The rain turned to sleet sometime after we passed Ski Valley, the drive up had been slightly faster than usual on the empty highway, when we got out of the car at the top of the mountain the area was a wet mess – no winter wonderland, just frozen slush – a change of plans and down…
The clouds were just as solid at the Box Camp Trailhead – but the water falling from the sky was not nearly as frozen. As my ride pulls away the cold makes me shiver, no where to go now but up the trail.
Lower on the trail, normally home to vast views, I spend a dreamlike hour alternating between watching the loose trail under my feet and the ridge twisting away into the clouds.
The grass is heavy with rain and the trail occasionally obscure – lower still the clouds break and views of Palisade Canyon, Sabino Canyon and the East Fork trail emerge. By the time I arrive at the end of the Phoneline Trail the rain is gone – I pull off my shell and head down the empty trail towards the city. Box Camp Trailhead to the Sabino Canyon Visitor Center, 12.8 miles, +680’/-5800′ of elevation gain/loss.