Last week my buddy, John Platt, emailed me a picture of a ridge, northeast of McCall, he wanted to try that included five peaks. With the picture in mind, and always open for an adventure, I wholeheartedly agreed. I probably should have put a little more thought into this decision.
|Photo John sent me with the peaks highlighted in red. Doesn't look too bad.|
John and I haven’t been out since Memorial Day, so we spent time catching up and before we knew it we were on the saddle above Hum Lake allowing us to get a better view of the day’s plan. Hmm, it looked like we were in for a long day.
We had a couple of options here, we could drop down to Hum Lake and then back up to gain the ridge to peak #1 (Peak 8380), or we could climb up and over Humdinger Peak (Peak 8573) and then traverse the same ridge to peak #1. We chose option #2, even though John had previously climbed Humdinger Peak.
We were now off trail, boulder hopping our way up the mountain. I love this kind of climbing, but as we progressed up the mountain I was hoping that the other peaks would be a little more straightforward.
|John downclimbing a large gendarme|
|Peak #1 in the center of frame|
|Summit of peak #1|
|On our way to peak #2|
Thankfully the ridge between peaks #2 and #3 was not covered in deadfall, but we did have a large boulder field to negotiate.
We picked our way through the rocks, staying
on climbers left of the ridge, before eventually gaining the ridge at the summit
block. Like peak #1, this peak (Peak 8565) provided
a great scrambling finish to the summit.
It was now almost 3PM, and after looking at the ridge to our next peak,
we mutually agreed that it wasn’t in the cards for today.
|It's getting hot!|
|Close up of peak #3|
|Ridge to peak #4|
|Looking back from summit of peak #3 - Humdinger (way back in center), peak #1 (right) and peak #2 (left)|
|Bailing off peak #3|
Unfortunately I stopped taking photographs at this point, so you’ll just have to allow me to drone on for a while. We followed the trail for a short while until it disappeared in a mass of deadfall, alders and huckleberry bushes. Occasionally we would pick up an indication that there was a trail (blaze, old cut logs, etc), but for the most part we picked a direction and did our best to bust through.
At some point I heard John’s Camelbak gurgle, indicating he was out of water. I still had half a quart of Gatorade and ¼ of my bladder, so we shared this as we attempted to negotiate the bushwhack hell we found ourselves wallowing in. Eventually, the liquid ran out, requiring an emergency spring refill. Damn, this water was cold and good!
After a short rest hydrating, we continued climbing over the deadfall and under the alders, trying in vain to find the trail but continuing down the valley. We were each living out this misery in silence, walking for an hour with cramping legs, until we eventually stumbled upon the trail. After a short, painful (literally) elevation gain, the trail eventually winded its way downhill. After dropping another 1500 feet over the course of a couple of miles, we crossed Lick Creek Road to the parked truck at approximately 8:30PM.
John's trip report with stats and map: http://www.splattski.com/2015/hum_ridge/index.html