Fadgen's Adventures

Fadgen's Adventures
Green Creek Lake

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Antares Peak Attempt - Memorial Day

With the Memorial Day weather forecast calling for it to be partly cloudy in Boise, we figured we stood a good chance at some halfway decent weather to attempt a climb.  We selected one of the peaks initially discussed for the Idaho Summits spring outing - Antares Peak (Peak 10651).

Antares Peak is at the southern end of the Pioneer Mountains and located north of Carey about 25 miles up a gravel road.  Well the road is normally gravel, when it's dry.  Monday morning saw this gravel road interspersed with long stretches of mud which made for a tricky drive in.  Luckily, the road was open all the way to Garfield Ranger Station.  The weather looked a bit threatening as we packed up and started up the hill at 10AM.

The plan was to hit the peak and then pick a bowl to ski down.  As we had pulled in we caught a quick glimpse of the peak through the clouds.  Little did we know that would be the only clear view of it we would get.

The first portion of the climb took us through some thick sage brush, which was still soaked from the previous day's precipitation.  It wasn't long before we were up in a bit of snow.
As you can see, we spent the better part of the day walking in the clouds.  By the time we had enough snow to put the skis on and start skinning we were really in the clouds.  We skinned up to about 9800 feet where we were in white out conditions and could not go any further.  Since we could only see about 10-20 feet around us we sat down in the wind and snow and had some lunch to wait it out.

After 20 minutes the clouds lifted enough to see about 50 yards, so we decide to bail and get off the mountain before things got any worse.  We picked a line and started skiing down, mostly following our skin tracks.  After dropping about a 1000 feet we exited the clouds (we could see again!) and decided to ski down a small bowl to a mining road.

Unfortunately, the snow pack was a little tricky.  It had snowed the night before covering all the older snow and exposed rocks with a nice 6 inch layer of fresh snow.  Great skiing as long as you were on the older snow pack which provided a nice base.  I started out great, but while looking for a better line drifted into some of the rocky areas and did a little rock skiing!  Luckily no one got hurt and we were able to ski close to the road for a relatively easy walk out in the snow/sleet/rain.

We will be back to this beautiful area to do some climbing this summer!

Stats: Approximately 6 miles traveled, 5.5 hours car to car and 3000 feet gained.

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