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BETA PHOTO: The red line is the route to the top. Green dots a...
This is a great Idaho climb. The mountain is very prominent and beautiful. The climb is not too difficult, but should be taken with someone who has mountaineering experience, or has been before. Climbing it in the winter or spring presents many more challenges and dangers. In winter slipping down is an important issue that should be addressed. All members of your climbing party should be able to adequately self-arrest with an ice axe in the event of a slip. Slipping down many parts of the mountain could mean falling as much as 3,000 ft or more.
Start the climb by following the 4x4 tracks. Many vehicles won't be able to make the last 1/4 to 1/2 mile of 4x4 tracks. You will have to hike this up. When the tracks end, continue in the same direction that they were going when they ended, towards the peak of the small mountain ahead of you (to the south of diamond peak). Once you reach the top of this short peak, turn NE and follow the ridge which makes a saddle between this peak and diamond peak's east ridge.
At the butt of this saddle it makes a great spot for a base-camp if you are planning on climbing the peak over the course of more than one day. Basecamp is a good idea. You can arrive later in the evening (after work) around 7 or 8 and then reach camp by 9 or 10 at night. You get a good nights rest and can sleep in. You an incredible view of the mountain from camp where you can judge the route and weather. Summit and return in one day (and potentially leave that night as well. Or you can stay another night and finish the hike down in the morning.
From base camp you follow the prominent ridge up the east ridge. The climb is very easy from the saddle up the east ridge. Following the ridge is easy, getting lost is almost impossible. Almost all class III climbing up to the "Point of No Return". The climb is long and strenuous. After you reach the "Point of No Return", You head straight up the mountain to the top. Time-wise this is the halfway point. It will take you as long, or longer to get from this point to the top then it took you to go from base-camp to that point.
The crux is between the "Point of No Return" and the peak. In the summer, some of the tough climbs can be avoided, but in the winter the slopes are too steep and dangerous. Roped climbing is necessary on certain parts, but a skilled climber should be able to do most of it without ropes. It gets very steep, class IV climbing for parts of it. Beware of the false peak that is close to the summit. It will trick you the whole time if you are unaware of it. After you reach the false summit, it is a fairly easy climb along the last ridge to the top.
The route is fairly easy to identify and follow. When looking at the mountain from the 4x4 road you can see the a prominent ridge that curves from the SE side of the mountain to the NE side of the mountain. From the NE side, it is straight to the top.
We made basecamp at the saddle between the small hill to the south of the mountain (where the 4x4 road drives up and ends) and the east ridge. It is a short one-day climb from basecamp to the peak and back. This trip could be made without a camp in one day if you started earlier in the morning.
In the winter an ice axe is needed as well as a few basic snow anchors, ropes and harnesses. There are sections of the mountain that are very steep. A fall without an axe (for self arresting) could be dangerous or fatal. An axe is also useful on sections of class IV climbing near the peak. Coming down can be done without any ropes or gear, however equipment for short rappels makes the trip down far more relaxing, faster and easier.
Summer conditions are far easier and safer. Totally exposed rock makes the climb up a simple scramble with a few class 4 (potentially low-end class 5) climbs. Nothing is more than 1 pitch (most are only about 1/2 pitch), and in the summer there are plenty of holds to keep one safe. A tied rope with a prusik cord might make inexperienced climbers more comfortable from falls.
|By Ryan Moore|
Jun 27, 2012
I believe this is in the Lemhi Range which it not in the Sawtooth Range.