Mt. McGowan


We abandoned bigger plans, but climbed McGowan Peak in the Sawtooths.

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The night before, we camped in one of the sites along the highway, just tossing down in the dirt. Under a full moon, we talked quietly for a while, gargled some cheap beer, and listened to the elk bugle.

The next morning we got going early, as John had Big Plans. The first was to climb Mt. McGowan.

It was fall, and the foliage showed that it had already been quite cold in the Stanley valley. But this day wasn't too bad.

The hanging valley beneath the mountain was gorgeous. If all went well, John hoped to exit this valley through the pass on the left. But first we had to climb the peak, out of camera to the right.

Mostly this peak is a sandy, gravely struggle. The last little bit involves some easy rock climbing up to a very exposed west-side drop.

From this angle, it is easy to identify many of the more stunning peaks, including the Monte Verita ridge and Warbonnet.

On the way down to the hanging valley, Carl's knees went to pieces. John went ahead and had enough time for a quick swim before Carl arrived.

Encouraged by John's review of the water, Carl also attempted a swim only to stop at mid-calf depth to swear at John.

Well, some people don't think it's that cold!

Moving slowly to allow Carl to nurse his sore knees, the sun was going down when we returned to the car. The light and clouds were incredible.

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