Mount McGowan


An anniversary climb in the Sawtooths of Mount McGowan.

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This was the beginning of a tradition: Each year on their anniversary, John takes Julie up a peak. For the first one, John chose Mt. McGowan in the Sawtooths.

The rule of thumb for Sawtooth adventures is "Wait until after the 4th of July to try to go into the high country."

That would be good advice. The normal trail from Stanley Lake was closed, so we took a long cut on the Alpine Way trail from Iron Creek. As we traversed across the many valleys en-route, we had to get across some pretty full streams, and log-hopping is not one of Julie's fortes.

We eventually made our way into the high cirque at the southern foot of McGowan. The tarn was buried under snow. That night brought fierce winds, buffeting the tent. Although John had tied the tent to a log, Julie feared for her life. She was convinced we were both going to be blown into the Stanley valley.

The next day was calm and sunny. This is Idaho, after all!

The view from the summit was incredible, doubly so with all the snow. This view is from just below the summit, and the red arrow marks the nearby summit of Mt. Regan.

With a fresh summit under her belt, Julie was feeling sassy. Here she stands near the outlet of the upper tarn, dressed snazzy and ready to head back to civilization.

Mr. Natural Home | 1990s | Back to top of page | Questions :: e-mail to splattski