After letting the marathon fatigue pass from our legs for the week, Jen & I set out for a little relaxation Garretson/Stover style. Climbing the 2nd highest peak in Idaho, Leatherman Peak. This was Jen's first alpine experience and she straight up kicked ass! It took is the better part of 6 hours to get to the trailhead from Boise (After stopping for pictures, and making one wrong turn) We were rewarded with a campsite next to the river and a great view.
We then proceeded to bike (more like hike a bike) up the trail a little bit to get a view. My confidence was shattered with two quick spills, but we pushed on and got a good view of the intended route for the morning. We then returned to camp, shared some wine and packed the bags for the morning.
5:45am came rather early, and I awoke to see Jen smiling (For those of you who don't know Jen, she doesn't smile at 5:45am) I knew it was going to be a good day. We shoveled down a bagel and popped some espresso beans and were on our way. Jen was setting a blistering pace, as I was behind messing with my watches and adjusting my shoes. We hit the open meadow and at this point in time made the decision to go up the east face, a more direct route but very steep.
Jen fired out (forgetting her gaiters and sunscreen) and was proceeding up the bowl like a seasoned veteran. The snow was perfect for crampons (every step feeling like Velcro) We ascended the first 1,000 feet in about 45 minutes before having to stop, shed some clothes and exchange crampons for ice axes. We looked at the three different fingers and Jen decided she wanted to try the steepest one (That's my girl) About a 1/4 of the way up our perfect snow changed to a soft, post holing mess. (Whoops, guess we should have gotten up a little earlier)
We fought it for a little while before heading to the scrambling safe haven to the left. This was class 3 scrambling and I was have a hard time seeing up the mountain with my large pack and helmet on. We alternated between scrambling and post holing, making progress but not setting any speed records.
We were within what I thought was about 200 feet from the top and we pushed up onto this large cornice . . . no sooner had I stepped over the top than I realized . . . this was the summit. The reward was a couple hundred foot drop off to the west that Jen was a little weary of at first. Jen was ear to ear grins and for good reason . . the views were incredible. You could see snow covered peaks in all directions, and the weather was perfect. We sat on the summit for about 30 minutes while I did some recon on if it is possible to connect the peaks of the Lost River Range (For an adventure later this summer)
Now came the most unsettling time of the day . . the descent. Jen was weary of the 50 degree slope to her left so things were a little slow at first (But not for long) We descended down about 900 feet to where we reached a point where I thought we could safely glissade (Slide down on your butt)I showed Jen the proper technique, methods of stopping, and said just give it a try.
No sooner than I had uttered these words . . . then she goes flying
by me hooting, and hollering. We descended the same distance that took us 2 hours to ascend in about 15 minutes.
The hike out and drive back were not eventful . . . although we went back via Challis to see the Salomon River and have a glimpse of the Sawtooth's(Took us about the same amount of time) and we didn't have to contend with traffic and ugly views off the southern flats of Idaho. The lost river range is a gorgeous, untrampled area. Once we left the main road we saw 3 people (1 of which I knew) and 4 vehicles. This was not my first trip to the area, nor will it be my last.