Fadgen's Adventures

Fadgen's Adventures
Green Creek Lake

Monday, June 29, 2015

A four peak morning!

Peak 10,340 (Peak #1) in the background
Dan Robbins, Tom Lopez and I had been talking about climbing the four 10K peaks that surround Little Falls Creek basin east of Ketchum, and with temperatures expected to be 108 in Boise, it sounded like a good time to be high.

After a nice, cool night spent in Phi Kappa campground, we drove up the rough Little Falls Creek road as far as we felt was necessary (7800 feet), and were moving a little after 6AM.  We hiked up the road, which alternated between rough rocks and smooth gravel, for a couple of miles until we reached an old mining cabin at 9200 feet.  With our first peak directly above us, Dan and Tom took a short break while I wandered around and admired the cabin.

We then dropped down and crossed the creek before starting up the open mountainside of Peak 10,340, eventually gaining the eastern ridge.  Though it was in the low 60’s when we started the hike, it was now considerably warmer in the sunshine.

Once on the ridge, it was a nice walk up to the summit of peak 10,340 which we reached at 8:45AM.  Even though there was a haze in the air, the views were outstanding.

After a short break spent eating, chatting and admiring the views, we started out for peak #2 directly to the north of us.  Before we started down the ridge, Dan spotted a herd of elk spread out below us.  They eventually detected us as we moved down the ridge, and moved into the thick trees, talking amongst themselves.  I have always loved listening to cow elk talking!
Elk heard
Close up of elk herd
Peak 10,356 (Peak #2)
Peak #2 (Peak 10,356) was another straightforward walk up, which we reached at 9:30AM.  From this peak, we had an excellent view of our third and most exciting looking objective – Peak 10,350.  We didn’t spend too much time on top of peak #2 for two reasons: it was starting to warm up and peak #3 looked like it was going to be a bit of fun.
Looking back at Peak #1
Peak 10,350 (Peak #3)
We dropped down the 500 feet to the saddle between peaks 10,356 and 10,350, and stared up at the somewhat rotten looking cliffs above us.  Unfortunately, the lighting wasn’t so good and the photos below do not do it justice.  We'd gotten a good look at the cliff band from the first peak, and noticed that you could either drop down 100 or so feet to skirt them or just head straight up through them.  Dan and Tom chose the first option, while I chose the second, and in my opinion, better option.
Cliff band with Dan as a perspective
 After telling Tom I’d be careful, I picked the first obvious seam and started up.  My second handhold crumbled on me, but my feet were firmly planted, so I shrugged it off and continued carefully climbing.  Twenty feet higher and the seam ended.  After a bit of looking around, I made an airy move over to my right and found another narrow seam.  This took me up another 30 feet where I topped out on a ledge with a goat trail!  I just followed this goat trail up along the edge of the cliffs to the summit at 10:45AM. 
Taking a break with the goat trail behind me (above my head)
After a few photos, I dropped my pack and moved over to the edge to see how Tom and Dan were progressing.  It didn’t take long for me to validate that I had chosen the correct route.  They were slowly making their way up in loose talus on the hot, exposed, steep southern slope.  From the sounds coming from the two of them (Damn, it’s fricking hot!), there wasn’t a puff of breeze to cool them off.  After a few more minutes they both joined me on the summit.
Sorry Tom!
Looks hot! 
I was still feeling pretty good at this point, but the heat had taken its toll on Tom and Dan.  After a short rest, they informed me that the fourth peak wasn’t in the cards for them.   
Peak #4 to the left
Peak 10,300 looked to be at least a mile away, with a fair bit of ridge scrambling involved.  So off I went, trying to keep up a brisk pace while also trying to stay cool.  Luckily, the clouds blocked the sun for the majority of the uphill portion, and after 45 minutes I was on summit #4 for the day at 11:45AM.
A look back at Peak #3 - Tom is on the open ridge in the sunshine
The final ridge
Summit shot!
Great view of Mystery Peak from Peak #4
Now it was just a matter of getting down.  The original plan was to backtrack to the saddle between peaks #3 and #4 and drop down a less steep ridge.  The only problem was this saddle was a mile back in the wrong direction.  It was continuing to get hotter and the inevitable rain clouds were building, so I just decided to drop straight down.  Other than skirting a couple of short drop offs, I boot skied down ¾ of the 1800 foot slope.  The last ¼ proved tedious because the rocks were too big to slide and it was now damn hot.  When I was several hundred feet above the road, Dan and Tom went strolling by.  As it was, I ended up being about 5 minutes behind them.
The straight shot descent route
A cold creek on the feet and a cold beer in the hand never felt so good!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Last days in Italy - Rome once again

