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Glassford Peak

 
Glassford Peak

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Idaho, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 43.91193°N / 114.48082°W

Object Title: Glassford Peak

County: Blaine

Activities: Mountaineering

Season: Summer

Elevation: 11602 ft / 3536 m

 

Page By: splattski

Created/Edited: Aug 22, 2008 / Nov 25, 2013

Object ID: 434030

Hits: 4953 

Page Score: 82.97%  - 16 Votes 

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Overview

 
Glassford Peak
Glassford from Basil's

Glassford Peak is a huge peak in Idaho's Boulder range. Although you can see it from Highway 75 just north of Ketchum, it is one of the more difficult peaks in the Boulders to access. All routes require extensive off-trail work, lots of scree clambering, and some navigation skill. However, the technical content is low: Class II.  
Glassford in snow
Glassford can be seen from many neighboring summits

Because Glassford is taller than anything nearby, it offers a great view of the White Clouds, Boulders, and Pioneers. Also, its remoteness means it will be unusual if you see any other people on the mountain.

Route Stats
Difficulty: Class 2 with loose scree and talus
Distance: roughly 6 mile each way (see Routes for specifics)
Gain: between 4300 and 5200', depending on route

Getting There

There are several routes to access Glassford, none of them particularly easy.

From the north


Drive Highway 75 for 38 miles east of Stanley toward Challis, and turn south onto the East Fork road that follows the East Fork of the Salmon River. Follow this good-condition dirt road for 30 miles to the West Pass road. The first 1/4 mile of this road is loose baseball-size boulders and quite steep. 2WD passenger cars not recommended. After that, the road condition improves and is quite good until it is blocked in about 4 miles. Park (and camp) here. Follow the Northern Route (see below).
 
Glassford Peak map
Map of northern route


From the south


Drive Highway 75 north from Ketchum to the SNRA building, about 5 miles. Turn off and follow the dirt road for about 5 miles to its end. Follow the Southern Route (see below).
 
From the valley
Glassford on the northern approach

Red Tape

No Red Tape.

Camping

There is formal camping at a number of Forest Service campsites along Highway 75. Choose one according to your route and time. Additionally, there is "dispersed camping" at the northern trailhead with easy access to a creek, but no facilities.

External Links

Trip report
Sawtooth National Forest
Sawtooth national Forest Avalanche Center
Sun Valley cams (click on the Lookout cam)
For additional information on this climb and other peaks in the area, please see Tom Lopez's excellent book, Idaho: A Climbing Guide.

Routes

Northern route


6 miles, 4300' elevation.
From the trailhead, hike up the old road. After a short 1/2 mile, you will have to cross a broad creek. Early in the year, this could pose a problem, but in summer it's only about knee-deep. Continue on the road as it climbs above the creek and follows the valley. You will have to climb under or around numerous fallen trees, otherwise this portion might be a good mountain bike ride. When you see the West Pass trail on the left, it is time to drop down into the creek again.
As you follow the creek in a westerly direction, there are lots of options. On climber's right, there are lots of game trails, some quite a ways up the hillside. However, the hiking along the shoulder of the creek also works.
Eventually, you will get above timberline. 
Approaching the saddle
The route above timberline, but no summit in sight
Continue working up the valley, passing the large bump on the right. Shortly after this, the saddle comes into sight.
From the saddle, you have about 800' of very loose scree to deal with. Here, you are on your own. 
High-quality scree
A sea of scree leads to the summit


Southern route


6.5 miles, 5200' elevation gain, with a 600' return climb
From the trailhead, head up the North Fork of the Wood River. As the trail moves westward, pick your best bet for a saddle in the ridge on your north and hope it provides access down the other side. After you cross the ridge, join the upper valley portion of the northern route.

Images

Snowy summitGlassford Peak from the top...Approaching the saddleGlassford PeakGlassfordGlassford Peak mapGlassford from the White Clouds
Glassford PeakHigh-quality screeFrom the valleyGlassford glows