Thursday, July 26, 2012

Mushroom Peak, Gladiator Peak, Peak 10185' Climb

Dan was in Hailey for work so we decided to join forces on a Saturday hike.  After discussing various destinations, we chose three peaks in the Boulders: Mushroom Peak, Gladiator Peak, and Peak 10185'.  Not only did this hike offer three peaks, it also gave the opportunity for Dan to find crampons that were lost on a snowshoe trip in the area this past Spring (sadly they were not found).

We approached by following roads heading toward the mouth of Westernhome Gulch, parking when we couldn't drive further.  In hindsight, following the road up Gladiator Gulch to an actual trailhead would have been a better move.  From our parking spot, we followed the old road (now a trail) to the mouth of Westernhome Gulch.  From here it was very easy cross-country travel up the gulch and eventually to the summit ridge.  We visited Mushroom Peak first and this was a steep but obstacle-free ascent up the ridge.  Mushroom Peak has great views of the surrounding peaks and even glimpses of the Sawtooth Valley.  It also contains a summit register left by Rick Baugher in 2002.

After leaving the summit, we headed over to Gladiator Peak, the highest of the three peaks.  The ridge from Mushroom Peak was pretty gentle but did contain some low class 3 terrain just below the summit.  This peak, which saw other summit visitors earlier in the day, also contains a summit register left by Rick Baugher.

Dan was not feeling very well so on the summit of Gladiator Peak, we decided that I would attempt Peak 10185' and Dan would wait in the basin below.  I tried to be fast but the ridge over to Peak 10185' contains some class 3 terrain and route-finding issues that slowed me down.  The summit block itself is somewhat steep and rotten, however I was able to find a rib to climb to the right of a scree ramp heading down the southeast face.  This rib leads directly to the summit, which has no register but instead possesses an iron rod and a small cairn.

After a brief time on the summit, I headed back down the rib and scree slopes to meet Dan in the upper reaches of Gladiator Creek's basin.  From here we followed the trail down the creek and back to the car.  It was a great day but sadly we finished too late to stop in to the Hill City Saloon as we initially hoped to do.  Maybe next time?

Mushroom Peak, Gladiator Peak, Peak 10185' Climb Pictures!
GPS Track
Dan's Trip Report

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

North Idaho Hiking July 2012

I had a business trip in Pullman so I decided to bolt on some hiking given that the weather forecast was perfect.  I left Boise early Wednesday morning and upon reaching Banks, I parked at the junction with the Banks-Lowman Road and climbed Peak 3668'.  This peak sits about 850' above the highway and made for a brisk morning climb.  The footing is generally good and the route is very direct, only requiring about 0.4 miles to reach the summit.  The summit is pretty flat but it does have decent views of the surrounding area.

Once back on the road, I left the highway in Cottonwood and drove to the summit of Cottonwood Butte, one of Idaho's 50 most prominent peaks.  Upon reaching the top I was surprised to see a giant concrete abandoned building on the top and lots of other ruins.  Later I would learn this summit was the site of the Cottonwood Air Force Station radar site in the 1950s and 1960s.  The ruins were interesting and suggested a hatred of windows by the designers.  The actual summit is a short distance from the ruins and features the foundation of a fire lookout, benchmark, and lots of radio towers.  The summit has partial views of the surrounding area; climbing through the dark stairwell to the top of the abandoned radar building would likely yield much better results.  I think this peak has more debris on the summit than any other I've visited anywhere.

I got to work just after 1PM and worked a half day.  Once done with work, I headed to Bald Mountain, a drive-up peak which is also the highpoint of Latah County.  The drive was longer than expected and when I reached the summit there were a group of people there who had rented the fire lookout!  They said it is an incredible way to spend a night and even talked highly of spending a night up there during a lightning storm!  They were also kind enough to let me walk around the top of the lookout and take a few pictures of the expansive, rolling terrain.  After chatting a bit more, I began the drive back to Moscow where I was staying, arriving about 9PM after a long day!

