Arrived at Mount Borah trailhead campground at around 9 pm. Beautiful view of Borah in the setting sun. There were a fair amount of campers there already, so we had a tough time finding a level spot for the tents. And the mosquitos were bad, bad, bad!
On the trail at 6:20. Hit the saddle in less than an hour: great spot for camping. Definitely would pitch it here the next time. Great views, and level space enough for several tents.
I new it would be a grunt, so made slow but steady progress up past tree line, across the ridge crest section, then a nice long break to let my buddy catch up. Definitely glad I wore my boots; the trail up to this point does have some loose stuff that would have made in tougher in my acg's.
Chicken out ridge was definitely interesting, but not all that hairy. Again, took our time and made it to the snow bridge around 10:30. Snowpack, according to locals, was 500% this year, so the climb down to the snowpack was probably half what it normally is this time of year--less than 10 feet. [ Snow was soft and well-worn, so not too hairy crossing this part either. Looking back, you get a great perspective on the ridge crest part--what a geologic formation!
So like a lot of other highpointers, I rely pretty heavily on the Wingers' "Highpoint Adventures" book. Been pretty reliable for getting to trailheads and for advanced scouting on the trails themselves. So I was a bit surprised when I looked at the last mile or so of trail and tried to reconcile that with what the book describes as "After crossing the snow couloir, the trail gradually climbs to the highpoint of Borah Peak..." Gradually? Gradually? What would you consider to be abruptly?
Anyway, grunted the last mile or so out and made it to the top at 12:00. Actually, I drifted to the right on the way up and scrambled/bouldered directly to the peak instead of staying on the more defined path to the left of the peak. I probably would stay on the trail the next time; there ended up being as much loose scree on my approach, and mine was even steeper than the trail.
So, chatted it up with some folks from eastern Idaho for a bit at the top and made my way back down. Met my buddy just a half-mile back down and waited for him to summit and come back (left him shortly after the snow bridge, as he was contemplating turning around). Way to blast through the pain and doubt Darryl!!!
Made it back across the snow bridge and COR sections without issue. Back to the campground, after a nice break again at the saddle, 11 hours after we began. Tired, but satisfied with our accomplishment.
Stayed at the Lost River motel in Arco. Nothing special for $60, but any bed and warm shower feels good after a lousy night's sleep in a tent followed by 11 hours of pounding the mountain. Breakfast the next day at Pickles was very good!