Fadgen's Adventures

Fadgen's Adventures
Green Creek Lake

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Opening Day of Chukar Hunting in Nevada

**** **** Mountain
A couple of weeks ago was our annual get together for the opening weekend of chukar hunting south of Battle Mountain Nevada.  I have been getting together with an assortment of guys for this trip for over 20 years.  The constants in these twenty years have been John Woods, JD Driskell and I.

This year it was us three, Dylan, Brian Tufte and his son Alex and Little John. 

We all arrived Friday afternoon in spotty weather.  We had snow on the ground in Owyhee and it sprinkled for most of our 5.5 hour drive.  Dylan wanted to scout out an area for climbing purposes, so after setting up camp we were off.  While doing this scouting, Shadow got caught up in some barbed wire and cut up her leg a bit.

By Saturday morning it had cleared up a bit and was partly cloudy with almost no breeze.  JD's scouting information told us we could return to our normal area for the Saturday hunt so we were once again in familiar territory.  It wasn't long before the first covey was spotted on the drive in.  Dylan and I let JD and Brian go after these birds as we headed further up the road to a wide spot next to a spring.  Once out of the truck we made a long loop down to some lower rocks before we finally started running into some chukar.  After a couple of coveys flushing I had shot my limit while Dylan was short a couple of birds.  Nothing too dramatic on the hunt, just easy Nevada walking and great shooting.

Shadow with a limit of birds

"They should be right there..."
The rest of the afternoon was spent trying to get Dylan into some birds and hanging with the guys.  Eventually Dylan did get his limit that afternoon as did JD.

Saturday evening was spent cooking up chukar in the Dutch oven.  This year I made an Indian curry dish and from all the groaning it was well liked.

Sunday saw the group split up.  A few went back to the Saturday hunt, a couple others went elsewhere, while Dylan and I headed to **** Creek.  Once at our hunting spot we quickly got into a covey and shot a few birds.  Unfortunately, this was the only covey we saw at **** Creek.  So off to the next spot, ******.  We didn't see any birds at ****** which was a little strange considering the amount of water in the area, but it may had been hunted that morning.

After this hunt we took a little deviation.  For some reason I allowed Dylan to bring his climbing gear for our chukar hunt - go figure.  Because of this fact and the rock cliffs in the area, he figured it was time to climb.  With no birds in the area, I figured what the hell and agreed.  He packed up his gear, we kenneled Shadow, and we took off for the rocks.

He ended up climbing one pitch of rock that looked pretty tough and took him a bit of time to conquer.  We named the route "Dreaded Black" after the lizard that crawled over his hand a couple of times.  After climbing we didn't bother to do any more hunting and just headed back to camp for more hanging with the guys.

Once again a great time was had during the opening weekend in Nevada.  Can't wait till next year.

Shadow resting with her barbed wire wound

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Pavlos Peak - Idaho Summits Fall Outing 2011

When the call went out for the fall outing to occur on Sunday October 2nd I was quick to plan a weekend that allowed some bird hunting and peak bagging.  Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it), Dylan had a Homecoming Dance planned for Saturday night so the bird hunting plans were squashed.  Instead, we decided to make an alpine start and leave town at 4AM.

Unfortunately, 4AM wasn’t quite early enough and we were the last two to roll into Christian Gulch around 9AM.  After quick introductions, quickly packing up some final items and taking a few group photos, we were off.

The group heading up the elk trail

The first part of the hike was a little bushwhack through the trees until we stumbled upon a great elk trail.  We followed this trail to a saddle above point 9076.  There were eleven of us, Dylan and myself, Margo, Dan, Steve, Dave, Alex and Sean who we had previously climbed with.  New to us were George, Leslie, and Eric. The weather was great for hiking, a slight overcast with temps in the 50s.

Dave enjoying the rest

The pace was rather brisk as we topped out above the tree line.  I stuck around there waiting for Dan, Margo, and Steve and after chatting with them a few minutes I looked up and the others were almost out of sight. 

Once out of the tress the crux of the climb was in view - a long band of rocks that allowed a little bit of scrambling while enjoying a steep drop off the north side.  Once over this band though, it was a straight forward hike to the summit at 11,109 feet.

Dan motoring on up!

Margo enjoying the crux

Summit views

Once on the summit the wind picked up and it was getting chilly just sitting around. While we waited for Dan and Margo I quickly ate a PBJ and some trail mix while the others were getting antsy to move on to Petros.  I was undecided on Petros since we had climbed this earlier in the year but decided to join them at the last minute.
Petros with the route highlighted

The route between Pavlos and Petros takes you down the scree filled west slope of Pavlos and along a broad flat saddle filled with solid scree.  Dylan commented afterward that it was so smooth you could play soccer on it.  It was an awesome sight!

The soccer field

The climb up Petros involved another slog up a steep slope filled with larger rocks to a cliff band.  At this point Leslie and I decided against going any further since the cliffs looked a little loose.  Sean lead off selecting the best route, quickly followed by Dylan and the rest. Quite a few times I’d hear “Rock!” followed by the sound of rocks tumbling down the mountain.
The summit to Petros
Sounds like the group quickly tagged the summit and then spent a considerable amount of time finding a route down.  From my view point the group played it safe as each person individually descended out of the cliffs before the next proceeded.

Once down off of Petros, everyone but George proceeded back up the west ridge of Pavlos with Sean quickly leading the way.  George had decided to hit another peak on the way back (sorry – not too sure which one) – this guy is a mountain goat!  The climb back up Pavlos was pretty brutal because of the wind, which had really picked up.  Not too sure about the wind speed, but occasionally it made it hard to breathe.
Fighting the wind

Once back on top of Pavlos we all had an easy stroll down to the cars following our ascent path.

The trip stats were approximately 7½ hours car to car, approximately 8.5 miles, and 4600 feet gained.

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A team of adventurers consisting of John, Tamara, Taylor, Dylan, and Shadow Fadgen