Argosy, Pion, and Err Peaks


A visit to Idaho's "Bermuda Triangle" nets three fun peaks.

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

This is the third time Michael and I have visited the Muldoon area of the southern Pioneer range. Each time we seem to use different roads and have different issues finding the route. So Michael has dubbed this area Idaho's Bermuda Triangle.

This time Sean got to experience it for himself. So slightly later than expected with a 4:30 departure from Boise, we were heading up Argosy Creek, following the access directions from the "Dear Tom Lopez" book.

Just ahead, the canyon splits; we went left.


We were making pretty good time, following an old mine road. Crossing creeks on snowshoes at around 0°. That's Argosy Peak ahead.

Hey, is that sunshine?


Our original plan had us following the drainage to its end, then hanging a hard right to head south and then up the east ridge of Argosy. But we spotted a nice looking gully on Argosy's south ridge: shortcut!
Final approach

After laboring up the gully, we found some of the talusiest talus around.

There was a slight but steady breeze, which was over-compensating for the sudden heat of the sun.

Final approach

Our first summit of the day. Behind us you can see more of 'the plan': Err Peak on the right, Pion Peak about in the middle. You can also sort of see the connecting ridge between Argosy and Pion. Hmmm... looks interesting.

Final approach

As it turns out, that connecting ridge was good, clean fun. It kept us guessing but was only Class 2.

Class 3

More of that talusy talus to get up Err Peak.

We tried the snow, but it was highly variable, sometimes within just a few steps, going from knee-deep sugar to rock-hard slab. And back. The talus ended up being the preferred method of ascent.

Class 3
After a short rest atop Err, it was on to the saddle with Pion. This is looking back at Argosy and the connecting ridge. Birthday tea

And this is looking up at Pion. Here, at least, the talusy talus was not quite so steep. But all the previous talked-of talus was taking a toll on my tired legs.



Birthday tea
So we rolled over Pion and kept heading north to the next saddle. This is looking back at Pion. Shafer Butte
Our original (hopeful) plan had us also climbing Peak 10,450. But it was 3 o'clock, and time control said it was time to head back. So did my legs.
Shafer Butte

We put on the snowshoes and fairly flew down the valley. But not before the shade had crept back across the valley floor, dropping the temperature. Changing into dry stuff at the car was fairly exhilarating.


Shafer Butte

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