Lonesome Peak2010


A great new group of climbing buds has a great day in the White Clouds

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

Michael had been invited on an outing, and being the good guy he is, he thoughtfully added me to the invite. I got home a little after midnight from a business trip, pried myself out of bed at 3am, and we rendezvoused at 4. As the saying goes, "You can sleep when you're dead." The early start was needed because NOAA was predicting a good chance of thunderstorms after noon. We all fit into Steve's rig, which was nice because my eyes weren't quite working yet.

Despite feeling pretty drowsy, I stayed awake to get to know my new partners and hear the stories and witty repartee. This group quickly meshed, and the drive was a pleasure. We saw a bear on the road on Mores Creek summit, then almost got up-close and personal with an elk north of Stanley. Poor thing slid out on the pavement and went down in the right lane, right beside the car. Fortunately, Steve had gotten us into the left lane and there was no contact. But it woke me up.

We got rolling right at 7:40, a meaningful hour for our climbing partners Steve and Alex, both experienced college math professors.
Oh, c'mon. That's when the first class period starts.

Less than an hour later, we were looking into Antz Basin, with our peak on the horizon.

Our objective

Although this was August, there was an incredibly array of wildflowers: paintbrush, columbine, etc. etc. I had been here with Julie on a previous attempt, so knew approximately where to begin the traverse to the peak.


Flowers on the trail

Our wandering through the woods went really well, and Michael and I simply walked faster when Steve and Alex started telling math jokes. By a little after 10, we were at the base of the route.

This route is my interpretation of the route described by Super Dave. I'm not sure we used the exact same path, but ours worked (as did his, apparently).


In his report, Dave said the talus was steep but doable. I would echo that. Nonetheless, we spread out to avoid each other's fall line.


Less than an hour later, we were on the ridgetop for some easy cruising. Note the shadow; we were watching the weather with a wary eye, but so far so good.

View from the ridegetop

As you get closer to the summit, the ridge gets narrower and steeper. And lots of fun. The views weren't bad, either.

Ridge cruise
Later we discussed our interpretation of the difficulty of this ridge. It can probably be done at Class 2, but we purposely sought out the more challenging bits. Here Alex has his hands on the rock, so we'll call it Class 3. Easy Class 3. Class 3
And about those views.... this peak has lots of prominence, so you can see lots of peaks really well. White Clouds

The weather was still holding when we hit the summit at a little after 11:30.


So we had a long lunch and then a photo session. Steve and Alex shared some beta on a few of the peaks that Michael and I were particularly interested in.

Meanwhile, the clouds were condensing and getting darker. Off to the east, a big anvil was forming. And the wind was picking up. Remember all that prominence? Maybe we ought to think about getting off this high spot?

That's Castle Peak off on the right. Lonesome Lake

Then we had one of several painful decision-making sessions. Painful only in that everyone was being overly polite and trying to get someone else to decide. Eventually we settled on seeing some more terrain. I knew from Dave's report that they had been down the south ridge, so off we went: Let's see what that is like!

Now I was really watching the weather. And the distant thunder kept my attention. But it never got close. As we got lower on the ridge (a little harder than the west ridge), we got a better view of the Born Lakes and these really cool towers.

Born Lakes

When we got down to the lake basin, we had another decision-making session and eventually decided to skip Patterson and start toward the car. At the top of the ridge above Antz Basin, we opted to return over Blackmon Peak. By 4:30, we were on top but the shadows were getting longer.

The FS has buried the old mining road on Blackmon's west ridge, so the easy walk down isn't so easy anymore. But getting back to the car was still pretty short so we ended up just bushwhacking down the hillside.

We returned home through Hailey for a KBs fix (and to avoid the elk herds north of Stanley). All and all, a fantastic trip with a great group of new/old hiking partners.

Looking at our route

Mr. Natural Home | 2010 | Back to top of page | Questions :: e-mail to splattski