Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Rip and Tear Peak

Summits: Rip and Tear Peak - 10,185'
Date: 10/20/2017
Range: Boulders
Distance: 5.4 Miles
Elevation Gain: 2600'

The forecast was unseasonably warm for October and I wanted to get above 10,000' for the first time in a few weeks.  Rip and Tear Peak has a short approach and not a lot of elevation gain making it a great choice for a day trip.

After a 3.5 hour drive, I parked just short of the trailhead when the road became rough and muddy.  Soon I reached the trailhead and followed the Gladiator Pass Trail.  Other than a brief wrong turn, I made decent time reaching Gladiator Pass.  Rip and Tear Peak's summit block looked intimidating and from a couple of trip reports it was difficult class 3.  After postholing in a patch of snow I reached the summit block.  Although loose, the class 3 section was relatively easy and soon I was at the summit.  The views were excellent of the Boulders, White Clouds, Sawtooths, and Smoky Mountains.  A lot of the west and south facing slopes had no snow including Castle Peak.  After taking in the views I descended the summit block before realizing I left my sunglasses on the summit.  I climbed back up to the summit to retrieve the sunglasses as they were a nice pair and I do not like littering in Idaho's mountains.  The descent was uneventful and I made good time reaching my truck.

The weather does not much better than this in October and I was thrilled to get in another 10k peak before the snow flies.  Rip and Tear Peak is class 3 but is not difficult if going slow.  I did nearby Mushroom Peak to the north two years ago and thought that peak was more difficult via its southwest ridge.

Summit Cairn

Rip and Tear Peak

Summit Block

 Castle Peak

Galena Peak

Gladiator Peak

Rip and Tear Peak from the trail

Rock Tower

Monday, October 29, 2018

Bald Mountain

Summits: Bald Mountain - 9,368'
Date: 10/14/2018
Range: Boise Mountains
Distance: 4.4 Miles
Elevation Gain: 1,750'

It was an unseasonably cold October day but I still wanted to get out in the high country as I did not get out the week before as I was under the weather.  Bald Mountain (one of many Bald Mountains in Idaho) seemed like a good choice as it was short and I had not been to that area.

I nearly stopped well before the trailhead because of the snow.  Luckily it was not deep and I nearly made it to the start of the Corbus Lake Trail.  Despite the snow being a couple inches deep I made good progress.  The temperature was well below freezing and the water in my camelback froze.  Luckily I had a water bottle too.  The views on top were great of Steel Mountain, the Sawtooths, and Corbus Lake.  On the way back with the sun out I was plenty warm.

It was nice to get out to a new area even though the peak was not particularly rugged.  Sometime I will have to check out Steel Mountain and the Queens River area of the Sawtooths.


Steel Mountain

Corbus Lake

Bald Mountain

McIntyre Peak

Summits: McIntyre Peak - 11,210'
Date: 09/29/2018
Range: Pioneers
Distance: 12.6 miles
Elevation Gain: 4,250'

With the weather forecast looking wet and cold on Sunday, I decided to do McIntyre Peak since it would be doable as a long day trip.  The standard route is short but the East Fork Road is rough so I decided to take the longer approach via Big Basin.  The Big Basin route is more gradual and looked like a scree slog.

I was on the road by 4:30 am and started hiking around 8:30 am.  I passed some folks headed for Hyndman and then caught the Big Basin Trail.  The trail climbs through some trees to 9,000' before it ends.  I continued to hike up the cirque west of McIntyre Peak where I saw the route identified in the Idaho Climbing Guide.  It was steep but mostly a boulder hop rather than a scree slog.  At the saddle I saw some movement at the summit.  I was not the only one with the idea to climb McIntyre Peak.  The ridge was class 3 but any tricky moves or exposure could easily be avoided by sticking to the east side of the ridge.  I stayed on top of the ridge to the summit and ran into a couple of older guys who had backpacked into Big Basin.  They were from Hailey and we discussed peaks in the Pioneers.  I showed them my route up The Box and realized how steep it was.  They gained the ridge north of where I did and mentionedit was a scree slog.  Not long after they headed down, I started to head back.  If I did not have to drive back I would have gone for Jacqueline Peak as it is doable by dropping off the east side of the ridge.  That is the downside of a long day trip.  The two guys headed back the same way they came up and they ran into another group who were headed uphill.  Later on I noticed the folks heading up were going for Big Basin Peak to the north.  I did Big Basin Peak in July 2017 from the east ridge.  On they way out I ran into the group that headed for Hyndman but they turned around just before the saddle.  I made good time reaching my truck and was home before dark.

