Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Paddy Go North 8.18.09

All week my intent was to head to Chetwoot Lake and bag a couple area peaks. This Summer has been sporadic on the hiking front and I needed a long day to help catch up. As things go for me I had morning oblibgations I couldn't get out of. Disappointed on not having the time for the monster day I had planned I lost all motivation. I struggled to find a back up plan that would utilize the remaining time I had. The goal was to summit Sherpani Peak or as I would rather call it "coffin top" . On the way out I wanted to go over Paddy Go North crossing two peaks off my list and saving a little dignity for the day. I made good time to the PGEP trail and was dismayed that it was about 20 degrees hotter than what I was expecting. To make matters worse I left my sunscreen in my fishing vest. Since I don't have any hair to block the sun's rays this can be concerning to me. Since I had a hat all wasn't lost. I wanted to avoid my ears getting crispy as they sometimes do, so I improvised and soaked my t-shirt in the creek and put it over my hat to add some extra protection. Form doesn't always follow function so I was glad I didn't cross paths with anyone on this day. There was enough wind to keep me from overheating from the Mid 90 degree temps. The Beagle who is black was taking the brunt of the heat and I was forced to stop at nearly every shady spot along the way to keep him out of the red zone. I had a ton of fluids with me but most weren't ideal for the dogs. I forced them to drink heavily at the first two creek crossing. I decided instead of leaving the trail at 5800' as I had planned to continue on to the pass and head South to Sprite Lake to give the dogs some cool water to drink. The dogs both lounged in the water to beat the heat. I actually stayed nearly 30 minutes which for me is unusual. I didn't have to be back early so I wasn't in a rush. I decided that PGN was still in the cards. It is apparent that I wasn't going to summit via the East as PGN has an impressive East face. On the way up I had spied a route from the South that I thought would go. I went up the gully that is the fault line between the two distinct types of rocks that dominate the area. I had one small section that involved some gymnastics but reaching the ridge was easier than expected. I headed North tending to the West side to a nice ledge that took me around some larger outcroppings. One on the West side the grade lessened as I traversed to find a manageable way to the summit. I dropped pack and zigzagged my way up. I would say that the route was less than class 3 but certainly more than class 2 scrambling. I wasn't able to find any summit register which was somewhat of a surprise. I carefully downclimbed my way back to the pack and was able to make good time back to the trail.

Approx 9 miles 3500' of climb 6 hours car to car

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