Range: Salmon River Mountains
Elevation Gain: 2100'
Distance: 7.6 miles
I was hoping to try a snowshoe out in the southern Sawtooths or White Clouds but with rain forecasted I figured snowshoeing would be quite unpleasant. I decided to head out north of Garden Valley to attempt Peak 7660 and Peak 6985 since I enjoyed my hike to nearby Rattlesnake Point the day before. I think Peak 6985 deserves some sort of name and Silver Creek Rock/Peak seems like a good fits but I will let someone else name it.
After driving through some rain I was looking for a good spot to park and found one. After walking along the road to the trailhead I realized the road was quite nice and rushed back to my car and drove close to a mile to the trailhead. I decided to follow the trail to Silver Creek Summit and take the west ridge to the summit. Perhaps I should have Google Earthed this hike. Getting to Silver Creek Summit was easy but I did some class 3 climbing on granite rock. The clouds had moved in and it started to rain. Once on the top of the ridge I realized I made a mistake and was very close to the summit of Peak 6985. The summit looked like a fun class 4 climb. I climbed about 15' on questionable handhelds and made another move to climb up for the final few feet to the ledge below the summit. I think I was about 30 to 40 feet below the summit. Instead of climbing I fell around 15' before I could curse.
Immediately I knew I had some cuts on my head as blood was dripping off my head. To assess the damage I turned on my phone camera in selfie mode and it was not pretty. After realizing I had no major bleeding I thought I escaped major injuries. Well not so fast. There was a price to pay for my bad decision. Although extremely lucky, I felt a surge of pain in my right hand when I put my pack back on. I assumed it was broken and that later was confirmed. Knowing I had no life threatening injuries, I grabbed a few photos before heading down. I walked through the snow and climbed up over a tricky class 3 section. After that I could not down climb a 7 or 8 foot drop so I jumped and landed on my right side without any injuries. After that the only obstacle was bushwhacking through thick brush. Once at the trail I quickly descended to the stream where I tried to wash out the blood but to no avail. The wounds were essentially rock burn so water did not do much good to wash off the blood. Luckily no one was on the trail so I avoided scaring a few people. Once back to my truck I cleaned up a little but not nearly as much as I would have liked.
The drive out was slow although the road was not bad except for a few potholes. The sharp turns required slow driving on a narrow road. My first thought was to head for the Eagle Urgent Care but I ended up going to one in Nampa since I knew they were open. They took one look at me and essentially said "nice try, but the ER is right down the street". At the ER I found out my hand was broken and I got a few stitches under my nose. Luckily those were only injuries other than a bunch of cuts, abrasions, and a good sized bump on my noggin. I still got home in time to call my mom on Mother's Day to tell her I had a wonderful hike.
My accident was a good reminder to not take chances, especially when hiking alone. It was a stupid mistake on my part and I was lucky to not to get banged up worse than I did. Two days later Tom L. and John P. decided to try out the peak with a rope but they ended up turning around After encountering a 10' pitch without handholds (http://www.splattski.com/2018/silver/index.html). I will not let my injuries slow me down too much. The next day I ran 5.5 miles with nearly 1300' of elevation gain in the foothills after work.
|Rock where I fell off of, was a few feet below the top|
|Summit of Peak 6985|
|Another view of Peak 6985|