Sunday, June 20, 2010
For a tune up of our quest for a snow climb up Lost River Peak, Dylan and I figured that we would take the morning to climb the highest peak in the Owyhee Range - Hayden Peak. Since it is only a little over 8400 feet and the topo map showed an easy approach we figured it would only take a couple of hours.
Boy were we wrong! To start off the road shown on the topo map was gated quite a ways from where we had anticipated. Undeterred we loaded the packs and took off. The weather was good, with partial cloud cover, a slight breeze and cool temperatures. We followed old mining roads up, down, and around until they petered out. Along the way we visited some old cabins and a mine shaft.
After a couple of hours we reached the north face of the peak and picked our way through a rock field until we found the snow coulior that we had seen from the road. After all, the plan was to climb some snow.
So we put on our crampons, grabbed our ice axes, and started up the rotten soft snow. As we moved higher the slope became steep and the snow hardened somewhat.
Before too long we reached the summit where we spent some time enjoying the views and having lunch.
On the way down we figured that rather than retrace our route we would head down a ridge and try to find a short cut to the truck. Wrong move - we spent quite a bit of time crashing through deadfall and sliding down snow. We finally said screw it and backtracked a bit until we found the mining road that we came in on. From this point it was just a long up and down walk back to the truck.
This little adventure ended up being 8 hours long, covering 17 miles, with over 5000 feet of elevation gain based on the GPS.
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