It was great to get in a late season 11er and McIntyre would be my final 11er for the season.  Any 11ers I have not done yet are either too long of a drive for a day trip or would require a northern or eastern approach, which makes for a long snow slog.  I just have five 11ers remaining in the Pioneers: Recess Peak, Jacqueline Peak, The Ramp, Atlas Peak, and Big Black Dome.  Although I like my solitude, it was nice to run into a couple people at the summit on an obscure peak, the second time this month as I shared the summit with a trail runner on the Devils Bedstead West.

Summit Cairn

The Box

Hazy view of Jacqueline Peak

View from the saddle of McIntyre Peak

View from just below the summit

Summit Selfie

Monday, October 22, 2018

Whie Cloud Peaks 1 and 3

Summits: WCP-1 - 10353' and WCP-3 - 10588'
Date: 09/24/2018
Range: White Clouds
Distance: 8.3 miles
Elevation Gain: 4240'

After doing Hope Peak for the fall outing, I was discussing ideas with Dan, Margo, and JJ.  The outing was nice and the hike up Hope Peak was easy.  The views were great and it was nice to have a view in that atea after clouds obscured my view from Trinity Peak back in May.  There was a peak just south of Hope Peak, Peak 10,340 that could be accessed from Christian Gulch but it has no known ascents and looked potentially technical so I decided to head over to the Slate Creek area of the White Clouds to do WCP-3.  It was not far out of the way if going back through Stanley.

With cloud cover the morning temperatures were relatively mild but rain/snow were in the forecast so I was on my feet at 7:10 am just as it was getting light.  I walked past the mine and hot springs before taking the trail to Hoodoo Lake.  From Hoodoo Lake I aimed for the saddle between WCP-3 and WCP-1.  The traverse looked doable so I decided to go for both peaks if the weather held.  As I reached the saddle, the wind picked up a bit and it started to snow.  While clouds shrouded my view a bit from the summit of WCP-3, they were not too bad.  Caulkens, WCP-9, and WCP-5 were easily visible to the south and WCP-2 is just to the west.  That traverse looked like it might have class 4 or 5 terrain.  As I descended to the saddle, the weather cleared up.  The south ridge of WCP-1 turned out to be a fun class 3 scramble, a much nicer route than the standard scree-filled class 2 route up the southeast face.  The views were excellent of the surrounding White Cloud Peaks and Sawtooths.  On the descent I took the southeast slopes of WCP-1 for a quick descent and eventually reached Hoodoo Lake where I stopped for lunch.  Other than spotting a hiker in the distance, the only other people on the trail or at the hot springs.  Apparently the hot springs are clothing optional so I was glad to avoid stumbling upon some unsightly views.

It was great to get out to the White Clouds as I have not done many peaks in that range.  Nearly all of the White Cloud 11ers are best done as a backpacking trip which is why I have only done two of them (Castle and Lonesome Lake Peaks) since I typically just have time for a one-night trip.  Next year I hope to spend a few nights in the Boulder Chain Lakes and tag a few peaks.



Swimm Lake with a peak behind it


Summit Cairn on WCP-3

Summit Selfie on WCP-3

View of WCP-5 and the peak behind it

Old Mining Building

Hoodoo Lake
Fall Outing on Hope Peak

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Corner Shot Peak

Summits: Corner Shot Peak - 10,940'
Date: 09/16/2018
Range: Lost Rivers
Distance: 3.4 miles
Elevation Gain: 2900'

With a windy and cool day forecasted, I decided to do a shorter hike.  Ever since I did Dickey Peak I wanted to do Corner Shot Peak.  The peak was unofficially named by Rick Baugher for its location on a section corner.  Last June I was going to attempt Corner Shot Peak but with fresh snow I decided to Straight Shot Peak as Corner Shot has an exposed summit block.

I started around 7:00 and followed a cow trail for a quarter mile before picking my line to gain the ridge.  Down low there were treez so the footing was decent despite being steep.  Then it was a steep scree slog to the saddle between Straight and Corner Shot peaks.  While the going was slow, the scree was not as loose as other Lost River Peaks such as Bad Rock Peak.  I also had plenty of practice on The Box the day before.  Eventually I reached the crux which involved a brief class 3 section.  It was exposed but not as difficult as expected.  The rest of the summit block was class 2.  The views were great of the Pahsimerois and of the higher Lost River Peaks.  Borah had some fresh snow as did the north and east slopes of higher peaks.  With the wind I did not linger and the descent was uneventful although steep.  In about 1.5 miles the elevation gain was approximately 2900'.  On the drive out I chatted with a hunter at one of the gates and even got questioned by a game warden who was inquiring about shots fired.  I told him I was just hiking in the hills and I did not hear anything (no hunters or elk are dumb enough to climb a mountain).  He must have thought I was crazy.  It was bow season and the hunter mentioned the shots too.

