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Baron Spire aka Old Smoothie

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Baron Spire aka Old Smoothie Rock Climbing 


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Elevation: 9,837'
Location: 44.08542, -115.04384 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 9,644
Administrators: WAGbag, Mike Engle, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Trevor Bowman on Dec 1, 2007
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Topo data for SE Face Route and standard rappel ro...

Description 

This gorgeous hunk of granite is the preeminent spire in this sector of the Sawtooths, and is home to several noteworthy routes. The ubiquitous Fred Beckey, accompanied by Pete Schoening and Jack Schwabland, were the first to the summit of Baron Spire (which they dubbed Old Smoothie) and several other formations in the vicinity. One of Baron's most unique and imposing aspects is its summit block, which is actually a massive boulder perched atop the ridge crest. This 120' tall block is composed of bullet orange granite which overhangs on all sides and is entirely absent of cracks. Over three days in the summer of 1949, Beckey and companions surmounted the summit block via a 22 bolt ladder, which to this day remains the only access to the summit.
Prominent Sawtooth pioneer Reid Dowdle has replaced many of the old bolts, but you'll still have to aid up on some pretty manky pieces, including the infamous drill-bit...just keep in mind the mantra "No Cumbre, No Ruta".

There are now ten recorded routes on Baron Spire. Beckey climbed the South Ridge to the summit block. There is apparently a line up the aesthetic northwest face. Dowdle's north ridge route "The Destroying Angel" V, 5.11 is the Sawtooth's longest free climb at 18 pitches. The Fang is a smaller pillar on the north side, with a six-pitch line which doesn't summit the actual spire. The sunny southeast face holds five grade III routes on excellent rock.

Baron Lake, the middle of the three Baron Lakes, offers several nice campsites and good fishing opportunities. From here, it's a stiff 900' slog uphill to the base of the east face routes--approx. 45 minutes. From the lake, you can contour up the ridge and across to the notch between Baron and Peak 9211' to drop down to the North Ridge and other routes.

Getting There 

From Redfish Lake, hike up the manicured trail to the Alpine Lakes and continue over a small pass and drop into the Baron Lakes. It's approximately 9 miles, but generally goes quickly and takes between 4-5 hours.

Climbing Season

For the The Sawtooth Range area.

Weather station 8.5 miles from here

5 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',2],['3 Stars',3],['2 Stars',0],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',0],['5.7',0],['5.8',0],['5.9',1],['5.10',3],['5.11',1],['5.12',0],['5.13',0],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]


Featured Route For Baron Spire aka Old Smoothie
Rock Climbing Photo: SE Face Baron Spire topo

SE Face 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a A1+ PG13  Idaho : The Sawtooth Range : Baron Spire aka Old Smoothi...
This infrequently climbed but high quality route is worthy, and would likely see many more ascents if the approach wasn't such a pain. P1: Start up a left leaning crack, climb or skirt around an offwidth pod, and belay at the tree at the base of the large dihedral. 5.9P2: Sustained climbing up an excellent dihedral to a blocky ledge out right. Step right and belay at the base of the wide crack. Even if you've got plenty of rope and gear left, this is the best spot to belay for a while. 5...[more]   Browse More Classics in Idaho

Photos of Baron Spire aka Old Smoothie Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Silicon Tower to Baron Spire, with middle Baron La...
Silicon Tower to Baron Spire, with middle Baron La...
Rock Climbing Photo: An underdrilled buttonhead partway up the Beckey b...
An underdrilled buttonhead partway up the Beckey b...
Rock Climbing Photo: One of the many fine bolts on the Beckey ladder, t...
One of the many fine bolts on the Beckey ladder, t...
Rock Climbing Photo: Stylish on the first couple bolts of the Beckey bo...
Stylish on the first couple bolts of the Beckey bo...
Rock Climbing Photo: The north ridge of Baron Spire.
The north ridge of Baron Spire.
Rock Climbing Photo: Baron Spire east face and southeast face.
Baron Spire east face and southeast face.

Comments on Baron Spire aka Old Smoothie Add Comment
Show which comments
By Rich Brereton
From: Pownal, ME
Aug 12, 2015
Where can I get some details on this Destroying Angel route?

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