Hyko Benchmark / S Pahroc Highpoint & East Pahranagat Range High Point Near Alamo Nevada

  • Updated: November 17, 2012
  • Post By: Matthew Hengst

  South Pahroc HP / Hyko BM (7,950')
  East Pahranagat (~6,280')
When:  November 17th, 2012
Where:  Alamo, Nevada
Who:  Matthew Hengst, Rod Kieffer, Anne Kircher, Laurent Hoffman, Phil Bates, Ron Campbell
PicturesMatt's Flickr
GPS Track(Hyko)  (E Pahranagat)

This particular trip came about when Rod Kieffer approached me to a Sierra Club M restricted trip during desert season.  At this point I've pretty much done all of the 3rd+ class peaks on the Desert Peak Section list so I went off looking for interesting options.

And so was born the Hyko, East Pahranagat, Cathedral, and Unnamed Bump Trip or as Ron Campbell refered to it the Nevada Speed Bump Trip.

Granted they were a bit beyond our usual stomping grounds with the Hyko trailhead being about 390 miles from Orange County.  Yet Rod and I found ourselves with a respectable 4 participants willing to make the long haul Friday night.

Laurent and I left Orange County at 3:30 pm and after a quick stop for dinner and a pass by the Las Vegas airport to pick up Miss Kircher we arrived at the trailhead by 1 am.  The other car hit a bit more traffic and after leaving at 5:45 pm arrived at a brutal 3 am.

From Vegas we took the 93 north to where it splits north of Alamo and headed east.  After passing the sign for Pahroc summit we took a rather decent dirt road to the south and 11 miles of easy high clearance road later pulled in near Twin Springs and quickly set out our sleeping bags and went to bed.

Due to the other vehicles late arrival we didn't climb out of our sleeping bags until an extremely reasonably 7:30 am and set about groggily getting ready.

We could see our surroundings for the first time and the view off to the north was rather nice with sun streaming through broken clouds in the distance.

Hyko was to be only the first peak for the day then we'd be moving to Alamo to try for the high point of the East Pahranagat mountains.  Since I had no information whatsoever on the second peak I was looking to get done with Hyko rather quickly.

Leaving the cars we hiked up the road which quickly would have been impassable in my Rav4.  From there we took off up the slope swinging to the north as was convenient   The brush wasn't bad and there were scattered sheep trails all about which made for a brisk pace.

After a bit of gain we arrived at the ridge and could see the peak off to the north.

The area we were hiking through had obviously burned some time ago and was still recovering but this soon gave way to boulders mixed with trees.

After a bit of boulder hopping and light bushwhacking we reached the summit block.  There was an obvious crack to get up with plentiful holds.

Up top we found another Lilley & MacLeod register proving once again they got around pretty much everywhere.

After a brief and slightly chilly stay we descended the western side of the summit block and retraced our steps back to the vehicles.
Now on to East Pahrangat.  We were grabbing the high point of a range I'd selected somewhat arbitrarily and I actually hadn't been able to find any sort of beta on this particular bump.

We drove through Alamo and exited the 93 at the sign advertising the town airport heading west.  Meandering through town we soon found ourselves on a dirt road heading for the mountains west of town.

This road forks and we made the mistake of taking the right fork thinking it would swing around south and parallel the mountain range.  Instead it went straight to the rocks to an area apparently used by the local kids based on the graphiti all over the rocks.  This was a possibility for camping and there was even firewood piled up in a few places but we'd be directly visible from town.

We backtracked to the previous fork and took this south towards the highpoint.  One interesting feature was the rocks to the east which had a number of small openings scattered around the face.  I thought it looked like it was simultaneously screaming and melting but maybe that was just me...

The road was extremely well graded and other than a few cows we didn't encounter any other traffic.

I'd expected to just pull over at the point nearest to the high point but instead we found a turnoff leading to the west which dropping us at just about the perfect spot.

There wasn't much too the route.  We could see the highpoint from the car past a rather fun looking boulder field and started up the most obvious route we could find.

The boulders shrank the further up we went and soon we were climbing dirt slopes to the summit ridge.

The top had three small bumps with one being clearly higher once your up there.  We ran around to all of them looking for a register.  Oddly enough while we did find a small cairn and a tuperware container but instead of a sign in register there was a piece of paper with instructions on how to find some final location.

My guess is it was some sort of local orienteering exercise but as it was now dark, rather cold, and we still had to make it back to the cars we didn't spend any time trying to solve it.  (Besides, Charleston was hidden in clouds.)

Headlamps came on as soon as we left the summit.

Instead of trying to retrace our erratic ascent route we swung into the prominent gully a bit further south.  This proved to be a good call as it went fairly easily except for one or two spots.

One spot in particular ended up in a major cliff out to the point I thought we were going to have to backtrack a ways before we found a somewhat way past climbing through the middle of a tree.

We arrived back at the cars at a fairly decent 9 pm and decided we'd camp there and drive to Cathedral in the morning.

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