Monday, October 17, 2011

#116 Pavlos-Petros Peaks. Idaho Summits 2011 Fall Outing

Summit of Pavlos comes into view above tree line.

The Fall Outing participants converged on Christian Gulch in the Pashimeroi Mountain range on October 2, 2011 for an outing objective of Pavlos Peak, (11,109 ft) a Class 2/3 climb. For those that wanted a mountain 2-fer, there was an option to continue an additional mile to Petros Peak (11,060 ft), a Class 3/4 climb.

Most of my Pocatello mountaineering friends had low to non-existent climbing seasons this year as a result of other commitments and/or injuries, so I prepared to meet up with the Idaho Summits group on my own. Being adverse to uber-early drives from Pocatello to unfamiliar back-country destinations, I decided to camp at Christian Gulch the night before.

Leslie, George and Sean in camp.
I thought I left early enough, but I never seem to plan for overshooting my turnoff, which of course I did in my haste to beat nightfall. After a 30 minute side trip, I was back on course. After a half hour on washboarded gravel road, I was pleasantly surprised, in the middle of nowhere, to see a red truck I didn't recognize, with a driver, I didn't recognize, who stuck his arm out his window and waved me toward him. "Anywhere else, this would be a huge mistake," I said to myself as I proceeded my little Versa toward his truck. In the meantime, he stepped out of the vehicle and came toward my side window, which I had rolled down. "Hi Margo, I'm George (Reinier, an message board regular)." (Sigh of relief) "Hi...great to meet you George." As my odometer indicated I had two more miles to go before turning off, it was convenient that George decided to be the outing greeter. If he hadn't been, I would probably still be driving around out there.

Sean, Leslie, Margo, Dave, Alex, Steve, John, Dylan
George and Eric (photo by Dan Robbins)
George was concerned that I might not be able to get my commute-practical car all the way to camp, so he lead the way, waiting at any moment for the "I-give-up" flash of my headlights. It was pretty rugged for low clearance, but the headlight flash never came, as I made it there by dancing back and forth across the lane, dodging big rocks, ruts and gravel piles. By the time we made camp, the intermittent sprinkles that started when I met him had turned into a light rain.

At camp, I met Sean (Duffy), another message board regular, and a friend of his, Leslie Fairbrother, from Hailey, who arrived 15 minutes or so before me (George had greeted them at the trailhead too). Initially, there was no real time for pleasantries as we all were busy getting tents up and food down, pretty much in that order. Regarding tents up, you always hear to assemble a new tent yourself before taking it out in the back country. I can report that "seeing" it assembled in your front room is no substitute for the actual hands-on activity. I asked George to help me with the tent on my second attempt when the rain had died down a bit.

SummitGirl enjoying the crux.
By popular request, Delta (Steve Weston) had made dinner for the campers but he didn't know if he was going to make it in all the way to camp that night to cook it for us himself. So earlier that day, Delta had taken his Tuscan Stew over to George's house to bring out for us. George took care of heating up dinner too. (And, it was AWESOME!!) Now, the rain is coming down quite steadily as the four of us huddled under a pine tree, eating dinner, and staring at the fire in the fire pit about six feet from us. Then George says, "I have a gazebo we can put up." I quickly wondered how we ever had an Idaho Summits outing without this guy before? So the four of us spent the rest of the night under the gazebo, next to the fire, getting to know each other as the rain finally subsided and the clouds parted to a stunning starry night.

The next morning, Eric Larsen showed up from Idaho Falls before the 8 a.m. original start time. Dave and Alex Pacioretty drove in not too long after. Alex was on his second day of leave after completing boot camp in Oklahoma, having just flown into Salt Lake City the morning before. He was ready for some mountains. Dan Robbins had picked up Delta outside of Craters of the Moon, where Delta had spent the night in the car, and John and Dylan Fagden finally made it in from Boise. Dylan had all of a couple hours sleep, having gone to his homecoming dance the night before. A pretty dedicated team I would say....
Petros from Pavlos summit.
Our trip itself is well described by both Dan's and the Fadgen's trip reports. Here is my video from the summit of Pavlos (turn the volume's just wind). With the multitude of reports coming out from various outing participants, I have no longer tried to put a different twist to the narrative, and instead have taken to making a photo video from pictures my team members send to me. It took me a little longer than usual to finish this particular video, as I had been looking for the "perfect" song. I think I nailed fits the characteristics and landscape of this trip, and it eludes to a (now) inside joke, having nothing to do with me by the way.

It was great to climb again with old and new friends. I am forever grateful and pleased to know these truly wonderful people and am thankful they let me join them to enjoy the rugged back-country of Idaho. Climb On!

SummitGirl on Pavlos

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