Fadgen's Adventures

Fadgen's Adventures
Green Creek Lake

Sunday, February 11, 2018

McGowan Peak - 10,740'


McGowan Peak with 9330 to the right
With the dismal amount of snow in the mountains this winter, it was time to quit complaining about the lack of skiing and climb a 10,000 foot peak.  John has had McGowan Peak, in the Pahsimeroi Mountains, on his list for some time.  So, after some weather related research, he figured this weekend was the time to give it a try.

Super Dave, Michael and I met John in Banks and made the short 3.5 hour drive to Challis.  After a great night's sleep, in the Northgate Motel, followed by a big breakfast, we were on our feet a little after 7:30AM in overcast skies; sans snowshoes.
Michael, John and Dave starting out
Our first goal for the day, which was immediately above us, was Peak 9330.  We carefully picked our way up the steep, frozen ground covered with a light dusting of snow trying to warm up.
John playing catchup
We climbed around rock piles and through mountain mahogany and didn't reach any substantial snow until the just below the summit of Peak 9330.  After 20 yards of post holing, we reached the summit and McGowan Peak was staring us in the face.
McGowan Peak
The wind was whipping as we figured out how to get off of 9330.  John started down the deeply drifted NE ridge , sinking to his waist in some places.  Micheal and I circled around and down some steep, slippery talus while Dave decided to follow John.  Not sure who had an easier route, but we eventually all regrouped and post holed our way along the ridge.
Looking back at Peak 9330
Once out of the trees, the snow conditions improved and the sun made occasional appearances.  The wind was still blowing, making the climb up the ridge bone chilling.  I was wishing for a pair of long johns as the wind whistled through my pants.  Oh well, just keep moving...
Dave in the forefront with John behind
With a few hundred feet to go, the slope steepened as we entered some rock bands.  We picked our way through the crumbling rocks, carefully selecting our foot placements trying to stay upright.
Entering the rock bands

Getting closer
As we got to the summit, the clouds dissipated rewarding us with spectacular views all around.  After tagging the two highest points, we tucked just below the summit to get out of the wind and have lunch.
Michael enjoying the views while having lunch
Though out of the wind, it wasn't long before we were chilled and decided to head down.  We had thoughts of making this a three peak day (8681), but it was now 2PM and we wanted to get home at a reasonable hour.
Heading down
So, we made the decision (mistake?) to head straight down.  Unfortunately, rather than being able to glissade down the entire slope, we mostly waded our way down through knee deep, sugar snow with an occasional butt slide.  It wasn't long before we reached the snow covered creek bottom only to sidehill the remaining mile back to the car.

Great day to be in the mountains with great friends!

John's TR: http://www.splattski.com/2018/mcgowan/index.html

Stats:
Time: 8 Hours
Distance: ~5 Miles
Elevation: 4300 Feet

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