Fadgen's Adventures

Fadgen's Adventures
Green Creek Lake

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Shoshone John Peak, Aka Peak 11,212

With a planned hike/climb of Mt. Olympus the first week of August approaching quickly, I needed to get out and put in some miles.  My first idea didn't pan out, so when asked to tag along for a Lemhi 11,000 peak, I jumped at the offer.

Michael, Alex, Doug and I where on the freeway dodging the 4th of July holiday traffic Friday evening for the short 4 hour drive across the state.  We arrived unscathed at the junction of Badger and Bunting Creeks a little after 10PM and set up our sleeping bags under the stars.

After a quick, cold breakfast, we were walking up the two track along Bunting Creek at 6AM.

Alex, Doug and Michael (L-R)
 There are several mines in the area, and usually where there are mines, there is other paraphernalia lying around.  Not sure how this old truck ended up crashed in the creek bed, but...

After several creek crossings that required some maneuvering to stay dry, the two track ended but was replaced by a faint single track trail.  

 We followed this single track further up Bunting Creek, and surprisingly, minimal bushwhacking was required.
The "Pearly Gates"
We followed Bunting Creek as it turned south. After an hour, 3 miles and 1000 feet of gain, we reached the gully we planned to use to ascend the peak.  From here, it was a 2800 foot straight shot to the summit of Shoshone John.

Though predicted to be quite warm in the afternoon, the morning was very pleasant.  The peaks behind us were lit up in the sunshine, while we enjoyed the shade of the west face.
After a very short break, we moved onto the loose rock, put our heads down and started up.  The rock was very loose for the first couple of hundred feet.  But once the slope steepened, the rock became smaller and surprisingly stable.

We all picked our separate paths to negotiate the scree, and after 1200 feet, we met up for another short break.  Here we split up.  I selected a rock band on climbers left to follow to to the ridge.  Michael elected to stay off the rock on climbers right, while Alex and Doug decided to head straight up the rock.
My selected route
Alex scrambling up the rock seam
After a short bit, Alex and Doug decided to get off the steep rock seam and follow Michael's path.
Michael is in there somewhere
With great handholds almost always available on my left, I progressed up through the steep, loose rock without an issue.  In another hour, I was in the bright sunshine on the main ridge between Big Boy and Shoshone John peaks at 10,700 feet.
The ridge in the sunshine
Meanwhile, Michael, followed later by Alex and Doug, traversed left and found some great rock slabs to ascend to the ridge.
Michael enjoying the great rock
Once on the ridge, I turned right and negotiated a series of ledges and rock ribs to catch up to Michael.  As I got within 50 yards of him, the sound of rocks crashing came from my left.  Michael had scared up two big horn sheep and a big old billy goat.
Michael looking at the sheep and goat he scared off the ridge

After the adrenaline subsided, it was back to getting higher.  Though loose, the ridge to the summit didn't provide any real obstacles and I joined Michael at the summit at 10AM.

Alex almost to the summit
Alex and Doug joined us a few minutes later and we sat, had something to eat and enjoyed the outstanding views.
The Riddler, Big Boy and Diamond peaks (L-R)

Smiles at the summit!

Me and Michael (Alex F photo)
After a 30 minute break it was time to head down.  Michael and I contemplated doing the traverse over to Big Boy peak.  We had the usual excuses - it was getting hot, we wanted to be home earlier to see our wives, etc.  So after weighing all sides, we decided to save it for another time.
Starting down (Alex F photo)
On the descent, Alex and Doug followed their ascent path, while Michael and I chose a large gully to the north of my ascent route.  To our glee, the scree in the gully allowed us to boot ski/plunge step most of the way down.  I think Michael and I had the better deal, as we had to wait for the other two for 15-20 minutes at the bottom.
Our ascent routes (Me red, the others blue)
Once back together, we simply followed the trail back to the truck, arriving at 1:30.

This was my first time on the west side of the Lemhi's but I'll be back.  I already have a couple of future trips in mind!

Distance - 9 miles
Elevation - 4100 feet
Time - 4 hours to summit, 7.5 hours round trip

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