a notch on the northeast shoulder of Kino and then followed an animal trail (signs of Bighorn everywhere) on ledges around to the west side of the peak and thence up the ridge to the summit. Arriving back at the cars at about 4:00, HOWARD YEE left us at this point to return to Tucson.

Saturday night we camped on the desert floor and enjoyed (some didn't) a truck tire fire. Sunday morning we headed over to Ajo Mountain Drive and parked at a picnic site at the start of the trail to the Bull Pasture. Inasmuch as it was hotter on Sunday, we lost two climbers early in the game. We contoured around the Bull Pasture and then headed up a likely looking chute. This brought us up to the ridge and after climbing two false summits (one of which was ducked), we finally made the peak. Coming back we headed cross-country rather than contouring, and this went somewhat faster. Three quarts of water were not enough in the heat (110+ in the sun) and most of us were out before we got back to the cars (and cold Coors).

Thanks to GENE OLSEN and MARIS VALKASS for their assistance on this trip.

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