Saying goodbye to Antonella Tucci
After a week of excellent cycling with Gira l'Umbria through the Umbrian countryside we found our selves with a couple of days left in Rome before it was time to head home.  We (I) picked a different locale in Rome to get a feel for another part of the city.  I don't want to say it was a mistake, but...
Waiting on the train....
Compared the area we are now in (east of the Colosseo), we really liked Trastevere.  Oh well, nothing to do but get out into the hustle and bustle.
Check out the shoes!!
We spent Friday wandering around the city without a plan.  Not sure if wandering without a plan is a good thing or not.  We saw quite a bit of the city not normally seen on the tourist walks though.  We got out early on Saturday morning to try and beat the crowds at St. Peter's Basilica, but even then, we had to wait 15 minutes to get through security.  Longest line we had for any attraction in Rome. I'm not sure if we are stupid or lucky, but we didn't have to wait for anything.

Michelangelo's dome at St. Peter's

After the St. Peter's tour, we stopped at a small corner spot for a cappuccino and cornetto (I really love the chocolate filled ones!).  Unlike a small quiet Umbrian piazza, this was like eating next to the airport!
Don't mind the couple in the background, they eventually found a room for the morning!
The rest of the day, Saturday, was spent walking around the city enjoying watching all the people.

That is, until a nice afternoon rain shower necessitated us taking our wine glasses inside! 

Ciao!  See you back in Idaho.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Civita di Bagnoregio

A friend from work showed me an article on this crumbling medieval city back in October when we were initially planning this trip.  Realizing that it wasn't too far out of the way, we added it to the itinerary for our last day of cycling.

We got another early start today on a bright, clear beautiful morning.  There was a stiff breeze blowing, but luckily it helped push us up the initial 10km hill.

Old distance marker on the road to Civita di Bagnoregio
With the breeze helping and the views around us, it didn't take long to cover the 20km to Civita di Bagnoregio, even though 16km of it was uphill.

We passed through the new town (Bagnoregio) to get to the ancient one and had this view before us. 

We locked up the bikes and walked down the steep steps leading to the narrow path to the city.  Luckily, we had gotten there early, as apparently this is on the Asian bus tour list.  We pretty much had the walkway to ourselves.  This was a gorgeous little tourist trap! 

After a quick cappuccino and cornetto in the main piazza to fuel up, we walked around admiring the views and all the cats! They were everywhere - here are a select few.

By the time we were ready to leave, the masses started showing up.  So, we got back on the bikes and headed out into the (now) headwind.  But, since the majority of the trip out was uphill (16 of 20km), the headwind wasn't so bad since we were going downhill!

We spent the remainder of the afternoon wandering around Orvieto visiting the sights and people watching.

Remnants of an olive mill in a cave below town, circa 1000BC

Olive oil press from the same time period

A couple of locals out watching the tourists

This one's for Dan!
We are pretty bummed that this is our last day of riding.  The bike touring portion of this trip has been absolutely spectacular - good scenery, good bikes, good routes and route planning, excellent hotels and B&B's and most of all fantastic people!  I put trust in someone I traded a couple of emails with, halfway around the world, and Antonella Tucci of Gira l'Umbria ( http://www.giralumbria.org ) delivered in a big way!

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