Third time's a charm for Blacktip

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

I had attempted Blacktip on two previous occasions, but instead climb Blacktip Peak:

On both of those occasions, we started from Fisher Saddle. This time we started from Upper Payette Lake so that we could explore the beautiful Cougar Creek basin. Carol is rolling up her sleeves; she's ready to get to work bushwacking.

Rolling up the sleeves

We started up the trail from the main campground at Little Payette Lake. Soon, we found an well-marked trail intersection. On the left, that's a trail. On the right, that's a trail. Clear?

Part of our federal program to save money, we no longer spend the money to put a name to things.

Our new friend Carl had a word for this sort of outing: stupenture.
It goes with another word Art and I use: dumkoffschlagen.


We went right and dropped down into Cougar Creek. This is another old burn, so the trail is obscured by deadfall in places. Creek crossing in the burn

It took a while, but we finally got a good eyeful of our objective.


Blacktip east face

The Dear Tom Lopez Book says there is a Class 3 scramble, so we kept after it despite the intimidating appearance.

Ridge view
Looking the other way, this is the lovely Cougar Creek drainage. It was meeting all my expectations. Ridge view
When we got around to the west side, things were looking more possible. But there are lots of towers with questionable routes (that doesn't LOOK like Class 3, but maybe I just need to have a go at it?) Searching the towers

But then we spotted a cairn (click for a bigger version, then scan the highpoints).

And Yes, it's really Class 3. Or maybe easy Class 4 for a short bit. Either way, doable and fun. Summit chimney
But when you pull over that last rock, it gets to goin' down pretty quick. We took turns on the summit. Summit

And here's a close-up of the previously-mentioned cairn with Blacktip Peak in the background.


We scrambled down descender's left, then down a loose and steep gully to get down into this park-like meadow.

We opted for the loop for the scenery. We eventually regained our previous trail, then tried to follow the more northerly descent back to the road. That didn't go so well, but after about 45 minutes of only mildly heinous bushwhacking (a stupiventure!) we found our original trail.

Here Art celebrates something or other. You'll have to ask him, because he gets mad when I put sarcastic captions on the pictures. Wild exhuberance

Mr. Natural Home | 2012 | Back to top of page | Questions :: e-mail to splattski