6/22 Lost River Peak
The alarm went off and neither of us moved . . . the 2nd alarm went off . . . and we barely moved . . . I received no smile from Jen (At first) it was then were heard precipitation on the tent. We figured it had rained all night and we were going to be hiking with wet packs . . . we emerged from the tent to discover . . . SNOW! A light dusting (In June I might add) set the tone for what we later called a psychotic day. Psychotic in the sense there was a little bit of everything on this hike . . . snow . . . wind . . . sun . . . more wind . . . more snow . . sun. Just when you would get comfortable . . then the temperature would swing 20 degrees and you would be scrambling to re-regulate your temperature.
We started up what we thought was Pete creek and intending to go to Mount Britenbach. About 45 minutes up when we hit canyon walls too steep to climb we realized we were not in Pete Creek, but up the proverbial Shit Creek! Side tracking around and climbing up to a better vantage point we reevaluated our options and decided to climb Lost River Peak. This turned out to be a very straightforward in your face steep climb. The highlight (besides the views) were the rocks . . . no really the rocks. Some looked like German chocolate cake, others had ancient seashells in them, a huge variety of colors and patterns abounded. After traversing across we hit the "Super Gully" and began the push up. The super gully has been described as the Stadium of the Gods . . . there are huge tiered levels around you that look like benches. The term used for the hike was scree-slogging (Where you take two steps forward only to slide back one) Jen and I were elated when we finally reached the snowfield and were able to put on crampons. Nate . . . being new to mountaineering (but not hiking by any means) didn't have crampons so he stuck to the rocks. The time passed rapidly and before we knew it we were on the summit ridge only to be rewarded with a ridge traverse that was extremely narrow and had drops on each side.
We pushed across (Neither wanting to let on to the other just how sketchy it made them feel) and tagged the summit. Then we were then faced with a decision to go back down the way we came up (and traverse that ridge again) or head to the north and see if we could make it over to the next drainage. (For those of you who don't know I will be attempting to break the record for ascending the peaks in Idaho over 12,000 ft over Labor Day) So I was very eager to see if I could connect Lost River to Britenbach, and Nate and Jen either trusted my belief that it was possible or were unaware of how long it might take. We started across and immediately dropped too low . . . back up and we kept going . . . I shot ahead to scout and found a couple really steep cliffs . . . the encouraging thing was when I viewed the different "Shelves" of the mountain and I was sure we could make the traverse. 2.5 hours later and after a couple of backtracks . . . we reached the main bowl. We were far from home still.
The trip down proved to be taxing on our bodies . . . every step was unstable . . . and it seemed never endless. We hit the creek bottom and switched to scramble/bushwhack mode. The creek (Pete Creek) was the one we were supposed to come up. . was just like the weather . . . it would appear and disappear several times on the way down. We made it out and traversed across the basin to the truck discussing how nice it would be to change into sandals. About 9pm we turned the tires west and started the trip home . . . on the longest weekend of the year it turned out to be just that.
Lost River Range Pictures
Final stats for the day
Miles: Who knows
Vertical ascended: 6,000
Times "Look at that" was said by Jen: 145
Days till we return to climb in the Lost River Range: 20
"As an adolescent I aspired to lasting fame, I craved factual certainty, and I thirsted for a meaningful vision of human life - so I became a scientist. This is like becoming an archbishop so you can meet girls."