The chukar hunter’s axiom is don’t give up altitude. It’s more often-employed corollary is don’t gain altitude. It’s a palatable rationale unless you see or hear those running devils in the rocks above. But hold everything.
Most people don’t bother climbing, which is why you should. Ascend. Head for the high spots. Sure, you’ve got a goal: getting from here to there, finding a bird hangout, searching for a a hunting friend on the other side. But even without an excuse or the rattle of chukar calls, an uphill detour is often worth time and energy.
Hill or hummock, knob or knoll, a mere bump in the landscape is all it takes to reveal Nature’s secrets. High spots are ideal roosts and bedding spots harboring pronghorns and mule deer. Ancient hunters surveilled from rocky aeries, chipping obsidian arrowheads or scratching designs on rock to bide their time.
A mirror-like pool of water in a hexagonal rock bed, band of bighorn sheep sneaking over a rocky saddle, interrupting a coyote’s mid-day nap, eagle nests, a gold prospector’s rusting dreams, a chance to see three states from one point. All are discoveries I’ve made by climbing a few – or a few hundred – feet upward.
The sea-level adventurer strides on, oblivious. But not you, right?