The 9th tallest peak in the Sawtooth is a challenging Class 4 scramble in a rugged and highly scenic section of the range. Situated on the main Sawtooth Crest just 0.60 miles north of the regal Mt. Cramer, Dave's Peak has tremendous views of the Cramer Lakes, Elk Peak, and Imogene Peak. As a scramble, this peak provides some good Class 2-3 scrambling, along with a steep Class 4 finish to obtain the summit ridge. As typical for this area, loose rock adds to the rugged and steepness for a delightfully stressful scramble. If viewed from the valley south of the Finger of Fate, Dave's Peak shows it's false summit which is easily mistaken for the true highpoint. The true high point is further west on the knife-edged ridge and reaching the true summit takes some route finding and determination. Along the summit ridge is a giant hole in a rock that is clearly visible from Mt. Sevy and provides a unique window to the Cramer Lakes.
The Sawtooth Crest from Mt. Cramer north to Decker Peak has some of the most interesting rock towers and formations in the Sawtooths that's only surpassed by the Monte Verita Ridge and possibly the Heyburn Complex of rock towers. This area contains a good collection of the second tier climbing routes of the Sawtooths that are rarely done, but still have solid rock. Many of these towers no doubt have single digit ascent totals. Of note in this area are The Arrowhead, Mt. Sevy, Birthday Cake, The Sentry, and The Coffin. Those peaks often require ropes, but for the hearty scrambler Dave's Peak provides good Class 4 climbing comparable to Perfect Peak or Merritt Peak
East Ridge (Class 4): From the Hell Roaring Trailhead, follow the climbers trail as if you were heading to the Finger of Fate. Continue on the north side of Hell Roaring Lake to Clarice Lake, where most of the Finger of Fate climbers set up camp. From here, continue to follow the climbers trail southeast of the Finger and pass just south of the Finger formation. The slopes look steep, but they are quite manageable and stable by Sawtooth standards. Find a ramp angling southwest, then angle back toward the northwest until you are just south of the east ridge of Sevy, and just east of the highest (Arrowhead) Lake. In this area you will have a spectacular view of the Arrowhead.
Hike to the uppermost lake underneath The Arrowhead and fill up with water here as this is often the last water source. From this area, the false summit of Dave's Peak is obvious. Also obvious is a rib of solid rock running up from the lake toward the east shoulder of Dave's. Climb this rib to obtain solid rock, or scramble just to the right in scree fields until you hit the prominent east ridge of Dave's. For a treat, peak over the main Sawtooth Crest just to the west and enjoy the massive drop off. Continuing to the summit, find a easy place to cross the east ridge and drop down approximately 100 feet down on the south slopes of the east ridge. From here traverse west underneath the knife edged east ridge, avoiding obstacles. At a point you will need to ascend again to just underneath the ridge and bypass a prominent rib as you'll climb up and over this rib. Just past this rib you should see a massive window of rock with a giant drop off toward Cramer Lakes and the vertical north side of Dave's Peak. Continue traversing west just under the ridge and at a point that appears to be the highest point, climb from Class 3 slopes onto Class 4 rock. A tenuous pull up move onto loose rock brings you to an airy ramp move that appears tougher than it is. Make the move that brings you to the summit ridge. The summit ridge is gentle from here, and climb 40 feet back to the east to the true summit. The west slopes appear gentle from here, but drop off radically further down. The views of Cramer's north side are impressive from the top. A summit register was left at the summit in 2009.
It's unknown as to the origin of the name "Dave" for this peak, but the reference appeared in an earlier version of Tom Lopez's Idaho: A Climbing Guide. The peak was then removed from the book as it was thought that it didn't qualify as a peak in terms of prominence. Regardless of any of this, the peak is an excellent scramble.
Note: The author would rank this route as a a top 10 Sawtooth scramble.
5.2 miles and 3787 feet gain (one way)
Round Trip Time Estimate: 4-6 hours
Other Routes- Little is known about other routes, but the south slopes from Profile Lake appear to provide a similar approach to the same east ridge route. All west and north slopes appear to be vertical.