He Devil and She Devil Mountains


Finding a secret trail and traversing two peaks: He Devil and She Devil, in the Seven Devils range of Idaho

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It's a long drive to Heaven's Gate even from McCall. But it was a beautiful day and we were exhilarated as usual to be in the mountains together, and especially to explore new terrain.

The fisherman's trail into Sheep Lake had a reputation. One that kept us on edge until we completed our first traverse on it. Nevertheless, when we first spotted the lake, it was breathtaking.


As we continued around the ridge, it only got better. Soon we were able to identify both She Devil on the left and He Devil on the right.

We went around the north side of the lake, then climbed up over a ridge on our way to the west shoulder of He Devil, on the right horizon.

There was scree, and then a boulder field. Art found a sunny spot to take a break from the hard work.

We were quickly up He Devil. Then came the descent. Going down something you haven't climbed is always a bit dicey. Even more so when it's rated Class IV and the way is not clear. We spotted a cairn down a nasty looking gully, swallowed hard, and headed down.

The entire way it seemed like we were going to get treed. It was steep and loose, so while one climbed, the other stayed still in a protected area to avoid dropping rocks on each other. Much to our amazement, the whole thing worked. No route is drawn on the steep face here as we couldn't easily identify where we had been.

Then we made our way across the saddle and climbed the steep flank of She Devil. Although at times it looked like we were going to be rebuffed, it really wasn't a bad climb.

We enjoyed the lengthy summit register on She Devil. Knowing the descent involved a long rocky gully, neither of us removed our helmets.

The gully is truly remarkable. It's over 1,000' in elevation, with almost no solid rock anywhere.

From the bottom of the gully, we took the short cut around the south side of Sheep Lake.

Then it was time to head back out on the trail. Going back wasn't nearly as exciting as going in, if for no other reason than we knew it was possible.
The trail does have its moments. In several places it traverses steep dirt gullies with no sign of stability. A slip here, or a small cave-in of "trail", and you could go for quite a ride.

Mr. Natural Home | 2001 | Back to top of page | Questions :: e-mail to splattski