Out in the middle of nowhere
The do wop group called the Silhouettes put out a song called "Get a Job" back in 1957 and for some reason I found myself humming this oldie but a goodie as I made the drive from Cleaver Peak that Richard Carey and I had climbed earlier in the day. Job Peak was really a mountain that I was hoping to get and would be a primary objective for this trip since it has over 3900' of prominence and was the highest ranking peak in prominence on my Nevada to do list.
We drove into Fallon and grabbed a sandwich at the Subway there to get re-fueled before we made the interesting drive to the "trailhead" where we car camped for the night and the temperature in Fallon was a nice toasty 93 degrees. A bit warm for climbing a mountain but our intention was to get an early start and beat the heat as we had done for climbing Cleaver Peak to the southwest of Fallon. It was not smart to be climbing these Nevada peaks in August but the key was to car camp as high as we could drive since the temps were dropping at night and get as early a start as we could in the mornings.
Using Dennis Poulin's great directions that he posted on peakbagger.com, we made our way out to almost the end of the very rough jeep road in Government Trail Canyon where we managed to get to about 6400'. One note that I could add to his directions is that after you go through the first gate, take a left fork that drops into a wash about 1.5 miles after that gate. A second gate is encountered later on that you need to open and close. When we finally found our spot to car camp, we noted that the temperature was 90 degrees and were really praying that it would cool off that evening and I noted that yes, we were really in the middle of nowhere as expressed by the author of the summitpost page for Job Peak. So my goal for the next day was to "get a Job" and I drifted off to sleep with that thought in my mind.
A little backgroundRichard Carey from San Diego and I had met the day before at the turnoff for Cleaver Peak, our first goal together. It was amazing to note that his odometer's mileage from San Diego was 538 miles and mine from Lehi was 534. We both had driven identical mileage to connect for the first of a bunch of peaks that we hoped to get over the following 8 to 9 days. Of course we both knew that the heat might be a factor but we had been watching the weather and noted that even though it got into the 90's during the day, the temps would drop into the high 50's or low 60's in the night and that was the key to having any success with climbing any peaks in this part of Nevada. Start early and finish before noon and stay hydrated.
I started the trip with having climbed 143 of Nevada's 169 prominence peaks (those with over 2000 feet of prominence) which can be reduced to 167 since two of the peaks are not available to the public since they reside in Area 51, a place that is totally off limits.With Cleaver Peak done, I now had 144 and was excited about getting more of these mountains. My goal for the trip was to get at least 7 or 8 more of these peaks so I could reach my 2014 goal of 150. I ended up with 151 which put me in a tie for third place on the front runners list for Nevada prominence peaks with 2000 feet of prominence. Richard on the other hand, had been to Nevada a couple times already this year and was hopeful of pushing his total to about 100. I can say here that we both achieved our goals by the end of our trip.
The hikeRichard and I arose and made ready to get going. We were moving as the light was finally enough to see where we would be putting our feet and from our "trailhead" at the 6400' level, we walked up the remaining portion of the road to its end about 0.4 mile from where we had parked. The temperature was about 62 degrees so our conditions were good. We realized we could have actually driven the last bit of the road but considering the steep angle of the slope we were now going to deal with, it was good to give our muscles a chance to "warm" up with the walk up the jeep road. We had gained about 400' of elevation on the road effort and still had 2000 feet more to gain to gain the summit.
We found a trail at the end of the road and followed it as it made its way up the north side of the drainage to a point several hundred feet higher where we crossed to the south side and left the drainage (with a small spring) behind us. Up, up, up we went, aiming for a low spot in the ridge above and while we could find spots of trail on the way up, we often just went up cross country. Cow paths and cow poop were evident during the first half of the elevation gain but once the angle of the slope steepened, we soon had no cow paths to help us on our way. Richard hit the top of the ridge and waited for me and we could see our goal of the summit was about 1/2 mile and 600 vertical feet above us at that point.
We made our way up the steep ridge line and made our way up to the summit, although from other reports, we had expected some class 3 spots, we found nothing more difficult than high class two and didn't have to resort to using our hands to gain the summit.
On top we found terrific views and but sadly, no benchmark. The topo had shown the benchmark as Carson Sink but not only could we find no benchmark, we couldn't even find a witness one. We did find an ammo can that contained a register and another register in a plastic container laying about 15 feet from the summit. After enjoying reading the registers and taking the usual summit pictures, it was all too soon to end our visit to this lofty perch as we still had to get down off this one to beat the heat and to get in position for our next mountain to climb, Trinity Peak, about 100 miles road miles away from where we were.
Our descent went well as did our drive out back to Fallon. During the whole time we were in the area, we did not see another vehicle. It is a lonely place indeed.
August in NevadaCleaver was the first of 8 straight days of chasing Nevada peaks that had over 2000 feet of prominence.
8-22 Job Peak
8-23 Trinity Peak and Seven Troughs peak
8-24 Hannan Range H.P. and Juniper Mountain
8-25 Richard climbed Pah Rum Peak (I already had it)
8-26 Kumiva Peak
8-27 Virginia Peak (Richard also picked up Black Mountain first)
8-29 Tule Peak
We headed for home after Tule Peak as the temps were once again climbing and not cooling off as we found after car camping for Tule Peak. It might have dropped to 78 degrees during the night but that meant our visit to Tule was pretty much done in the heat and that was enough to make us give up on doing one more day of climbing. Tule is a 3400' of elevation gain day and the heat just beats you up as it was well into the 90's before we were done.
Richard Carey from San Diego was my companion and it was nice to have two
vehicles in some of the isolated areas we traveled to. Richard is also the leader in California prominence peaks as he only has 3 or 4 left to finish the state which is an amazing accomplishment considering many of the tough and nasty mountains on that list. Kudos to Richard.
Definition of ProminenceScott Surgent's description
Richard Carey's description
Mark Horrel's description
County highpointer description