Page Type Page Type: Trip Report
Date Date Climbed/Hiked: Jul 5, 2008
Activities Activities: Hiking
Seasons Season: Summer

Norton Peak 10,336 Feet

On Tuesday July 2nd, I received a voice mail for my dear friend Matt. He asked me on the message if I would like to go on a backpacking trip into the Sawtooth National Forest. With my heart pounding I called right back with shear excitement and asked him if we would be going over 10,000 ft? He said yes, Norton Peak in the Smoky Mountains. I immediately got on SP and pulled all the data from the South Route that was compiled by idahokid.

July 4th we set out in the convertible from Meridian about 10:30AM and got on the road to Ketchum. After arriving for what seems a lifetime, we did a very brave thing; we ate a Chinese Buffet and some quick browsing of Backwoods Mountain Sports. So we began the remaining 28 mile trek to the Trailhead to Norton Lakes.
Norton Lakes Trailhead

We loaded our packs and began to hike up a fairly steep 2 miles to Lower Norton Lake, where we rested a minute and decided to proceed another ½ mile to Upper Norton Lake . It’s here where we decide to pitch our camp for three days. So much to do including getting to the top of Norton Peak in the AM.

July 5th we got a fairly lazy start to the day from our camp at 9101 feet. We hiked the switchbacks all the way up to the Saddle where there was a nice snowfield.
Steve & Matt

We heard voices coming up the trail behind us so we decided to wait. It was a couple from Hailey and their dog. Very nice folks, we asked if we could follow them up and they agreed. One thing I am learning about my new found love for hiking and attempting to get on top of mountains is the people are all very decent. I mean these are the kind of people you enjoy talking to after meeting them just minutes before.

We set out for the 307 more feet to the summit. Right on top of the summit ridge I got light headed and felt that the remaining 70 ft on ridge to the wooden marker and the summit register was not going to happen for me. I sat down drank some water and began to wonder what ever happened to the Green Beret who jumped out of aircraft at 30,000ft in the late 70’s. Why am I light headed? What a wimp!
The Wooden Well

Well I was assured by the couple that it takes time and practice. I am a beginner at this, quoting a SPer who I sought out for advice when I started this obsession in Feb 2008 “slowly work your way up to the harder stuff. The great thing about mountain climbing is your challenging yourself, yet you can share the experiences with others”.

So here I am at 10,261 feet above sea level, the light headedness departed and the couple and Matt return from the wooden well thing with the dog. I am happy with my accomplishment. I was later told that there were probably not too many 49 year olds above 10K in Idaho on this day. I know they meant well and it helped a little.

We began our decent and I wondered if I would have climbed up to the wooden well from the Saddle I probably would have made it (another lesson learned). Maybe having the exposure behind me instead of both sides would have eliminated the light headed thing.

I didn’t sign the summit register but I feel good about myself. It was 680 days ago I quit smoking due to some seroius health problems, now I am hiking in the wilderness and I am a happy person. I will be bagging some summits, hope to see some of you on top.

All my Best,


Summit Ridge


Post a Comment
Viewing: 1-14 of 14

SawtoothSean - Jul 18, 2008 2:36 am - Voted 10/10


Great job and way to go! You've taken some great steps to be able to live longer and be happier- keep it up.


Deltaoperator17 - Jul 18, 2008 10:56 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Nice!

Thanks Sean. I appreciate the encouragement and ALL of your advice! You are a tremendous resource and asset to SummitPost.

Reading your trip reports has helped me approach this the right way. Hope you and your Family are doing well.


TJ311 - Jul 18, 2008 2:46 pm - Voted 10/10


On your near summit! And big congrats on your "no smoking". Being in the mountains makes me a happy person too! May you have many more happy experiences!


Deltaoperator17 - Sep 25, 2008 5:37 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Congrats

Oh TJ, forgive me for not thanking you sooner! Man it sucks to get old! Thank you for your kind comments.



rpc - Oct 16, 2008 8:08 pm - Voted 10/10

Idaho the beautiful!

Great TR Steve & Idaho's alpine scenery is always easy on the eyes. Cheers.


Deltaoperator17 - Oct 17, 2008 10:14 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Idaho the beautiful!

Thank you Sir. Our family was sad to hear of the Horsetrail and Triple falls incidents last week. My children and all of our family from Sandy and Gresham have spent many days exploring that area.

Anyway, thank you for the kind words and votes. You have made my day.

All my Best,



nextyearranier - Nov 4, 2008 2:13 pm - Hasn't voted

Great job


Great story and great accomplishment. I enjoyed the pictures and was rooting for you all the way. :) And congratulations on quitting smoking!




Deltaoperator17 - Nov 5, 2008 3:54 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Great job

Thanks Lori! You must be chomping at the bit to get from minus sea level to out West and do some more climbing???. Loved your Hood TR, great determination on your part, and thanks on the quiting smoking prop. . . 796 days for me!



maddie77777 - Jan 16, 2009 9:35 am - Voted 10/10

Way to go

I'm pretty much a novice at this too, but can't stop thinking of where I'd like to go next. No ill after-affects from the Chinese Buffet, huh? Just thinking about that is making me have to go to the bathroom.


Deltaoperator17 - Jan 16, 2009 10:35 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Way to go

HA, no ill effects from the Chinese food (it was Sun Valley).I still feel like an Excited Novice but I use the term "novice" loosely however. I did a lot of stuff when I was younger that would constitute activity on SP (good activity). I did some very extreme stuff in the Military from Thailand to Germany, France and Italia. Prior to that as a teenager, I cross country skied, hiked and built snow caves- just good solid basic backcountry stuff.

I played Professional Golf for many years and did not even think about the mountains and recently after a near death health issue decided to take this on with a passion...

I am already getting stronger and have moved up to some class 3 scrambling. The more I do the more it should come back and hopefully be able to step up to bigger and better stuff.

Thanks for reading this and voting for it.

All my best



SOCALHUSKER - Jan 28, 2009 5:06 pm - Voted 10/10

Beautiful Country

Love the pics man, good luck with all your adventures!!


Deltaoperator17 - Jan 28, 2009 5:59 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Beautiful Country

Thank you! Idaho is awesome and I have seen several great places around this globe. Hey you are in a great area as well!

All my best,



ChristianRodriguez - Feb 22, 2009 1:19 am - Hasn't voted


Sometimes summits are just an excuse to enjoy beautiful paths. Reach the summits is better of course, but all the trip is the real adventure, even when you are in your home planning it. As guatemalan saids: see you on the summit!!!


Deltaoperator17 - Feb 22, 2009 9:52 am - Hasn't voted

Re: congratulations

Thank you sir! I really enjoyed your trip report.

All my best,


Viewing: 1-14 of 14



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