The rock on WCP-7 varies from rotten to solid with one particularly solid rib of rock found on the lower north ridge. Ideally you want to find all the solid sections going up and then slide or "ski" the small loose section going down. The pea sized to fist sized rock is very fast descending, but slow ascending. The football sized rock is most often the dangerous and loose sections both up and down. The desk sized or larger rock is usually more stable and easier going up, but slow going for rock hopping down. This sized rock usually doesn't move, but on the occasion when it does, it can be a downright spooky and dangerous experience. There's one particular section near 10,400 on the north ridge where all the rock is very unstable.
Just below the summit block on the northeast ridge, the scrambling changes from mostly Class 2 to Class 3. Staying on the top of the ridge line avoids most of the loose stuff, but has more exposure. Dropping below to avoid the exposure, takes one into the loose and steep realm. The summit is broad and comfortable and has terrific views of the surrounding peaks. Before July of 2007 there was no summit register. The slopes to the south lead the way to WCP-8 and appear to be Class 2-3.
North Ridge (Class 3)- follow the Slate Creek Trail to Ocalkens Lake and continue on the trail up to the Iron Basin / Ocalkens Pass. Drop down slightly to a tiny basin and leave the trail just west of this tiny basin. Follow a solid ridgeline initially, then traverse right (west) slightly to another less solid but prominent ridge. Follow this ridge, staying close to the edge to avoid the looseness of the open slopes. You'll emerge just northeast of the summit block. From here scramble across a Class 3 ridge with some exposure to the true summit.
From the Slate Creek Trailhead: 5.1miles and 4002 feet gain (one way)
Northwest Slopes (Class 2-3)- from the Iron Basin / OCalkens Pass, continue on the trail west into Iron Basin. Near the 9400 foot contour leave the trail and ascend the open and loose slopes. This route makes a better descent route.
From the Slate Creek Trailhead: 5.5 miles and 4206 feet gain (one way)
South Ridge (Class 2-3)- access this prominent ridgeline from WCP-8 or any area in the Bighorn Basin.
Mileage and elevation gain varies according to the exact route, but it would be at least 6.5 miles and 4000 feet from the Slate Creek Trailhead.
From the Slate Creek Trailhead, follow the trail past the Slate Creek Hot Springs and the old mining area. The trail becomes an old road for a stretch, crosses Hoodoo Creek and then becomes a trail again as it traverses and parallels Slate Creek on the west side. At about 3.4 miles Ocalkens Lake is reached and in another 0.85 miles, the pass between WCP-6 and WCP-7 is reached.
Follow ID-93 East from Stanley for 22 miles and turn off onto Slate Creek Road just after the road crosses over the Salmon River. Follow the Slate Creek Road to the parking area at 7.7 passing a few turn offs and ranches. The road is passable most of the year by sedans and low clearance vehicles.
Check the road conditions at: Idaho Transportation Department
Conditions and Season
Conditions may vary greatly. Access is typically from May to November.
The White Clouds are adjacent to one of the coldest region in the lower 48 during the winter (Stanley Basin), and WCP-7 is situated in the northern section of the range, so expect lingering snow, early Fall snow, or any other weather condition. Still, the relative openness of most of the terrain above 9500 feet makes for an intense and strong sun.
Nearby Stanley, Idaho Climate Data:
|Average Max. Temperature (F)||27.0||33.7||42.5||50.3||59.9||68.4||78.7||78.4||68.6||56.6||38.1||26.0||52.4|
|Average Min. Temperature (F)||-0.5||0.3||9.7||20.3||28.3||33.9||36.0||34.0||27.2||20.6||12.0||-0.8||18.4|
|Average Total Precipitation (in.)||1.64||1.33||1.02||1.02||1.17||1.16||0.59||0.59||0.78||0.92||1.46||1.55||13.24|
|Average Total SnowFall (in.)||16.9||13.2||10.2||3.4||0.9||0.2||0.0||0.0||0.4||1.7||10.4||14.6||71.9|
|Average Snow Depth (in.)||18||20||15||6||0||0||0||0||0||0||2||8||6|
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