Fadgen's Adventures

Fadgen's Adventures
Green Creek Lake

Monday, October 20, 2014

A Couple of White Cloud Peaks (WPC-1 and WCP-3)

WCP-3 above HooDoo Lake
On the Sunday after the Idaho Summits fall outing a couple of weeks ago, Dan Robbins and I, along with our wives, took a little hike to HooDoo Lake to stretch our legs.  Once at the lake, White Cloud Peak (WCP) #3 was staring us in the face just begging to be climbed.

With all the travelling for work and pleasure I had been doing lately, I somehow convinced my beautiful spouse that I needed to get up high and enjoy the excellent fall weather we had been having.  Dan and I had been texting about an ascent up WCP-3 as well as WCP-1 (Who named these things anyway?) for Sunday.  While we were planning, John Platt texted about trying to climb the same peaks.  How did that happen?  A plan was made for an early Sunday morning start, but unfortunately, Dan announced that he was out Saturday night.

John and I met up in Banks for the short 3 hour drive to Slate Creek.  On the drive up Slate Creek road we ran into a few of the usual “hunters” stopped in the middle of the road in their trucks.  Undeterred by the guys with the rifles, we were on our feet and moving a little after 9AM.

Since it was a bit chilly we set a brisk pace up an old mine road trying to keep warm.  This worked well in that we reached HooDoo Lake, 1700 feet higher, in about an hour.  By this time, the sun had risen high enough to allow us to proceed in our T-shirts.  Like two weeks prior, the view from HooDoo Lake did not disappoint.

My plan for the day had been to repeat a portion of Super Dave’s WCP – 1, 2 and 3 trip ( http://idahoalpinezone.com/index.php?p=2_18 ) and link up the three peaks.  In our earlier discussions, Dan pointed out that it would entail a long 9 hour day, but I wanted to give it a try anyway.  As we past HooDoo Lake, John and I decided we’d see how the day progressed before trying to deciding to do WCP-2.

Once passed the lake, we made a sharp right turn and headed straight up the steep slope toward WCP-1.  By this time the sun was in full force and it felt like it was 80 degrees.  It’s hard to complain when the weather is so gorgeous, but hell we were sweating profusely and it was October 19th!  
John heading towards WCP-1

Once we got close to the ridge a 1000 feet higher, we found a goat trail that angled us toward the summit through the rubble.  On top it was a bit windy, so we quickly took a couple of summit shots and then headed down the jagged ridge to the saddle between WCP-1 and WCP-3 for a multi-course lunch.

J. Platt photo
While eating lunch, the ridge to WCP-3 was staring us in the face and we also had a great view of the jagged ridge between WCP-3 and WCP-2.  Even though it was only noon, the shadows created by the angle of the fall sun made it seem like late afternoon.  These shadows made it difficult to see the exact route to the summit of WCP-3, but we didn’t remember reading about any difficulties.
We dropped our packs at the saddle before starting up the ridge to WCP-3, subconsciously making the decision to not proceed to WCP-2.  It wasn’t until we were halfway up WCP-3 before John pointed this fact out to me.  
John coming up the broad ridge of WCP-3
After 24 minutes (I think John timed us) we reached the summit of WCP-3 – it was now 1PM.  I was feeling pretty good at this point and was a little bummed that we couldn't proceed.  In his trip report, Super Dave said it took him 2 hours round trip to tag the summit of WCP-2. Even though I wanted to proceed, I really didn’t want to get home at 10PM.  It'll be there for next year.

Approaching the summit with Swimm lake and Watson Peak in the background
The ridge to WCP-2 from WCP-3

From the summit, we gawked at the Sawtooths and some of the other White Cloud peaks.  The ridge to WCP-2 looked like it would be an awesome traverse, but judging from the quality of the rock we had been all day, it would definitely take a bit of time.  It was a wise choice to save this for later.  

It took us about as long to get down to our packs as it did to get to the summit.  From here is was just a short jaunt back down to the lake and then a cruise out the old mine road back to the car.  We arrived a little after 3PM and quickly retrieved the couple of Ninkasi Total Domination IPAs that we had stashed in the creek.

Time - 6 hours car to car
Distance - 7.7 miles
Elevation - 4200 feet

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