Fitsum Peak


A combination ride/hike/climb in the Lick Creek range near McCall, Fitsum Peak is seldom visited.

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We began the day by wading Lake Fork Creek, which in July is still primarily snow-melt. Later in the day we could again feel our feet.

The numb feet made clicking into our pedals a challenge, but the early hike-a-bike sections of this trail fixed that. Then a few miles of easy singletrack put us at the end of our planned loop so we hid our bikes and started walking.

As usual, Art did a splendid job of finding old trail.

After walking for a couple of hours, we made the saddle looking down the Fitsum drainage. Art was to find later this summer that Fitsum Creek supports some of the healthiest alder in the county. He walked the entire length of this valley with a full pack. Well, there was a trail there once.

From the saddle over Fitsum, we planned to ridge-walk south for about five miles. This included summiting Fitsum Peak, slightly left of center.

The ridge was wonderful. We found snow to glissade, rock to scramble, and even a few elk to scare. The highpoint is Fitsum behind us to the north.

Looking to the south, we surmounted the two bumps in the middle of the picture, then turned right to the west. The shady highpoint in the left background is Nick Peak.

The valley to the west had been avalanched catastrophically. The downfall was yards deep in places. Then we came upon the icy tongue of death: a frozen-solid avalanche runnel that was insulated by the very trees it had destroyed. It was creepy to a couple of old backcountry skiers.

So to end on a bright note, the views all day were wonderful. The high peak in the background is Sawtooth Peak, with Maki Lake in the foreground.

Mr. Natural Home | 2002 | Back to top of page | Questions :: e-mail to splattski