Thursday, June 28, 2012

Claire Summer Update

Here are some recent videos and pictures of Claire to celebrate the arrival of summer!

Claire Summer Pictures!
Claire Likes Junk Mail Video
Claire Crawls Video
Claire Eats Dinner Video
Claire High Five Video

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Antares Peak and Pincer Peak Hike

Dan suggested a Monday hike of some peaks above Garfield Canyon.  Both peakbagging and taking a day off work sounded amazing to me, so I was in.  The trip also offered the possibility of one to three peaks based upon how strong we felt.

We left Dan's house at 6:15am and began the long drive to Garfield Canyon.  About 3 hours later, we arrived and even attempted to drive past the normal parking spot at 6900'.  However the road past this point was overgrown and we were forced to park shortly thereafter around 7000'.  From here we hiked up the old mining road which was surprisingly washed out and overgrown.  While not good for vehicles, the hiking along the road was good and we made great progress up the canyon.  Soon we passed the mining ruins, which consisted of a crumbling mill, some decaying cabins, and lots of collapsed adits.  We continued to follow the road above the mine but eventually we just headed cross-country toward the summit ridge of Antares Peak.  This was a little steep in places but very straightforward.

After grinding up the last 600', we were on the summit of Antares Peak which has fantastic views of the entire Pioneer range and partial views of the Lost River Range.  Other than some gusty wind, summit conditions were perfect.  Surprisingly, we were only the second party since 1994 to sign the register!  We were both feeling a little tired at this point so we decided we would climb the next peak (Peak 10650' aka Pincer Peak) and not climb Scorpion Mountain which was much further away.

The ridge from Antares Peak to Pincer Peak was fun and included a class 3 section near the saddle.  After fighting fatigue on the traverse, we soon reached Pincer Peak, which naturally features similar views to its neighbor.  After recharging for a little bit, we dropped off the summit and down to the south arm of Garfield Canyon, which was surprisingly devoid of mining detritus.  After hiking through the brush, we eventually found the road and retraced our steps back to the vehicle.

This was a very enjoyable hike in a beautiful and seldom visited area.  The ample mining debris provokes thoughts about the anonymous miners that used to live in this area over 100 years ago.  I'm sure we'll be back one day to visit Scorpion Mountain!

Antares Peak / Pincer Peak Pictures!
GPS Track
Dan's Trip Report

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Jerome County Highpoint Visit

Last Saturday, I happened to be passing through the Magic Valley so I opted to visit the Jerome County Highpoint, a very obscure spot north of I-84.  While in the area, I decided I would visit a couple of other nearby summits as well.

I approached from the north, heading east from Shoshone and through Dietrich on ID-24.  At the signed Sid Junction, I turned south for Sid Butte.  This is a mostly good road which leads all the way to the top of this unremarkable butte.  A car can probably make it all the way but high clearance could be helpful near the end.  After walking around the summit for a bit, I returned back to the highway and continued east toward the Kimama rail siding.  From Kimama I mostly followed Ken Jones' directions to the Jerome County Highpoint, although I deviated and took the 600 W Rd south instead because it is paved.  These directions are still great and took me right to the highpoint!

The highpoint is marked by a cairn and has no register.  It's an interesting spot on the edge of an ancient volcanic crater with expansive views of the Snake River Plain.  I walked around the area quite a bit, taking photos and enjoying the nice weather.  Despite seeing a rattlesnake on the approach road (about a mile from the highpoint), I didn't see any while on foot.  Yay for that, since this area is notorious for them in the warmer months.  My final stop was Kimama Butte, which is very close to the Jerome County Highpoint.  This is your typical butte with a benchmark and several radio towers on top.  Good views of the area but lots of RF exposure!

In short, while these are unimpressive summits with little hiking involved, I enjoyed the nice day exploring a seldom-visited part of the state!

Jerome County Highpoint Pictures!