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Alternate approach to the north face cirque:  This is a description of an approach shown to me by Kevin Hansen.  It is shorter and more direct than the Rock Creek approach, BUT it involves some horrendous hiking up steep scree and some extremely exposed class 4 climbing.  You will save time with this approach, but don't say you weren't warned when you are cursing at the scree or wetting your pants due to the exposure!  For the north face, this approach has the added benefit that you can just hike the COR trail all the way back to your car at the end of the day.  <br>
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Park at the MAIN BORAH TRAILHEAD for the Chicken Out Ridge Trail.<br>
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Hike up the trail to the saddle with the comfortable tree.  Leave the trail here headed north as if you were going back to the Rock Creek parking area, but head due north (further right than if you were going to the other parking).  Eventually you will come to a steep slope leading down into a drainage.  Go down the slope, and up the other side.  This part sucks as the slope on the other side is composed of steep loose scree.  <br>
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Eventually you will gain the "escalator ridge" on the other side of the drainage (so called because after the scree hill the going is so easy it feels like you're taking an escalator).  There are several nice bivy spots on this ridge.  Head up ridge for quite awhile Until you come to another scree field, which leads you to the crest of the northwest ridge of Borah.  <br>
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Follow the northwest ridge up to an area where the scree is much darker than the surrounding scree.  At the far right edge of this you can drop down the other (north) side of the ridge using a series of ramps which are linked together by loose class 4 scrambling.  These ramps generally traverse towards the North Face of Borah.<br>
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Congratulations!  You are now high in the north face cirque!  Psycho Therapy is just up to your right, and a simple traverse of the large snow field will put you at the base of the north face route.
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Cory Harelson
Oct 28, 2014
Alternate approach to the north face cirque: This is a description of an approach shown to me by Kevin Hansen. It is shorter and more direct than the Rock Creek approach, BUT it involves some horrendous hiking up steep scree and some extremely exposed class 4 climbing. You will save time with this approach, but don't say you weren't warned when you are cursing at the scree or wetting your pants due to the exposure! For the north face, this approach has the added benefit that you can just hike the COR trail all the way back to your car at the end of the day.

Park at the MAIN BORAH TRAILHEAD for the Chicken Out Ridge Trail.
0
Hike up the trail to the saddle with the comfortable tree. Leave the trail here headed north as if you were going back to the Rock Creek parking area, but head due north (further right than if you were going to the other parking). Eventually you will come to a steep slope leading down into a drainage. Go down the slope, and up the other side. This part sucks as the slope on the other side is composed of steep loose scree.

Eventually you will gain the "escalator ridge" on the other side of the drainage (so called because after the scree hill the going is so easy it feels like you're taking an escalator). There are several nice bivy spots on this ridge. Head up ridge for quite awhile Until you come to another scree field, which leads you to the crest of the northwest ridge of Borah.

Follow the northwest ridge up to an area where the scree is much darker than the surrounding scree. At the far right edge of this you can drop down the other (north) side of the ridge using a series of ramps which are linked together by loose class 4 scrambling. These ramps generally traverse towards the North Face of Borah.

Congratulations! You are now high in the north face cirque! Psycho Therapy is just up to your right, and a simple traverse of the large snow field will put you at the base of the north face route.  
kevinhansen
Albion Idaho
kevinhansen   Albion Idaho
Escalator Ridge is what I call the short cut. Many local climbers give Mike Howard credit for discovering and using this ridge. Many refer to it as though it bears his name. Mike lost 2 family members on this ridge to avalanche in the 1970's. Mar 22, 2017

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