Thursday, June 17, 2010

Sheep Mountain Hike

Last Sunday I decided to take advantage of the summer-like weather and bag a peak. Because I love to sleep so much I missed my alarm and didn't wake up until 9:30am or so. Despite this really late start I decided to attempt my initial planned objective, Sheep Mountain. After driving the agonizing washboardy and potholed road up the Middle Fork of the Boise, I arrived at the trailhead at about a quarter to noon. I chose to hike the peak via the north ridge, which looked like a much more enjoyable hike than the switchbacked route up the south face. My route was the longer of the two and with such a late start I knew I had to move fast in order to be off the peak at a reasonable hour.

I started hiking briskly and ended up gaining the first 1000' of elevation in 30 minutes... impressive for me. Shortly thereafter I reached the ridge and was able to take in the stunning views offered by this hike. It was easy cruising on the generally great trail (though it was motorcycle damaged in places) and I made great time. The GPS watch actually made for a great motivator for a solo hike like this - I'm sure I would've hiked slower without it giving me goals to achieve. Thankfully snow was a minor factor, only being present for the last few hundred vertical feet.

I reached the summit just after 2:30pm and was able to take in some of the best views of Boise Mountains I've experienced. Being my first summit in this general area, I enjoyed seeing the various peaks from a different vantage point. After spending some time enjoying the twin summits, being mindful of time I reluctantly headed back down. My descent was pretty brisk and I ended up getting back to the car just after 5pm. I really enjoyed this hike along the Middle Fork and hope to visit another peak in this area soon!

Trip statistics: 14.57 miles, 4167' elevation gain, 5:18h

Sheep Mountain Pictures!
GPS Track

1 comment:

Cathy said...

Fantastic pictures Zach! Of course you had good real estate with which to work! BTW that new watch is something else.