Alpine Peak and Mount Regan


After the family backpacks into Sawtooth Lake, Julie gets up Alpine Peak, but John and Dan have to back off Mt. Regan.

Note: click images to see a larger version in a new window

We drove up to the Stanley valley on Saturday morning and were horrified to see the Iron Creek trailhead virtually full. But once we got out on the trail, the crowds really weren't too bad.

As we climbed higher, we passed many day-hikers on their way out.

This trail is, for the most part, graded very easy, with a wide, smooth tread and tons of switchbacks. But once you get past Alpine Lake, the trail becomes steeper and somewhat rocky.

That's Alpine Peak behind Julie.

Here's a better shot of Alpine Peak, taken on our return.

From Alpine Lake, it's not too far to Sawtooth Lake- but it's a lot of uphill. Sawtooth Lake sits at about 8400'.

That's Mount Regan at the far end of the lake. Our camp would be in the green area at the far end of the lake--- which is quite far.

After hitting the lake, the girls figured they were there.. but it's about 3/4 mile to the far end, and involves additional switchbacks.

There was muttering. That's all I will say.

We finally got to camp and got set up. Jasmine opted to stay in camp, while Julie and I climbed Alpine. It looks a little different from this perspective.

It only took us about an hour and 20 minutes to summit.

The views were gorgeous. Julie was especially excited at being able to see both the Trailhead and Potato fires.

Dan would be hiking in the following morning to attempt Mt. Regan. So on top of Alpine, I was very focused on figuring out how we would get to the ridge, let alone the summit. The cliff banks, snow fields, and sheer steepness looked like it would make getting to the ridge tricky.

Thankfully, the route I picked out worked.

Dan arrived a few minutes before 10 the next morning. I had planned a late start thinking it would be cold. I was wrong. As we started up the route, we were getting broiled, Idaho style.

Although our route worked, it was steep. Here Dan negotiates the final scrambling section just below the ridge access.

He really isn't trying to take the camera from me- it's just a candid shot and he was reaching for a hold.

This would be the last photo of the actual climb- we were under time pressure and the camera was safely stuffed in the rucksack.

We were having fun, but we finally came to an impasse when we got to the notch. As you can see, the right side is overhanging, requiring a somewhat awkward rappel. Julie, sitting in camp, could see me make the drop.


Julie was watching our progress from camp...

From inside the cleft, things looked ... unsettling. I could see how we could get out the other side, but retracing our steps looked tricky at best. All things considered, it was time to turn around.

This shows what we were climbing (and the deteriorating weather). The fin on the left is actually the ridge we were climbing. We had just scrambled down the rocks on the right.

Here's Dan scrambling on our return. We were tired and very dehydrated. And once we got back to camp, we had the walk back to the car (which Dan had made that morning).

We take a climb like this for what it was- a great time in the mountains with good friends. The summit will still be there at some future date.

Overall, a fantastic weekend.

Dan's trip report

Mr. Natural Home | 2006 | Back to top of page | Questions :: e-mail to splattski