Fadgen's Adventures

Fadgen's Adventures
Green Creek Lake

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Two Point Mountain - 10124 Feet

I'm heading back to Asia on Monday for a short trip and wanted to get out to stretch my legs before the long plane flight.  I also hadn't seen Mr. Platt much this summer, so I sent him an email earlier in the week to see if he was available Saturday.  He had the day free, but had to be back in Boise by 6PM for his daughter's engagement party.  After a bit of back and forth we settled on Two Point Mountain, the highest peak in the Boise Mountains, since it was close and a short hike.

The a couple of hours of windshield time flew by as we caught up with one another, and we were on the trail a little after 9AM in sunny, though a bit hazy, skies.  We were following both Sawtooth Sean and Dan's route - the short and sweet South ridge.  The route started up a chewed up ATV trail to Tip Top Mine - tough going out of the gate.  Once we reached the 7400 foot contour, we left the trail and moved right to obtain the broad South ridge.

As we started up the steep slope, John asked me to slow down a bit until he had warmed up.  I think that this was a bit of a diversion, because as soon as I slowed down a bit, he seemed to move faster.  

A glimpse of  Two Point
As we moved up. the trees thinned, the temperatures rose and the sweat started flowing.  

And, our destination came into view.

We took a couple of short breaks, but kept up the steady pace.  We were thinking that if we moved quickly we just might have enough time to grab another connecting peak.

As we closed to within a few hundred vertical feet of the summit, the terrain became rocky.

Though it looked like we might get in some scrambling, it ended up being  a walk up to the summit.  The views could have been fantastic, but the distant peaks were obscured by smoke from an unknown source.  Oh well, it can't be fantastic all the time.

We had covered the 2 miles and 2900 feet to the summit in an hour and forty-five minutes.  Not a bad pace for a couple of old guys.  It was now 11AM and what to do?

We thought that we could traverse the ridge over the shorter North summit and then cruise the adjoining ridge to try and obtain Ross Mountain.  It was an ambitious goal as Ross was over two miles away.

We had some fun scrambling down off the summit on a knife edged ridge that had considerable exposure to our right.

We moved down, up, and around the rocky ridge but it was slow going.  Every time we came to a place where we could see the north summit, the more we realized that there wouldn't be enough time. After another 15 minutes or so of slow going, we decided to just head down since it was obvious we couldn't make Ross Peak. 
The ridge to the North summit
Ross Peak
Once down off the steep loose rock, we stopped for a leisurely lunch under a couple of old White Bark Pines before following the path of least resistance back to the truck.

A great, quick outing into the Southern Boise Mountains.

Time: 4 Hours car to car
Distance: Approximately 4 miles
Elevation: 2900 feet

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Perfect Peak - 10,269 Feet

Dan and I had been planning on climbing Montana’s highest peak (Granite) this past weekend, but the early snow from the previous weeks plus, the fact that Dan and I did some long drives over Labor Day weekend, scuttled those plans.  To make up for wimping out, Dan and I agreed to give Perfect Peak in the Sawtooth Mountains a try on Sunday.

We arrived at the Alpine Creek trailhead at 9AM and we on our feet in the chilly morning at 9:30.  We bounded up the trail for the first 3 miles before it split into a couple of use trails going up two different drainages.  We took the right path towards Lake 8523, and then made a hard right at the 7800 foot contour level and started up.

Even though we had yet to see our peak, but were impressed by the SE face of a peak directly in front of us.  This view allowed us to keep our mind off the task at hand – the straight up grind required to reach the 10,000 saddle. 

Once we reached the 8500 foot level the angle eased back for a short bit and gave us our first view of our objective.  And what a view it was!  We were both pretty excited.

After a short break, it was back to the upward grind on the steep slope.  Soon after we started up, we stumbled upon a set of elk tracks and essentially followed the tracks back and forth up to the saddle at 10,000 feet.  The views from the saddle were most excellent.

Alice Lake and El Capitan Peak
Once at the saddle, I pulled out my beta with Tom Lopez’s description on how to handle the final 200 feet of Perfect Peak.  We followed his directions and crossed through the notch on the left, dropped down 10-20 feet and then crossed the loose rocks by staying up against the wall on our right.  Staying higher, we traversed down a bit to obtain the steep chute leading to the summit ridge.
Dan traversing
The summit block (just left of center)

My first hand hold on the steep chute was a large rock that immediately gave way.  Fortunately it only fell a foot onto the larger rock below it.  Now knowing that the rocks were a bit loose, I carefully selected my route and quickly popped up to the summit ridge.  From here is was just a short 20 foot climb to the small rocky summit.  The climb was rated a Class 3/4, but it didn't seem like the route was too exposed for a Class 4 rating.

Heading up (D. Robbins photo)
Almost to the summit (D. Robbins photo)
Dan wasn’t too far behind me and the smile on his face as he reached the summit told the story.

Two more steps to the summit
The views from the summit didn’t disappoint and we could count at least 20 lakes in the area.  The weather was perfect, a slight breeze and sunny, and we enjoyed the summit for 15 minutes to fuel up for the return trip.
Snowyside Peak (right) and Lake 9167

The down climb wasn’t too bad to get back to the saddle, nor was the long stumble down to the main trail.  Once back to the trail, the walk out became a long, hot march.  We eventually did arrive at the car and the waiting cold beer!

Distance Car to Car: 9.4 miles
Elevation: 3200 feet

Total Time: 7.5 hours

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