Idahosummits Forum Banter
Wow, El Cap in the Sawtooths. What a great choice of peaks and mileage-elevation gain for the Idahosummits 2010 Fall Outing. Captain Dan and his trusty lieutenant Splattski out did themselves on this one.
The goal, a 12 mile round tripper on one of the most popular and beautiful backpacking trails in Idaho. El Capitan rises above the Tin Cup hiker trail to 9,901 feet. The Class 3 climb is 1300 feet above the talus filled cirque.
The team consisted of 7 first timers. The Eastern Idaho contingent led by Idahosummits Outing veterans Margo Lasky and Margie Ankrum. The new live crew consists of Dave, Pam, and Bella. And what a great addition they were. Dave is a frikin Goat, Pam is a solid grinder and Bella, well, little miss-perfect yoga Instructor insisted on tripping many times and nearly hurting herself. Having said that it was on the trail not up high when it could have been disastrous. She was very solid other than the trail trips and provided us great entertainment with her yoga poses.
Let's get Started
The Western Idaho clan led by the Dan and the “Don” (Splattski) returned Steve (Deltaoperator17) and had first timers Kris, John and his 15 year old son Dylan and Jacob.
The day had big promise due to the weather perhaps playing out perfectly for the hike and climb. Splattski and Dan and I pulled into Stanley, the temp outside was hovering around a balmy 21 degrees. We got to the Petit Lake campground where we found our crew getting ready and wondering around.
With all the newcomer talk we were excited to meet some new people. That anticipation started on the thread when Bella threw down some yoga smack and got everybody firing on all cylinders.
We started with the hopes we could get 12 people on the summit of the “El Cap”. We hiked the 5 miles to the place in the trail where Splattski says we need to cut up to the talus field to El Cap. Seemed like about 400 feet of elevation gain to the bottom of the cirque where there was another 1300 feet to go.
We ventured off with Jacob scrambling straight up and stopping about 25 feet short of the summit with our wilderness permit was dangling off of the bottom of his pack. Everyone followed the more obvious route. We got up near the summit block where Splattski was waiting to assist those who needed it, He showed many of us the hand holds and foot placements. Most helpful! Margie and I were bringing up the rear with her AMS type dizziness and my slow and steady gape. I gave her an 81mg aspirin and it seemed like it helped her.
With the final few feet in sight and the always patient Splattski, we had 12 out of 12 people on the summit. Pictures were a little more difficult than some due to the fact that it looked like there was only room for 5 people, not 12. We were surrounded by exposure of about 800 feet on each side. Very airy around the summit block that several of us seemed to think was bordering class 4. Very long talus down climb and sore hams (Quads-Thighs), we ventured off for our return to the cars and campsites.
A most awesome day with wonderful new and old friends. Thanks to Dan Robbins of Idahosummits for the outing and message board playground we lurk and play on!