TIKABOO PEAK, March 27, 2008
by Gregos

Click to enlargeLast month I drove the road to Tikaboo Peak to see what the snow condition was like on the mountain. There was snow from the trail head up. The weather now is absolutely gorgeous so I planned another trip for Thursday, March 27, 2008.

Since I never climb Tikaboo Peak before, and not knowing if I was physically fit to finish it, I broke the number one boy scout rule "always be prepared!" And it really scared me along the trip. I figured it would take 3 hours to climb and about an hour to come down. I did not take warm weather gear as I was only planning a quick trip and a short time at the top and wanted to carry a very light pack. Just below the false summit I started to worry about coming down that loose shale. It was down right scary! I said to myself, we'll cross that bridge when we get there and pushed on. Around the rocky saddle, I started to worry about time. If I get caught up there in the dark and have to spend the night, there is a good chance I'll freeze to death with only a sweatshirt! I imagine it drops into the teens at night. And then there is the wind... I then put a time limit on the summit. If I didn't make it I would turn around. About the same time, I was thinking mountain, mountain lions! When I camp I always take a gun with me. To protect me, my wife, my expensive equipment. Dear old dad says "it's better to have it and not need it..." I don't even have a hunting knife! Well, I guess I can throw a rock at it and hope It doesn't really piss it off!!!! I afraid of my 16lbs cat, let alone an 80lbs one! Going up the last hill to the summit didn't take as long as I thought. But that's were all the trash appeared. I don't understand it. It's a hard climb so you have to be really determined to do it. How can you then desecrate it? I cursed the litter bugs the rest of the way up! Water bottles crush down people!!!

I spent about an hour on Tikaboo over looking Area 51 and what I think was A-10s gunning a target on Range 61. Nothing on Earth sounds like a 30mm cannon of an A-10!!! I took a digital voice recorder up in case of unique scanner traffic, but the low growl of the gun did not register. There was some garbled scanner traffic from Groom Tower but I couldn't make it out. I only saw one aircraft heading south towards Dog Bone Lake. Probably an A-10. And guess what, more trash :-(

The trip down I thought was worse than going up. I lost the trail just below the false summit and hit really bad terrain and lots of deep snow! I climbed back up to to find the trail again and still no luck. I asked God to get me out of this mess and I will never climb this hill again! I didn't have time to waste so I used my track log feature of the GPS. I simply said screw it and followed my "bread crumbs" back down! It took me about 2 hours from top to bottom. Just before I made it back to the trail head, I noticed golf ball shaped rocks. One was cracked open and you can see it's core. I took two samples -God I hope they're not radioactive!!!

Three things I learned:

WHAT A BLAST! I CAN"T WAIT TO DO IT AGAIN!!!

BTW, #4 Shoot litter bugs, I doubt they would be missed!

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View over Area 51
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Live Fire Exercise in Range 61

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The Loose Shale
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Radioactive Rocks?


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