Fadgen's Adventures

Fadgen's Adventures
Green Creek Lake

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Squaw Butte - 5874 Feet

With January snow fall non existent, skiing was out of the question this past weekend.  We needed to get out and do something.  Steve Weston had been talking to us lately about Squaw (can you still say this?) Butte so we met up at 6AM in Emmett for an alpine start.  The past week it had been in the 20's during the mornings and we were hoping for some crunchy snow, but on Saturday it was hovering right around freezing when we left the truck at 6:30AM.  After some initial wandering around in the dark Steve got us on track up the correct ridge.

Steve at the start

Other than the slightly warm temperatures, it was a great morning with no wind and coyotes howling all over.  The initial plan was to snowshoe in and then put on our crampons for the climb.  However, the lack of snow was very evident and the only place we had snowshoes was on our backs.  We made good progress toward the "Prime Rib", but Dylan had spotted a coulior to the north that he thought we should ascend.  For whatever reason, we agreed and proceeded to traverse across the mountain for the next half hour.
Squaw at daybreak
Along the way we ran into some avalanche debris and stopped to admire the power of these things.  Though the debris was pretty old and the avalanche area small, it was unnerving seeing how large the chunks of snow were.  Sure hope we never have to deal with one of these!
Dylan and the avy debris

After traversing a while and still not getting to Dylan's preferred route, we decided to head up a draw that looked snow covered and steep.  It didn't disappoint as we headed up at a nice steep angle with crampons and ice axes.  It was getting warm and the snow conditions were deteriorating but after a short while we came to the ridge and the end of the snowfield.  At this point Dylan decided to head over to the "Prime Rib" route and stay on the snow while Steve and I continued up the ridge sans crampons.  In short order we were on top trying to get out of the wind.  Now where did that come from?

Dylan and Steve heading up Coyote Coulior

On top at the lookout
 With the wind blowing we didn't stay on top too long.  A quick sandwich and some water and we dropped off the edge to find an easier way down.  We looked over the edge, saw a big gully filled with snow, and Dylan immediately dropped to the ground and started glissading.  Steve and I looked at each other and immediately followed.  In a short time we had dropped something close to 800-1000 feet and were well on our way to a Big Mac!
Steve glissading
I'd like to thank Steve for taking the time to show us this local gem of a mountain.  We had a blast and will be heading back once we get more snow.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Once again, great pictures. For once, I can say I've been there. Oh! That's right I used the road. Roads are for mortals.
Not too far north of there is where I do some chukar/hun hunting.

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A team of adventurers consisting of John, Tamara, Taylor, Dylan, and Shadow Fadgen