Star Hope Canyon


We traverse around Star Hope canyon and climb four peaks.

I was a little tired from yesterday, so the 5 am get-up and piling into the car in the dark seemed even more tiresome.

But when we finally got to the trailhead (about 1.5 hours from Hailey) the triple latte had sunk in and I was raring to go. We were on our feet at about 8:15. (Oh- and we saw two moose in Copper Basin!)

The beta we had was the opposite, but we chose to do the loop clockwise. The first part of the climb follows an old mining road.

Paymaster Gulch trail

The road wanders about a bit and then forks, with one way continuing up the basin, the other switchbacking out to the ridge. We went out the ridge, then started climbing very steep scree/dirt. That's Skyline Peak in the background (which would be our third peak later in the day).

Peak 10292 from the approach trail

After we gained the ridgetop, the going got easier. And the sun finally came up.

Jacqueline Peak

We climbed a little sub-peak (insufficient prominence) where we got awesome views. That's the Lost Rivers behind Tom.


Then we found our first of many amazing goat trails. This baby ought to have signs. The goats stayed near the crest of the ridge all the way to South Star Hope Peak.

It was very calm and quite warm for October, so we hung out on the summit for quite awhile.

Big Basin

While we were on the summit, we spotted a goat below us. He/she didn't like us, so it headed up the ridge to Drummond. The ridge looked a little spicy, so I watched the entire climb through my binoculars to try to estimate the difficulty, steepess, and exposure.

I tried to be optimistic, but it didn't look good. It was obviously extremely loose, and the smattering of snow didn't promise to help matters.

Mariel & Eric

We reviewed our options, and headed off. I think we each had a lump in our throat, but there's only one way to find out.

I led the first section, but re-directed everyone to stay higher and avoid the loose crap, the kind where you are on all fours and all four are sliding downhill together. It turns out that the line right up the top of the ridge was the best.

pumping water
This picture might give you a better perspective on the exposure on the left ridge as it drops away, the route we climbed. Note that there are two climbers here- click for a bigger version. pumping water

From the summit of Drummond, this is the head of one of the arms of Muldoon canyon. Note the frozen lake at the bottom of the face.

The peak just left of center is Peak 10650, and the one on the right is Antares. Scorpion Peak (or part of it) appears through the saddle.

pumping water

We got to the top of Drummond just about noon, and had another long break in the sun, with no wind. None.

We took lots of pictures: this one shows where we are headed with Skyline in the foreground and Coco behind it. And the Pioneers framing everything.

pumping water

When we got over to Skyline peak at about 1:15, this is looking back with South Star Hope on the left and Drummond just right of center.

At this point I ran out of memory in my camera (112 shots).

We did another slug up to Coco, then dropped down its northern ridge and followed elk trail down to the car for a fairly easy 2000' descent (especially compared to yesterday).

After the long dirt road back, burgers in Hailey capped off a most excellent weekend.

Zach's pictures

pumping water

Mr. Natural Home | 2008 | Back to top of page | Questions :: e-mail to splattski