It was sort of a last minute trip we put together. The plan was to snowshoe up to Lower Steven's Lake on the Idaho/Montana Divide, camp at the lake, then maybe climb Steven's Peak, and even possibly do a little ice climbing on the frozen waterfall below the lake (on our way out). I had never climbed ice before but Ken and Mandala (Kendala
) have and they are great teachers. So Friday night I drove to their place and we headed out Saturday morning.
Saturday, Feb. 21, 2009
We got to the trail head at about 9am and quickly started our hike. Once we got to Lower Steven's Lake we wished we had brought our skis instead of snowshoeing up. The snow was nice and the weather was perfect.
Lower Steven's Lake
We set up our camp quickly so that we could attempt Steven's Peak and get back before it got dark.
Camping at Lower Steven's Lake
We decided to take the North Ridge as our route to the peak. We zig-zagged straight up from our camp to gain the ridge top.
Animal prints lead the way
Snowshoeing in perfect weather. Approaching the peak.
The summit cornice looked intimidating but we found a good spot that wasn't over-hanging that we managed to climb over. Mandala (the Monster) did it with her snowshoes and ski poles. Ken and I opted to use our ice axes and kick-step with our boots.
It was already after 4pm when we got to the summit so we didn't stay long. None of us wanted to climb down in the dark.
Sun setting on our way down.
We made it back to camp at 5:30 right before nightfall. Mandala and I melted snow for drinking water while Ken gathered wood for a small fire. We ate dinner, told stories and finally went to bed at 8:30.
Sunday, Feb. 22, 2009
Sunrise on Steven's Peak.
We woke up to some light wind Sunday morning. After eating breakfast and packing up we made our way down to the waterfall just below the lake.
Steven's Lake Falls.
We set up a top roped anchor and lowered Mandala down to clean the ice. We each climbed it once and had a blast.
Mandala starting things off.
Ken kicking some ice loose.
Jake climbing out of the hole.
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