[If you don’t know what happened to Arvie, read this post first. Freaky.]
Humphrey’s Peak is the highest point in Arizona at 12,633′. Having decided a few days ago that summiting the peak would be a fun challenge, I read that the roundtrip hike was ~10 miles and at a decent clip would take a bit over three hours each way.
What makes Humphrey’s stand out from neighboring peaks (aside from its towering elevation) are its exposed summit ridge and its cinder rock base above the tree-line.
The hike started out easily enough and I convinced myself that it would be a clever idea to try to summit without taking any breaks. All was fine and I was handling the elevation well until the trees started to thin out around 11,500′. At that point the wind picked up, and it only intensified as I grew closer to the summit ridge. On the ridge itself the winds were pretty nuts. I was making excellent time, but after making one near-successful attempt at stealing my hat, the wind knocked me down twice before I reached the crude rock windbreak at the summit. Then, for a few awesome minutes, I was the tallest thing in Arizona. It was 45 degrees out, with 50 – 60 mph winds, and it didn’t matter. I let out a triumphant yell. The climb was immensely rewarding, but not quite fun.
I was the first person of the day to summit (in 2.5 hours!), and on my way down I encountered a few rugged-looking hikers along with some woefully ill-prepared hikers who were underdressed and carrying far too little water. I took my time on the descent, stopping to cook up some lunch and take in the scenery. Shortly after arriving at the RV (and seeing Ayo’s incredible organizing job) I crashed for an hour and a half. And then the excitement started.
The Excitement: Follow-Up
If you haven’t yet read about Ayo’s heroic driving through Arvie’s temporary collapse, now’s the time to do so. So here’s what happened next:
We called CoachNet and talked to a technician about what had happened. He told us that it was okay to try and restart Arvie, and we did so. Our fluid levels and belt looked fine, and everything seemed to have been working. His thinking: Arvie REALLY didn’t like the “over-revving” that was caused by shifting to D1 at too-high a speed, causing Arvie’s computer to put itself into “rep mode” to protect the engine. What this does is allow the truck just enough power to pull off the road, and then shuts the vehicle down. The technician felt that we should get it checked out, but that the truck was safe to drive.
We were still 4.5 miles up a steep grade. Having had the truck mysteriously die on us, we weren’t exactly up for trying to make it down the hill. CoachNet arranged for (and paid for) a tow to WalMart, where we overnighted. Come 8am the next morning and they had us an appointment at Flagstaff RV Service Center and shortly thereafter had a tow truck come to bring us over. Great service.
The folks at Flagstaff RV were upfront with us. They listened to everything that had happened and took a quick glance at Arvie. I spoke with two mechanics and they both separately agreed that there was nothing to do. The likeliest scenario was that the over-rev had caused the shutdown, but that there was a possibility that the rapid elevation change could have caused a fuel pressure change with the same result.
Either way, they said, there was nothing to do about it. The truck was operating normally and they felt pretty confident that we didn’t have anything to worry about. We started off gingerly, but Arvie slowly rebuilt our confidence. We’re now about 100 miles down the road at the Grand Canyon. It’s sweet.
On a lighter note, check out Ayo’s organizing!
posted by yair