Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Idahosummits Spring 2010 Climb

The Idahosummits Message Board regularly arranges group climbs of various peaks in Idaho's central mountains. For various reasons (weather and living out of state) I've never attended one of these climbs. However everything finally came together for the Spring 2010 climb.

After some dithering, the group decided to climb Little Sister in the Lemhi Range on April 17. Dan and I made the drive over in my trusty Escape. There were some concerns about snow but once we got to eastern Idaho it was obvious that snow levels would be high enough to give us a good camping experience. Upon reaching the campsite (and finding John, Dave, and Steve already there) we were blown away by how great it was... fairly flat and with lots of room! Others gradually rolled in (Margo, Margie, Dave, and Alex from Pocatello, Jeff from Boise, Rob from Rupert) in the late afternoon. Steve made us an excellent salmon dinner which was followed up by good times around the campfire. Many of us were meeting each other for the first time so it was a good time to get acquainted and to tell various stories accrued over years of hiking. At about 11pm, everyone went to bed... however I don't think anyone slept too well due to the various noises (including my car alarm at one point) that persisted all night. Overnight, Matt and Michael (from Boise) and Russ (from Preston) also arrived. By morning we had 14 people at the trailhead!

We started getting ready about 6:30am and at this point it was sprinkling rain and snowing up high. Not the best climbing weather! We took our group photo then headed up the peak, first across sagebrush slopes and eventually into forest. It was nice brisk climb and we did a good job staying together as a group. We were getting snowed upon for awhile, but as we got higher it abated and the weather started to look more promising. About halfway up we put on snowshoes and followed the trail set by the early group (mostly John!) all the way to the top. As we got near the summit, the clouds totally broke and we were welcomed to the summit under blue skies!

The summit views were outstanding with all of the Spring snow still in place. Shortly after arriving, the early group returned to the summit (after their climb of Big Sister) which resulted in a total of 11 people on top - possibly a record for that peak! Eventually the wind started to pick up which motivated us to head down. The descent through the snow was a little bit slick as the snow had softened up quite a bit in the sun. After fighting fatigue for a bit, I found a rhythm and made a steady descent to the truck and beer!

We had a great time relaxing at camp in the sun before we finally headed out. Seven of us (most of the Boise crew) ate at Pickle's Place in Arco before finishing the drive home. In short, this was a great trip - thank you everyone!

Trip statistics: 3800' elevation gain, 5.75 miles, 7.75 hours

Idahosummits Spring 2010 Climb Pictures!

Dan's Trip Report
John's Trip Report
Margo's Trip Report
Matt's Trip Report
Dave's Trip Report
Jeff's Pictures
GPS Track


MomV said...

It looks like a fun trip. Was John saying that you looked like the guy in Clockwork Orange? I enjoyed Margo's YouTube guys are now video stars.

zdv said...

Apparently he thinks so... that is the first time anyone has made that particular comment!