At 10, 751' Thompson Peak is the high point of the Sawtooth Range in central Idaho. Slightly hidden from full view in Stanley Basin, Thompson sits back in its own high alpine valley between the more prominent Williams and Horstman Peaks. Being the highest peak in the range also brings the allure of being one of the more popular climbs since it offers a relatively easy scramble to the summit by way of the Class III Southwest Couloir. For some reason this allure never affected us because between the three of us we had over 120 collective years of climbing and exploring in this range and none of us had ever done Thompson. Determined to right this wrong, it didn't take much to talk Mike and Gord into joining me on a trip to the summit of Thompson Peak. Mike and Gord went to grade school together and I hooked up with them when the local grades schools were all blended into "junior high" at the 7th grade level. Gord told me the first time he saw me walking down Vista Avenue on the opposite side of the street that he and his tough buddy Tom were going to come over and kick my ass. Well it never happened and after that first meeting on the street we became lifelong friends as did Mike and I.
While here it is nearly 45 years after our first meeting and we're still getting together as "funhogs". Gord was a bit out of shape for this one and sensing it, I turned on the afterburners for the entire descent. Mike being game to what I was up to followed closely as we left Gord in our dust. Gord staggered in 20 minutes after Mike and I had taking off our hot boots and opened the celebratory beers. I smiled and thought about that first meeting on Vista Avenue.
Gord and Mike on the trail above Redfish Lake
Gord on the "climber's trail" section of the approach to Thompson Peak
Gord and Mike at the biv site below Thompson Peak
The approach between Thompson and Williams Peaks
Mike in the southwest couloir
Gord at the top of the sw couloir
Mike with the register
Mike, Bob, Gord and the "Splattski"
Mike taking the easy way down
Mike and I managed to boot ski this slope but Gord wasn't so graceful