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North Ridge
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North Ridge

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North Ridge

Page Type: Route

Location: Idaho, United States, North America

Object Title: North Ridge

Route Type: Mountaineering

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall

Time Required: Most of a day

Rock Difficulty: Class 4

Difficulty: Moderate

Route Quality: 
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Page By: skunk ape

Created/Edited: Nov 25, 2008 / Dec 3, 2008

Object ID: 466166

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Page Score: 89.77%  - 30 Votes 

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Overview

 
Howard Peak
Howard / Mustang Peak North ridge route follows the obvious ridge starting at the end of Wildhorse basin road.

 
Old Hyndman
Old Hyndman peak shot from “near” camp.
 
Hyndman Peaks at night
Hyndman Peaks shot under a full moon. This is a 90 second exposure taken about 45 minutes after moonrise. Cobb peak barely crowns over the crest on the left side of Old Hyndman

If not for first rate rock, (for the Pioneers) amazing views of the Wildhorse basin and a versatile climbing experience, the North ridge of Howard Peak’s North summit would truly be a ridge to nowhere. The North summit is the second highest of Howard peaks three summits and access to the true summit requires a short pitch of class five climbing or a hefty down climb to the standard route. The route from the end of the road is less than a mile long but gains about 2,700 feet, the last few hundred feet is a section of steep and sustained class 4 scrambling that will have you begging yourself to refrain from looking beyond your last foothold. The ridge is also the shortest way to access the Wildhorse Arete; the airy class 5 ridge that splits the upper basin in half.

Getting There

From Mackay: Take US Highway 93 16 miles north of Mackay to the Trail Creek Road. Turn left on the Trail Creek Road. Follow this road 18 miles to the Copper Basin Road. Turn left on the Copper Basin Road. Follow this road 2 miles to the Wildhorse Creek Road. Stay to the right on the Wildhorse Creek Road. Follow the Wildhorse Creek Road 10.5 to the Campground. From there, follow the jeep trail another 5 Hellish miles to its dead end and an old ruined bridge.
From Challis: Take US Highway 93 south of Challis to the Trail Creek Road. Turn right on the Trail Creek Road. Follow this road 18 miles to the Copper Basin Road. Turn left on the Copper Basin Road. Follow this road 2 miles to the Wildhorse Creek Road. Stay to the right on the Wildhorse Creek Road. Follow the Wildhorse Creek Road 10.5 miles to the campground.
From Sun Valley/Ketchum: Take Highway 75 (main street) to Sun Valley Road. Turn northeast onto the Sun Valley Road. This road turns into Trail Creek Road (closed in winter). Follow this road to the Copper Basin Road.

Route Description

 
Howard Peak
Howard peak rises a few feet above the north summit. This photo, shot at dusk, gives you an indication of what you’re in for if your climbing the Wildhorse Arete.



From the end of the road, cross the logs that used to support the bridge and immediately start climbing toward the obvious ridge in front of you. Pick your way up through a recently burned section of white pine forest. Top out of the trees at about 8,800’ and you have a clear view of your future. Hike up the talus to the right until you get to the start of the ridge where you can get a good look at the large North West face. Ascend challenging class three terrain and bypass most of the towering blocks on the west side. The rock quality improves as you gain elevation but so does the angle of attack. Follow the ridge as it leans to the right and carfully fret your way up through a section of scary, loose blocks to the summit.
Brocky Peak
Sun rising behind Brocky peak, Idaho’s 22nd highest mountain. I have two doors on my mountain tent and the view was stunning from both. A cold wind blew all night and into the next morning but I couldn’t help repeatedly opening one side or the other to get a look at how the mountains were changing during dusk and dawn.
Howard / Mustang Peak
Camp below the North summit of Howard Peak and the upper section of its steep east face. The North east ridge dives down into the shadows of Wildhorse basin’s left fork.
Howard Peak
The top third of the mountain requires your full attention, but for the most part the rock is,,, rock solid. The dark band shown in the last 100 feet is a little less stable and there are a few short portions of dangerously stacked boulders. Light feet and attentive route finding will take you past them.

External Links

Idaho A Climbing Guide
Idaho Summits .com A well done site featuring Idaho peaks plus a cool forum on Idaho Outdoors.
Lost River Ranger District A branch of the Salmon / Challis National forest Service.

Images

Wildhorse AreteOld HyndmanHoward / Mustang PeakHoward PeakHoward PeakHoward Peak