Mattingly Peak


After talking about it all year, we finally get up Mattingly Peak.

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

I had been talking about climbing Mattingly all year. When we finally gave it a go, the weather report was not favorable: 60% precip with thunderstorms after noon. But an attempt is always better than sitting around, so we were out of town a little after 6... except I thought Warm Springs was open again, which cost us about 1/2 hour. So we finally left the car at the Alturas TH at about 9:45, heading up Alpine Creek. This is a really mellow trail, gaining only about 800' in the first 3 miles.

At about that point, we crossed the creek and headed up a trail-less drainage.

Alpine Creek

As we gained elevation, we noticed that Perfect Peak was on fire. Literally. We counted about 6 individual smokes.

After pondering the chances that anything might spread and trap us, we continued on our merry way. Later, we no longer saw smoke. Apparently the cool temps and occasional sprinkles had doused it. The only problem with the occasional sprinkles was that they made spots on the map, which we consulted frequently.

After a couple of miles, I thought we had entered a side (wrong) drainage. But it looked like this one would work after we gained a small lake. But it was a big lake... we were in the right drainage after all. The picture below is Lake 8650. From here we climbed up the grassy area left of center.

Lake 8650

When we gained the ridge, this was our view of Mattingly, on the left. The peak on the right is more dramatic, but a bit lower. From here we traversed under the right-hand peak, following a less-steep band under the upper mountain but above the cliffs that drop into the lake (look closely, you can see one of the Mattingly Lakes in the lower left-hand corner).

Route view

From the traverse, you get a great view of the Mattingly Lakes and their outlet, which spills 800' down (away from camera) into Mattingly Creek.

Mattingly Lakes
For some reason, my camera was not happy. So no summit shot. You'll have to make due with this shot of Tom finishing off the short Class 3 scramble up the last 50' or so. That's the east peaklet behind him.

Although the weather still wasn't very promising, we ate and enjoyed the views. From this southern position of the Sawtooths, it's a very different perspective from any I've had in the Sawtooths. Elk Peak blocked our view of the Monte Verita ridge. The Rakers were lined up so that the North appeared to sprout from the South. Castle Peak looked amazing, rearing it's head above the White Clouds.

This is the south side of Snowyside, showing the route from Alpine Creek that I've been asked about recently.


Then we took off down the slopes of Mattingly, going for the loop. If you click for the bigger version, you'll see Tom on descent.

Upper mountain

We dropped all the way down to the creek, then started the 800' grind up to the pass between Mattingly and Alturas Creeks. Our return route was longer, but we reasoned the trail would make for fast walking that would balance out the extra miles. I'm not sure that part was true, but the views made up for it. The fireweed was in full glory, yet the lupine was also in bloom. Really pretty.

Mattingly Creek

When we finally got back to the car, we felt like we had been walking all day, which was a pretty accurate assessment.

Mattingly route

Mr. Natural Home | 2009 | Back to top of page | Questions :: e-mail to splattski