Perfect day with a great group of guys.
Second attempt since the previous year I got within
200 ft of the summit before a massive electrical storm
turned me back.
This mountain is so brutally steep that I eventually lost
7 toenails from the pounding they took coming down.
Spent the night at the trailhead enabling an early start. Several climbers returned to the parking lot after dusk, their headlights illuminating the way. I got 'off-route' at Chicken Out Ridge realizing this couldn't be the way. After down climbing to regain the route, my comfort level increased exponentially. Climbed during the week in the summer. I was extremely cautious across COR and navigating through the boulders near the summit being the only person on the mountain that day. My rental car was all alone in the parking area. An Idaho state flag accompanied the United States' flag at the summit.
Kessler and I climbed Borah Peak today. Since we were rather sleep deprived, we didn't get as early start as we wanted and left at 6:30 AM. It was just getting light, so we didn't bother bringing the headlamps. Luckily it wasn't nearly as windy as the day before, but it was still fairly cold for the time of year.
The climb went faster than expected and we made our way to Chicken Out Ridge. We passed several people, but only one passed us.
Since the sun was hidden behind the mountain until we hit Chicken Out Ridge, it was quite cold. There was moisture in the air and my hait kep freezing and some of the rocks were covered with verglas. There was a little fresh snow as well. We stayed warm, but I wished that I had brought the gloves because the rock was very cold on our bare hands. Luckily the exposed sections weren't to iced up.
We went right over the Chicken Out Ridge without any trouble. After that, it was just a steep scree hike to the summit. We made the summit in 4 hours 22 minutes, at a moderate pace. The views were great and the wind had nearly stopped when we were on the summit. Two climbers who just left the summit told us that it was really windy, so we got lucky. There was a squirrel right at the summit which was intent on eating climber food. Hopefully it descends and finds food for the winter.
The summit had a flag and rocks that were coated in ice and hoarfrost, but it was a pleasant scene. After enjoying the summit for a half an hour or so, we descended. Most people must have turned back at Chicken Out since we only saw one group that we passed on the way up. This time we saw and took the bypass trail around the Chicken Out section, but it was unpleasant scree and I think the ridge itself is a better route.
We were back at the car 8 hours and 15 minutes after starting. It was a good climb.
Best friend and I decided a year ago to climb Borah. 3 weeks before the day I sprained my ankle. Decided to do it anyway. It hurt. It really really hurt, but success! Awesome experience!
The first time I said never again. Then my daughter got the climbing bug and asked if I'd take her before she went off to college. Of course I said yes and it was awesome. A very cool experience to share with my one and only kid! We plan to do all 9 12k peak. 3/9 done.
Trip report https://summitsofthestates.wordpress.com/2011/09/11/idaho-nevada/
I would definitely recommend bringing lots of water on this one! Chicken Out isn't so bad if you're good at climbing/scrambling.
Left the trailhead at 8:00 sharp and was confused when I got to the summit at 10:45 without crossing COR. I accidentally followed a trail that skirted around the left side of COR, and only did that final 20' descent. I made sure to stay on top of the ridge on the way down. Only 1 other party summited that day.
I'm adding this a year later after hearing about 3 search and rescue incidents this summer alone from parties trying to skip COR. This is awful for all people involved and I'd like to help prevent future incidents. I mentioned my mistake here because I missed out on the funnest part of the climb. If COR doesn't sound fun to you then you should stay off Borah because you won't summit. EXPOSED SCRAMBLING IS REQUIRED! My above mistake of following a goat path required exposed scrambling on even sketchier terrain to get back to the ridge. Please look at the photos of COR- if you're not comfortable with that I highly recommend Hyndman as an alternative. It's almost as tall and a more appealing hike. You'll love it! If it's state highpoints you're after be advised that Borah is rated #6 in terms of difficulty. It's one of a handful that you can't just hike (or drive) to the top of. If you don't have the appropriate climbing experience but really want this summit consider going with a professional guide. Please no more rescue operations.
SW Ridge. After initial COR scramble I followed a trail below and north of the "darker" section, ascending a ramp/chute back to ridge top just 50' from the 3rd class descent to the saddle. Found the overall ascent steep! Thank goodness there's an excellent trail!
Hiked up the standard route of Borah Peak in perfect weather, and didn't have to cross any snow. The scrambling along the ridge was solid and fun, and there were plenty of options to either stay on easy class 3 terrain or try something harder. The views near the top, especially of the other peaks to the south, were quite impressive. See "Roof of Idaho" trip report for details.
Where was COR? Where was the snowbridge? It appears that the standard trail now crosses the snowpatch below where the snowbridge should have been.
At first sight it didn't seem possible, but there is a trail up the summit pyramid. :)
I really enjoyed this mountain. It is fairly short, but steep. The views of the surrounding peaks were amazing. The trail was well maintained and the scrambling sections were a lot of fun. Very beautiful.
A glorious mountain with a gnarly standard route to boot. One of my favorite climbs in all of the West.
Most significant experience with exposure yet. It was after tackling chicken-out-ridge with little difficulty that I first began to believe I had a real chance at taking the State Highpointing thing all the way to the end. Memorable day.
My first summit in Idaho! I had horrible sleep the night before when trying to sleep in my Hyundai Sonata driver's seat (with Jon Oh in the passenger seat). A weirdo was looking into the car that morning around 4am as I laid there trying to sleep (I ultimately go no sleep!). On the hike up to Chicken Out Ridge, I cut up my heels with the hiking boots I was using. Then got rained on a bit (while thunder was booming). It was hard, but Jon and I made it to the top!
Hiked with RB to the climb up Chicken Out Ridge. From there we could see that there was still a lot of snow along the ridge all the way to the beginning of the talus slope up the summit. Too sketchy. A guy passed us and we saw him on top of the ridge moving fast toward the low point below the summit ridge, but one slip or the snow giving way and it's a death plunge. Even with an ice ax, seemed sketchy. Enjoyed just being up on high alpine rock! Will have to do it later in the season.
I read all of the reports about COR, but it wasn't all that difficult. The high winds made things a little uncomfortable, but overall a great hike.
My 2nd attempt on this beautiful climb. Went up with some new friends and enjoyed some perfect weather at the top with zero winds whatsoever. Started at 4:30AM and were at the peak at just over 7:30AM.
An interesting but short cl.3 scramble past the crux to finish on a pretty steep scree and talus slope.
Some weather - the ridge was fun - good time with friends from BYUI