It was another great day in the Lost Rivers and weekend in the mountains.  The following weekend I would head back to the Pahsimerois to do Hope Peak for the fall outing.


Summit Block

Corner Shot Peak

Petros Peak and Gooseberry Peak

Best shot of the crux I could get with the sun

Summit Selfie

Steep scree slopes on the descent
Dickey Peak

Sunday, October 14, 2018

The Box

Summits: The Box - 11,305'
Date: 09/15/2018
Range: Pioneers
Elevation Gain: 4,175'
Distance: 9.3 miles

The forecast had potential storms predicted for the afternoon so I decided to attempt The Box in the Pioneers as the drive and hike is shorter than many other 11ers.  The last time I was on the East Fork Road the road was closed before a washout but that had since been repaired, although the road was still reportedly rough.

I ended up parking a little before the mine since the road was somewhat rough but not as bad as expected.  Since I was not sure if there would be good turnouts I did not proceed to the trailhead in my truck.  It did not take long to reach the trailhead on foot as it was a little under 2 miles away.  I followed the trail for a couple miles until it veers east to climb steeply uphill to Johnstone Pass.  To get to The Box I continued hiking straight north to the base of the peak.  The route up the west face of The Box is a loose scree slog and I did my best to utilize cliff bands for better footing.  Any class 3 action was short but eventually I made it to the top.  Although cloudy, the views were great.  Brocky Peak which I did a few weeks earlier, was just the north and Howard Peak was also visible.  To the west is Big Basin and the Pioneer trifecta.  Surprisingly there was a register at the top of this obscure peak.  One entry mentioned that they scrambled from Arrowhead Lake to the north.  On the way down I took a slightly different line down back to the creek before making my way back to the trail.  It worked out and eventually I regained the trail.  It only rained lightly after I reached the trail.

Despite the clouds it was a wonderful day in the mountains.  Later on a storm hit so I was glad to have finished in dry weather.  Two weeks later I would later realize how steep my route was while pointing outmy route to a couple hikers from the summit of McIntyre Peak.

Pioneer Trifecta and Goat Mountain

Brocky Peak

Arrowhead Lake

Summit Cairn and a box on The Box

Scree-filled west slopes
Big Basin Peak

Summit Selfie

Monday, October 1, 2018

Howard Peak

Summits: Howard Peak - 11,020'
Date: 09/09/2018
Range: Pioneers
Distance: 8.5 miles
Elevation Gain: 3,660'

After doing the Devils Bedstead West, I decided to make my third trip this summer up the gnarly Wildhorse Canyon Road.  I decided to spend the night in my truck at a pullout about 3/4 of a mile below the trailhead.

Unlike the Left Fork of Wildhorse Creek trail that I used for Brocky, this trail along Wildhorse Creek had been maintained recently.  There was a nice footbridge across Wildhorse Creek and I ended up following the trail to the west side of Howard Peak.  After hiking due east, I reached the base of the west face.  The route did not look promising with a bunch of cliff bands but I kept on going after a f
Couple trip reports mentioned the same thing.  I hiked directly up the west face for a few hundred feet before turning south into another gully.  It was steep and loose but nothing more than class 2 terrain.  Eventually I reached a headwall and headed north at the base of the cliffs until I reached another gully.  This gully was also class 2 and led me to the summit block.  The ridge looked sketchy so I found a class 3+ route on the west side of the ridge that led me to the summit.  The views were awesome of the surrounding peaks and Wildhorse Canyon.   On the way down I took a slightly different line down.  It was low class 4 but worked.  Then it was a long and steep descent as the talus was quite loose.  Eventually I made my way back to the trail and then my truck.  At my truck I saw some folks who drove up on ATVs and they asked me about the cabin at the side of the road. The doors were open and it turns out the public can stay there on a first-come first-serve basis.  The cabin would have been warmer than my truck but like most mountain cabins, I would like have rats and mice as roomates.

It was another nice day up in the mountains.  While I have completed all of the 11ers accessed from the rough Wildhorse Canyon Rd past the campground, I will definitely be back.

Old Hyndman and Cobb Peaks

Summit block and view of Mustang Peak

Summit Cairn

Descent route off the summit block

Gully to the summit block

Howard Peak
Summit Selfie