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Tempe Top Ten (Sun Devil Guide to Gameday): Number Nine

Continuing our countdown to Sun Devil Gameday..

Number Nine: Climb "A" Mountain

"A" Mountain is actually a butte. It is designated a historical preserve and is rich in vegetation and wildlife. You can often see a lizard or a jack rabbit meandering about on the pathways and the hillsides.

There are petroglyphs that date back to the Hohokam Indian people located on Tempe Butte scattered across the front and back. The 'A' in the picture below is painted different colors based on the time of year. For example, tonight it will be painted white in a freshman ceremony to welcome the newcomers to the college fold.

Whitewash the "A"

Friday, August 22, 2008 5 - 7:30 pm
Tempe Butte ("A" Mountain)

Show your Sun Devil pride by participating in one of the university's longest standing traditions -- Whitewashing the "A." Help celebrate the new school year by painting the "A" white to signify the start of the 2008 fall semester. Show your ASU spirit and have fun with other new students of the Class of 2012! Help kick off the evening with this exciting tradition.

In this picture, the "A" is yellow (or 'gold' if you are so inclined). This is the color it generally is throughout the year. During the weekend of the UA football game, the other school will attempt to paint the other school's "A" the enemy's color. Since UA has an "A" of its own to defend, it is a spirited event that has been slowed in recent years by historical societies and the law.

This is the view from the top of "A" Mountain when looking east towards Sun Devil Stadium. it is an essential piece of the Sun Devil puzzle. What do you see when you look west? Why, downtown Phoenix of course, and the famous old mill that gives Mill Avenue its name.

It's probably best to hike in the early morning (say, before 9) to avoid the hottest parts of the day. it's only a 15 minute hike up, so it's nothing you need to commit an entire morning to. Make sure you walk down towards Mill Avenue afterward to grab some breakfast.

Check back tomorrow for Number Eight...