Thursday was a regular day at work and after departing work I changed clothes then headed for Moscow Mountain.  I wasn't sure how close to the summit I could get in the Civic but the road is drivable up to about 4300' which was closer than I thought.  An intrepid 2WD driver could probably get further but the road gets pretty steep and sandy after where I parked.  I made good time uphill and quickly found my way to East Moscow Mountain, which is clearly used for camping and has good views toward the south and Moscow.  After taking a few pictures, I headed over to the main summit of Moscow Mountain.  Due to mis-reading my map and a total lack of signage, I missed the turn to the summit and wasted some time heading too far west.  After I corrected my mistake, I cruised up the road toward the summit.  Eventually I crossed a gate which marked as private property but was also posted indicating foot traffic was permitted.  I continued past an interesting collection of buildings after which the road deteriorated to something closer to overgrown singletrack.  This continues all the way to the summit, an unremarkable collection of rocks sticking out amongst the surrounding brush.  After taking a few pictures and noticing how low the sun was getting, I scampered back to the vehicle.  This time I rolled into Moscow about 9:15 - another long day!

Friday involved no hiking - after leaving work at 6PM I simply embarked on the long drive home.  I did get stopped by a WSP trooper just south of Pullman - he must've felt sorry for me driving back to Boise because he didn't give me a ticket!  I got home at 2AM Saturday morning totally exhausted!

North Idaho July 2012 Pictures!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Canada Day & Fourth of July

We were lucky enough to be able to go up to Vancouver for the week of Canada Day (July 1st for all of our American readers!) and Fourth of July (hopefully that one is self-explanatory!). Zach's work has an office in Burnaby (a suburb of Vancouver), and they graciously allowed him to work out of the Burnaby office for the week. He got Canada Day off (since the office was closed), in exchange for working on July 4th. It was a pretty great deal (you know, apart from the whole fact that he had to work at all), since he didn't have to burn up vacation time, but still got to enjoy evenings & weekends with the rest of the gang.
We left Boise on Friday, June 29th, at around 9pm - in hopes that Claire would sleep for the majority of the trip! Luckily, she conked out pretty quickly, and only really woke up when we stopped for gas. She went back to sleep as soon as we got on the road again, so really, she was a great little traveler. Of course, Zach & I only got about an hour or 2 of sleep each overnight, so we were definitely feeling it the next morning, when we arrived in Vancouver around 7am local time! There are certainly pros & cons to either travelling during the day (risking a screaming baby for the 11 hour drive) or travelling during the night (risking zombie-parents the following day!)
We had a great visit with the Vancouver contingent! It was so great to spend lots of time with my Mom, brothers, and my sister & her family. Claire had a wonderful time playing with her cousins, and they even got to go swimming in a (very warm & awesome!) pool - Claire loved it so much that she wasn't even complaining after 2 hours straight in the water! Needless to say, her fingers & toes were little tiny prunes! Claire, Emily & Matthew (and Mommy & Auntie Megan) also played at the park with some of Emily & Matthew's friends & their moms (Megan's friends). It was nice to hang out with some other moms.
For Canada Day, we had a barbeque with my family & my Auntie Margaret - lots of turkey burgers & hot dogs with great potato salad & green salad. Yum! For Fourth of July, it was pretty low-key - Zach worked all day, and Claire & I went to dinner with a friend of mine. Zach did get to enjoy a pizza dinner (from one of his favorite Vancouver pizza places!) with my mom. Claire wore her holiday-specific tshirts for each day, and there are some pictures below (as well as videos & other miscellaneous pictures).
While on this trip, Grandma Shepherd showed Claire how to sit up on her own from a lying-down position. She can do it herself, but sometimes just doesn't feel like it (it's so much easier to just whine until someone sits you up, right?!)...we're working on it! She also plays "Pattycake" sometimes (again, only when she feels like it!) and is giving high-fives & learning to wave hello or goodbye! It was a busy week!
We were also able to get our last piece of living room furniture (an entertainment stand) from IKEA while on this trip - IKEA Canada had a sale going on, and we capitalized on the deal! Once it gets put together, it will join the new bookcases, end tables & sofa table to complete the living room furniture update - we'll be sure to post pictures once everything is in place!
Now that we're home, we're settling back into our routine & Claire seems to be recovering in the sleeping department! Zach is off to his work's headquarters in Pullman, WA for the end of the week (leaving Wednesday, coming back Friday), so Claire & I will be keeping busy while he's gone!
Enjoy the pictures & videos!
Katie, Zach & Claire

Vancouver 2012 Pictures!
Claire With Emily Video
Claire Giggling Video
Emily Reading to Claire Video
Claire Likes Books Video
Claire With Cassie Video
Claire Likes Blocks Video
Lunch at the Shepherds Video