5 Peaks in the Seven Devils

5 Peaks in the Seven Devils

Page Type Page Type: Trip Report
Date Date Climbed/Hiked: Sep 4, 2009
Activities Activities: Hiking, Scrambling
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall

Seven Devils Traverse- 5 Peaks

Tower of Babel

I started out from Boise basically after the Boise State - Oregon game that
we attended the night before. I was on the road by 1:30am and I arrived at the
trailhead at 6:30am. In the dark it was difficult to find the unofficial trail
from the Seven Devils Campground toward Seven Devils Lake and the Pass above it.
I just headed in the general direction in the dark and soon enough found the
trail. For an unofficial trail, it's very defined. It climbs steeply to the pass
on a well defined east flank of ridge and rock. At this point the sun was coming
up and I had nice morning light on the Tower of Babel's north face.

Sheep Lake

The trail continue on the ridge to point where it drops down to Sheep Lake. I
followed the ridge and was soon at the base of the north ridge of the Tower of
Babel. The north ridge was impassable without technical gear, so I dropped down
on the west slopes of Babel, staying well above Sheep Lake to avoid losing too
much elevation. I found what I thought was a slot that would lead to the summit,
but it took me to a vertical face just under the summit. I backtracked and found
the south ridge route further down the ridge and it was truely a great scramble
route. It had a little of everything, including route finding, exposure, blocky
step climbing, slab climbing, rock hopping, and ridge traversing. I enjoyed the
morning views from the summit and enjoyed the comments complaining about the
guide description of the route. Interesting, in all 5 summits, most of the
summit log entries would be from other states besides Idaho. Also, each summit
contained a lead pipe summit log left by the Mazamas in the 1960's with hand die
stamped letters on it.

Horse Heaven

From the Tower of Babel (the highlight scramble of the day for me) I
downclimbed back to the upper west slopes and traversed over to Mt.Baal whcih
was a fairly starightforward, albeit steep scramble up the east ridge. 
From here to She Devil is the longest section of actual ridge traversing that I
could do for the day. A fairly good climber's trail led to the She Devil summit
where I had good views of the East Ridge of He Devil. The descent down She Devil
was quite rugged and steep and led me to the valley south of the peak where I
spotted Mountain Bluebirds and much to my dismay, the tarn lake marked on the
USGS was dry. This fact would present some issues later on as I planned on doing
the full 7 peaks while filling up with water at this lake. The day was very hot
and even though I was at 8000-9000 feet, it was a very warm 80 degrees. I knew I
basically had one chance to get up He Devil from this direction, given the
amount of water I had. I'm not overstating the water issue, because generally I
drink less than others and I go long periods without drinking.

Mountain Bluebird

I made my way to the He Devil-She Devil Col by side stepping a rocky, loose
slope. From here I found my way onto the East Ridge Route whcih basically
traverses steep and loose ledges on the south side of the East Ridge. The route
was quite interesting and involved some tricky traverses, but soon enough route
finding was not an issue because there was only one small ledge to follow. I
downclimbed a smooth rock to a small ledge system that had loose rocks with a
giant drop off beneath it. The ledge was just a few feet wide and the rocks were
loose. Furthermore, this tiny ledge sloped down.  It was about as hairy a
Class 4 route as I've seen. I would compare it to the Maroon Bells Traverse
route with it's exposed and loose, tiny ledges. It was here that I decided to
retreat off He-Devil, so I retraced my steps back down to the valley below She

Seven Devils Sunrise

From the meadow south of She Devil, I was dry, but the nearest lake was a
ways off so I pressed on and summiteed Ogre Mountain rather easily from the
west. The down climb off the east ridge of Ogre was vertical and something else.
I made it down to just below The Goblin and ascended it's steep and rocky
slopes. My 5th and final peak of the day was a good one and had great views of
all the other peaks I climbed this day. From the summit, the climb down to Lower
Cannon Lake was comparitively easy and I was literally running for the lake for
water. I was 10 hours into my day, very dry, and looking for my first water
source. At Lower Cannon Lake I watched the Dragon Flys and found the official
trail back toward the Seven Devils Campground. Unfortunately for me, this horse
trail went through a horse camp and climbed steeply up to the road near Horse
Heaven. I made my way back to the car and called it a day at after 11.5 hours.

12.1miles and 6750 feet gain (roundtrip) 

He Devil Summit

She Devil from Ogre

Tower of Babel Summit

Tower of Babel

Tower of Babel Sunrise

Tower of Babel

Lower Cannon Lake

She and He Devil

Ogre Mountain

He and She Devil

He Devil from She

Mt. Baal-West Ridge






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Smoove910 - Sep 30, 2009 12:55 pm - Voted 10/10

Excellent Area

I think I might try to hit up some of the peaks there in early 2010, weather permitting. I was there in June before the trails officially opened and had to traverse over/under 103 downed trees across the trail. Good times even though we overshot the Horse Heaven Lake and hit Haas Lake instead. Unfortunately my buddies weren't as eager as I was to continue, so I had to chalk the trip up as a defeat. (Not to mention having to traverse those 103 trees all over again). :(


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Parents refers to a larger category under which an object falls. For example, theAconcagua mountain page has the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits' asparents and is a parent itself to many routes, photos, and Trip Reports.