Peaks 10,041 and 10,166 are located on the far edge of the White Cloud Mountains and are the two southernmost summits on the Pole Creek/Champion Creek Divide. The divide is 4 miles long initiating above Champion Lakes and terminating near Pole Creek Summit. Althuogh not a spectacular divide, four, worthy summits in total are worth visiting.
Peak 10,166, the more impressive of the two, towers over the mouth of the Pole Creek Valley and is easily spotted from Highway 75. Its rugged northeast face is comprised of white limestone such as that of the larger White Cloud Peaks nearby.
Peak 10,041 is a mountain with few distinguishing characteristics to speak of. It has a semi-rugged and rotten north face which is small and insignificant, while the remainder of the summit is mostly alpine and tree-covered.
Few people venture in the White Cloud Mountains and for those who do, its to travel cross country through the many high lake basins and larger peaks located on the main crest of the range. Therefore, these two mountains go unnoticed by almost all. Access and climbing is easy as sustained class II climbing will lead to the both the summits from nearby Pole Creek Road.
To get to the access road for these two mountains from Hailey, Idaho, drive north on Highway 75 through the town of Ketchum, then over Galena Summit at 8,701' and down into the Sawtooth Valley.
Shortly before reaching the small hamlet of Sawtooth City, or Smiley Creek as some call it, near the headwaters of the Salmon River, look for a sign indicating Pole Valley Road leading northeast from the main highway. Turn here.
No red tape or permits required.
Some of the trails in the vicinity allow limited motorized use.
All area roads are closed in winter not including Highway 75.
When To Climb
These two peaks make for a wonderful beginner hike and scramble in the summer months and allows with greater expectations to take in a great view of more ambitious peaks in the Sawtooth and White Cloud Mountains.
Climbing in winter or before Pole Creek Road has opened would make for a challenging and long day as, although Peak 10,166 may appear close, it is quite a ways away.
Camping is allowed in the area and there is usually ample room at the many trailheads in the area.
A good spot fot camping may also be located in the basin below the two peaks in one the high meadows after the spring waters have receeded somewhat.
Winters are very harsh in and snows are deep in this area and avalanche conditions approach extreme quite often.
There is only one reporting weather station in the entire White Cloud Range and it is located on the extreme western fringes of the foothills at the summit of Horton Peak. The Horton Peak RAWS site will provide adequate info but not as good as other sites in the Mesonet network such as SNOTELS. These other sites are a good idea for finding info.