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Paragon TR

September 29 2012 at 5:24 PM
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Geo  (Login George_R)

9/14/12 - John R & I had "big plans" and a heavily loaded truck (even for us). We hadn't collaborated on our pack lists, but it turned out we had each packed 3 pairs of boots and a spare trekking pole ...and one of the four trekking poles still had a carbide tip! We also had a roll of gorilla tape, a tube of super glue, and a new tube of Shoe Goo. (We would eventually become very impressed with the Shoe Goo, the super glue was used for mending some minor flesh wounds, don't remember using the gorilla tape.) John wrote the itinerary for this trip and it called for a week of climbing 11ers with a "rest day" on day 4. It sounded like 11er "Hell Week", but I got in the truck before he changed his mind ...or before I did. Our first objective was "Paragon Peak" (Peak 11781) via RB's "Big Ugly" route: up the Super Gully, over Lost River Pk then down & up the ridge to Paragon and back, retracing our ascent route on our return ...on dry scree.
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(Paragon shadowed, right of SG in background - taken on our departure)

We came within 5 feet of "rear-ending" a deer at 65 mph on Hwy 93 along the Big Lost River as the sun was setting. The cots were eventually pitched in the dark under the mahogany near the dry creek bed at the SG "campsite", after we leveled off areas for the cot legs with an old ice ax we had brought along for the occasion. Then we set out the camp chairs by the truck (the only semi-level terrain around) and did a little pre-climb carb-loading as we reminisced before turning in. LRP is where I got bit by the "climbing bug" on a 2006 trip with John, Pat & Dave. Dave's most awesome LRP adventure (TR)


9/15/12 - We were awakened by the distant sound of a truck driving up the hill under a starlight sky, and soon there were headlights shining on the mahog above us. When I crawled out of my cot and up the embankment in my pj's to take a look, I saw not one, but two quad-cab trucks circling my rig before they headed back down to the "trailhead parking lot". John & I figured we weren't going to get back to sleep, so we might as well get up and get going ahead of them. By the time we got things picked up and started to finish loading our packs, a third truck drove up with 5B plates and parked nearby. We did the introductions and Chuck chatted with us for a bit before he headed up the mountain to climb his 12er #6. A few minutes later, a suburban drove up with 1A plates and parked nearby as it was just getting light enough to see without a flashlight - a guy and his golden retriever were headed up Breitenbach (dang, those 12ers are getting popular). We chatted with 1A guy a bit, as John & I watched Chuck 5B climb almost out of sight. There was a co-ed group of 7 from the two quad-cabs heading up about 100 yards behind Chuck when we finally got underway.

We passed the group of 7 fairly quickly in the trees, but it took us a long time to reel in old Chuck. We finally caught up with him at the false summit and we summited LRP together. When we told Chuck about our plans to climb Paragon, he said it sounded like we were taking some kind of IQ test (...and he didn't think we were going to pass it)
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We bid Chuck farewell after a little lunch and he powered up his cell phone to do a little "peak bragging" as we dropped off onto the wide connecting ridge to Paragon.
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We returned over LRP and tapped the summit cairn again on our way by, then made our way across the connecting ridge to the false summit. When we got there, the group of 7 had whittled itself down to 5 determined souls who were still climbing and just gaining the ridge after exiting the SG.
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We chatted with them as we passed (there sure was a lot of chatting going on that day) before bidding them good luck on their journey. Then we scree-jogged 2000' or so down the center of the gully - not quite as nice as a glissade, but it could have been worse. After we got back to the truck, we strapped down the load and headed for the W Fk of the Pahsimeroi...



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