Monday, July 20, 2009

Mount Breitenbach Climb

I found out Matt (with whom I hiked Ironside Mountain) was interested in climbing a 12000'+ peak so after some discussion of alternatives, we decided to climb Mount Breitenbach in the Lost River Range. It would be my first 12000'+ peak in over 6 years. At the peak we would meet Mike who arrived from Idaho Falls.

We met Friday evening at about 7:30 and began the long drive to the Joe Fallini Campground on Mackay Reservoir. We arrived at 11:00pm and felt bad for disturbing the campground so late. We soon felt better because a diesel truck soon pulled in and the occupants proceeded to put up a tent, inflate an air mattress, walk their dogs, and put multiple small children to bed all after midnight. Gotta love campgrounds!

The stars in that area are amazing and are worth the trip all by themselves. Since it was clear and warm we slept without a tent... just our sleeping bags under a shade awning at the tent site. After fitful sleep we got up at 5:30am to prepare for the hike. By 6:40am we were at our "trailhead" and ready to start. Rather than try to find the correct road to the trailhead, we opted for a known spot about one half mile away. Since the roads can be terrible in this area, I'm pretty sure we saved the Escape some abuse by doing this!

The hike up Pete Creek was enjoyable and not too brushy. However it does require meandering a lot - we had to cross the creek approximately 17 times each way. Eventually the terrain opens up and you begin hiking up a giant talus gully that requires gaining over 2000' in elevation. Once on the summit ridge, the views were tremendous and made for some spectacular hiking to the top. We spent roughly 45 minutes on the summit taking in the views and checking out the extensive summit register.

The descent was a mix of fun talus skiing and less fun talus hiking. By the time we hiked down the creek my feet were aching and ready to get off the ground. As we approached the vehicle, we got sprinkled on which actually felt quite nice in the warm weather. From there it was back to Boise... after 3.5 hours of driving!

Six 12000' peaks down, only three to go!

Trip statistics: 4500' elevation gain, 8.5 miles, 10 hours car-to-car

Mount Breitenbach Pictures!


Cathy said...

Zach you are an absolute hiking machine! .... and handy with the camera too! The pictures are incredible as is the countryside.

zdv said...

I gotta hike to burn off all the beer calories :-)

Glad you like the pictures and can see a little bit more of Idaho. This particular part of the state (Lost River Valley and environs) is one of my favorite places anywhere.