OverviewTrying to squeeze some more Eastern Oregon summits into 2011, I headed out one Saturday night to car camp at Anthony Lake and then to start early peakbagging the next day, October 2. Made it quickly up Gunsight Mountain in the early morning (which accounts for a lot of dark shots in the morning shadows), then fun scrambling over to Angell Peak. Took a quick rest on Angell, then scrambled down east from the summit cross country until I found a trail that headed toward Peak 8538. Once I got to that pass, I went off trail again west as my objective was Van Patten Butte.
I couldn't find a way to scramble closer to Van Patten along the prickly ridge that connects Peak 8538 and Van Patten so I went over a small notch close to Peak 8538 and into the sun on the other side of the ridge. From there I traversed along the backside of that ridge north towards Van Patten trying to stay about 7700 feet but I had to go low to avoid some rock buttresses. This took a longer time than expected and I ended up having some lunch on a rock in the sun somewhere along that traverse.
Once I replenished the fuel, I headed up the south slopes of Van Patten to the summit. My plan from there was to head off north, flip over the north ridge to where I could shortcut it back to Anthony Lake where my truck was parked. But, I didn't see an easy way over the ridge so I ended up heading down off the north side through a crappy, loose gully and bushwhacked in the afternoon shadows back to the road I drove in on and then hiked along the road back to the car. Tagged three summits but it was a long day and then I had a 5 hour drive back home. Found out that the area got snow that night so I was lucky to squeeze these three summits in during the last days of summer, 2011.