The southwest ridge route is a virtually unknown scramble, yet it provides the
most direct access to the top of a peak in the whole Salmon River Mountain
Range. Given the approach to the climbing is nil, and parking is right off
the main highway, I would expect this route to be done quite often over the next
few years now that it is officially documented. The scramble up the ridge
provides amazing views of the Sawtooths from the north, along with unique
opportunities to look down avalanche gulleys that run down every year.
ID-21 is blocked and closed every year many times because of these avalanche
Southwest Ridge Route from parking area: (1.0 Miles,
3276 foot elevation gain - one way)
From the parking area just above an avalanche rescue shed, obtain the obvious ridgeline just north of this point. Follow the ridge up and over many burnt logs and around dead trees for the first 0.5 miles. The scrambling is just steep class 2 for this portion. After a small flat area in the ridgeline, the character of the scramble changes as several impressive rock fins jut up from this point to the summit. Climbing up and over these directly involves Class3-4 scrambling, while edging around the bases of the fins still involves Class 3 on mostly solid rock. If for some reason you need to avoid this, you could find a Class 2 route if you went west away from the ridge. At the summit there is a communications tower and box. Just to the east is the lesser summit, but still interesting to explore.
The view to the north is unique in that it is the largest wilderness area in the lower 48 and there's no paved road for 135 rugged miles in that direction.
"When ideas fail, words come in very handy."