Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Peak 9220' Snowshoe

The weather during the week was looking great and Dan asked if I was interested in taking a day off of work to snowshoe up a peak. After a (brief) period of contemplation I agreed. The peak would be the unnamed Peak 9220' near Copper Mountain on the edge of the Sawtooths. We left Boise just after 5:30am on Thursday and began the drive to Banner Summit near Stanley. A little after 8am we were parked and getting ready. Despite few storms since New Years, there was plenty of snow in the area. Temperatures were somewhat cold (an estimated 10 degrees) but not unusual.

We got moving through the forest and after starting cold I started to warm up. The snow was softer that we expected but had a good base and wasn't too much work to move through. We were a little worried about crossing Bench Creek due to deep snow and the depth of water in the creek but we eventually encountered a good snow bridge that held our weight. From there we reached the base of the peak whose summit was surprisingly in clouds. Of course we could only continue on and hope things improved by the time we reached the top. The ridge was steep but pretty straightforward and we made good time up the over 2000' of elevation gain. We even had an old ski track for the part of the way which was a nice help.

Upon reaching the top, we were greeted with perfect weather (in the 20s), no wind, and an incredible view. From the top we took in the incredible panorama of Sawtooth, Boise, Salmon River, and White Cloud peaks. We really enjoyed our time on the peak and didn't head down until we started to get cold. Our descent down the ridge was pretty quick but crossing the flats was a slog due to fatigue. Upon reaching the vehicle we enjoyed a beer (although mine was partially frozen) and began the trip home.

This was a great winter peak and is highly recommended!

Trip statistics: 7.08 miles, 2527' elevation gain, 6:48h

Peak 9220' Pictures!
GPS Track
Dan's Trip Report

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