Courthouse Butte Mar 12

Climbing high on Courthouse Butte, from the Bell Rick South trailhead
P3016770   COURTHOUSE BUTTE P3016771   Starting out at the Bell Rock South trailhead, in two groups P3016772 P3016773
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P3016782 P3016783   We turn off the public trail to head up the side P3016784 P3016785   Waiting for the "slow" group to catch up
P3016786 P3016787 P3016788   It's already getting ledgy P3016789
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P3016794   We're aiming for a slot in that deep shadow P3016795   Views of VOC are opening up below P3016796 P3016798   The first ruin
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P3016816   Up the narrow slot P3016817 P3016818 P3016819
P3016820 P3016821   WWe emerge at teh top of a spectacular cliff P3016822 P3016823   To one side, our first break spot
P3016824 P3016825 P3016826 P3016827   This gives us a good view of the next leg of the climb
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P3016832 well as views of both VOC and the forest road section of SR179 P3016833 P3016834 P3016836   I can see my place from here!
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P3016845 P3016847   Bell Rock P3016848   The first group starts up... P3016850
P3016852 P3016853   An early bloom of indian paintbrush P3016854   This is the hairiest part of the climb P3016855
P3016856 P3016857 P3016858   It's hard to avoid this particular dead tree P3016859
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P3016871 P3016872 P3016873   This ledge line is as high as we can get P3016874
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P3016885   There is another ruin in this cave, inaccessible to us, right above the Fort Apache layer P3016886 P3016887 P3016888   We make our way along as far as we can
P3016889 P3016890 P3016891 P3016892   This is it! Ropes would be required from here.
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P3016897 P3016898   Liz finds some potsherds P3016900 P3016901
P3016902 P3016903   Familiar landmarks like Castle Rock are very different from here P3016904 P3016905   Our lunch spot, on the last open area free of ants and cactus
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P3016910 P3016911   Heading back, the way we came P3016912 P3016913
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P3016918 P3016921   Down through the lower slot P3016922 P3016923
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P3016934 P3016935   Back on the flat, we hike around the Courthouse P3016936 P3016937
P3016938 P3016939   Rabbit Ears P3016940 P3016941   The Little Mushroom, directly N of Courthouse
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P3016946 P3016947 P3016948   A hidden memorial P3016949
P3016950   One last dead tree P3016951 P3016952 P3016953
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P3016959 P3016960   This fell off the south face of Courthouse, recently enough to have crushed a fence P3016961 P3016962   This much larger piece fell ages earlier
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