Fadgen's Adventures

Fadgen's Adventures
Green Creek Lake

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Lake 9167

Back when the children were in elementary, middle and high school, I used to take them separately on backpacking trips to Idaho’s lakes and mountains.  Now that they are out of the house, these trips have ceased.   It is obvious that Dylan has the outdoors bug, but Taylor has quietly been doing her own outdoor adventures.  This year she is on a National Park trip binge, spending many weekends this summer (mostly by herself) camping and hiking the western parks.   So when I suggested we do a three day Sawtooth trip, she was in.

The plan was to re-visit the Alpine lakes region above Lake Alturas.  We did this hike when she was a sophomore in high school, 10 years ago.  It was a pretty tough hike back then, and I was anxious to see how it would compare this time.
All smiles as we take off!
Us 10 years earlier
We took off in the late afternoon heat enjoying the somewhat hazy sunshine and made quick work of the first, relatively flat, 3 miles.  Rather than crossing a stream, we turned right and followed a faint trail up the hill and through the brush (we found out on the descent that we should have crossed the stream).  Though we wandered through a large marshy section, this trail did eventually re-join the main trail.
It's just over the next hill

One of the steep rock sections

After several steep pulls over some rocky sections past Lake 8523 and the ponds above, we reached our destination, Lake 9167.  Though we had passed several tents along the trail, no one was camping at this lake.  After a bit of wandering, I eventually found what I thought was our campsite from 10 years ago.  This was to be home for the next two nights.
This year
Same campsite - 10 years ago

After setting up the tent, it was time for dinner.  Tonight's menu was feta & spinach chicken sausage with ramen noodles, followed by a fruit medley in heavy syrup.  Delicious!  We enjoyed the alpine glow as the sun set, occasionally swatting the passing mosquito, before retiring.

The next morning the plan was to attempt Snowyside Peak from the south.  With little beta, we took off and headed northeast up the steep scree slopes.  Rather than obtain the serrated ridge at 9600 feet, we carefully angled to a notch to climber’s left.  There were a couple of loose sketchy spots but Taylor handled them like a pro.  
Heading up

A bit steep and loose

One of the two goats we saw

Taylor admiring the views
From here we followed a goat trail, as best we could, continually climbing higher and higher until we reached a headwall at 10,400 feet.  At this point we were within a couple of hundred vertical feet of the summit and we were hot!   After some looking around, we decided to call this our summit for the day and stopped to enjoy an extended lunch while enjoying the view.

Rather than completely reverse our steps on the descent, we decided to take a shorter, more direct route down.  Once again, Taylor did an excellent job downclimbing some extremely loose sections and even got in a little boot skiing!
Heading down

We came down the chute on the right

We eventually reached camp in the late afternoon, hot and sweaty.  After a quick “bath” in the 32.1 degree lake, we kicked back to enjoy the late afternoon and evening.  The menu for Saturday night was chicken and pasta in a creamy garlic sauce.  Another excellent meal.  With full bellies, we tried to stay up a little later, but the long day in the sun had taken its toll.

The next morning was all about packing up and heading back down.  We found the correct trail on the descent, allowing us to make great time back to the car.  Then it was over to Grumpy’s, in Ketchum, for a much needed cheeseburger and fries!

I cannot wait until our next backpacking trip!

Distance: 14.3 miles
Elevation: 3500 feet

Fun: Unlimited & Priceless

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