Chief Joseph Mountain NW ridge

Chief Joseph Mountain NW ridge

Page Type Page Type: Trip Report
Date Date Climbed/Hiked: Sep 3, 2005
Activities Activities: Mountaineering
Seasons Season: Fall

It begins

Crossing Hurricane Creek
Early on September 2nd 2005 Tracy and I were dropped off on the side of Hurricane Creek Road near a log we had spotted a couple months earlier. We crossed the log and started what would be my most memorable climb to date.


The climbing at first consisted of steep bushwacking, and talus slopes. Nothing very hard but it was strenuous and it was hot out. It became apparent that we did not bring enough water. Oh well. We continued taking little breaks, eager to reach the ridge we had been dreaming about all summer.

On the ridge

On the ridge
When we finally reached the ridge we were overjoyed. The views were amazing on all sides, and the ridge itself was equally beautiful. We took a long break, listened to some music and ate alot of food. The couple hours we spent at the start of the ridge marks one of the happiest moments of my life.

From here it was easy but fun ridge walking. After a few hours we took another long break and the weather started to take a turn for the worse. The clouds darkend and the wind speeds rose, and soon we were seeing lightning. It was very sobering. We decided we better find a place to camp before it got any worse. We found a low point on the ridge that provided a nice flat surface to pitch our tent. We left our tent later to watch one the most amazing sunsets I have ever seen.

Day 2

Harvesting snow
There is nothing like wakeing up on a high ridge with clear skies. After breakfest we continued to follow the ridge, which became more and more beautiful the farther along we got. We were very low on water and were happy to find the last remaining snow patch on the mountain. Useing rocks as shovels we were able to harvest a couple liters of snow water.

The summit

View from the summit
We achieved the summit mid day after some amazing ridge walking and a short section of some fun class 3 scrambling. The views from the summit were amazing with the Hurwal Divide, Sacajawea Peak, and Matterhorn right in our faces. Then came the question "how do we get down?" After some thought we decided to head toward the Hurwal Divide and see if there was an easy way down. What we found was a steep but possible scree slope dropping to the forest below. We set up camp at a flat spot at the start of the forest thinking we had an easy hike folowing a creek to Wallowa Lake the next day.
Steep scree

The hike back

Creek bed
Happy that no bears found us, we set off for Wallowa Lake following what seemed to be a nice tame creek. Before long the creek bed turned to class 2, then class 3, and eventually we were downclimbing small waterfalls. We were able to climb out of the creek bed just before a larger waterfall and bushwack on the ridge along side it. We were happy when we spotted a cabin from a camp with a nice trail leading us to the lake.

This remains my favorite climb, I gained alot of experience and had alot of fun. It was a true adventure.


Post a Comment
Viewing: 1-3 of 3

kamil - Sep 1, 2006 10:32 pm - Voted 9/10

good read and great adventure :)

happy trails mate!


Blair - Nov 22, 2006 12:08 am - Voted 10/10

Sounds fun

Good Job!

Mr. Clam

Mr. Clam - Nov 22, 2006 5:06 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Sounds fun

thanks! this is the climb that got me hooked!

Viewing: 1-3 of 3



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