Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Snowyside Peak Climb

Another weekend, another peak! On Sunday I went to climb Snowyside Peak, the Elmore County highpoint and a premier summit destination in the Sawtooths. The climb would be long so I left Boise at 4am and hit the trail just after 7am. Once I hit the trail, everything was going great except for the realization that I forgot my map. However I didn't expect this to be a problem since I had a pretty good mental picture of where I would be going.

I cruised up the trail and reached the gorgeous Alice Lake basin just before 10am. From there the trail steepens as it climbs the pass below Snowyside Peak. It was a little bit after 11am when I reached the pass. From there, I took the obvious ridge up toward the peak. As I got up higher, the terrain started to get difficult, much more so than I expected. As it turned out, due to my "maplesness" I ended up climbing the class 4 north ridge instead of the more gentle class 3 east ridge. I ended up wasting time backtracking trying to find a better route, but was forced to stick to the ridge and make a couple of airy moves to reach the summit just before 1pm.

Once on top, you get some of the greatest alpine views anywhere. There was a couple from Ketchum up there who had ascended from Alpine Lakes Basin. We talked for a bit, pointed out the various peaks, relaxed for a bit, then headed down. The descent was uneventful but took longer than I was hoping for, both due to the rocky north ridge and retracing the extensive flat approach hike through the forest. After taking a great afternoon break at Alice Lake, I made it back to the trailhead just after 6pm. A long but enjoyable day!

Trip statistics: 17 miles, 4300' elevation gain, 11 hours

Snowyside Peak Pictures!

1 comment:

Cathy said...

After that hike I guess you've earned yourself another beer or two! Gotta keep the strength up!