OverviewThis is a fun ice climb in a very beautiful alpine setting, and epitomizes the essence of an Idaho ice climbers motto: :"To climb ice in Idaho, 'Ya gotta want it"!
This trip would be much better if you make a weekend of it and stay in the yurt. Ski for a day or two and climb for a day for an incredible alpine weekend.
Getting ThereFollow directions to the Hyndman Peak trailhead from Sun Valley or Twin Falls. Take the Hyndman Peak trail to the Pioneer Hut at the base of Hyndman/Cobb Peaks(approximately 5 miles and 2000 vertical feet gain), then continue up South ridge/gully of Hyndman Peak for approximately 1/2 mile.
The ice is VERY obvious coming off the West face of Cobb Peak.
The easiest approach from Hyndman Peak to the ice, is to climb until you are approximately perpendicular or slightly above the ice, and then traverse the West slopes of Cobb Peak to the base of the climb.
Be aware of the avalance conditions, as the West slopes of Cobb Peak can be susceptible to slides.
Approaching up the gully from below the climb is NOT recommended due to lenghty exposure to large avalance paths above the gully.
Snowshoes or skis w/ skins are essential.
Route DescriptionMain flow consists of 3 main tiers.
1st Tier is about 30-40 feet in length, starts out vertical (WI3) for 20 feet, then eases off for the second half of the tier.
2nd Tier is about 30-40 feet tall, again starting out vertical for about 15 feet (WI3-3+) and then easing some to about 65 degrees to a nice ice cave.
3rd Tier, you have to make a decision here, the flow splits and the right hand side is very wet, and slightly easier (WI 3-3+), but is continuously vertical for about 40-50 feet to the top. The other option is to climb the main upper pillar directly .
This pillar is about 40-50 feet in length (WI 4-4+) and is dead vertical for the for the entire length.
There are a couple of old sling rap/belay anchors above the ice, use these at your discretion, or the boulders above the ice have numerous places to sling if you choose to make your own anchor.
To the left (North) of the main ice flow are several short (30-40 foot)hanging pillars, which would make some fun challenging climbs in themselves if the conditions warrant.
To the right (South) of the main flow are some challenging potential mixed routes--if that is your preference.
Essential GearFor the main ice flow:
6-8 medium length screws, 6-8 quickdraws/screamers, 2-3 long runners/cordellettes (for building anchor at top), tools, crampons....if you are leading ice you know what else you'll need.
2 60m ropes are recommended, for the easiest return to the base of the ice.
If you only want to take one rope, there are some creative rap possibilities to the left (North) of the ice. (We only had one 60m rope and were fine.)
External LinksIf you want to make this a skiing-climbing weekend and stay in the yurt, it is the Pioneer yurt operated by Sun Valley Trekking out of Sun Valley, Idaho.
Contact them directly for the costs/availability.