Jughandle Mountain


The most visible peak in the McCall area can also be the most solitary.

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

We both had tired legs from climbing Snowslide Peak on Saturday, and the weather looked less than promising with a 30% POP- but let's get out. We can always turn around.

So we were off promptly at 9am. You couldn't pull into the parking lot due to snow, but that also meant that the Memorial Day campers were not inundating the trailhead.



We didn't go too far before we hit snow- before we even made it to the jeep road. But the snow was mostly firm for walking, so it was a pleasant stroll up to Louie Lake. At the lake, the snow made for extreme scenicness.

Note for Pat: Yes there are some routes on the left face.

Miners Peak
For my skiing friends, here's a zoom of the couloir on the north side of Jughandle. Miners Peak close-up

And for my skiing friends who might actually ski this, here's an even closer zoom. And yes, there were tracks, confirmed when we got to the top and looked down it.

Today would have been perfect.

South Fork of the Salmon River
Up high we saw this grouse being a show-off.
And here's Julie being a show-off, cruising the steep snow like it was nothing. Ponderosa forest

The upper part of the mountain is already bare with all sorts of odd-sized boulders, some of them moving. Julie did not like that.

But then we hit the summit ridge with our first views to the east.


Knowing that there is a huge cliff beneath, we weren't too excited to get near the edge.

Ponderosa forest

The clouds were moving in and out, and the wind was blowing, but we were on top. This was especially important to Julie, who had turned about about 10 minutes from the top when in a whiteout on skis a few weeks back.

Not only did we make it, but the views today were spectacular. Lots of snow, but all of Long Valley and McCall was a deep green.

Upper ridge and lookout
I've seen this phenomenon on other peaks, but Jughandle has more ladybugs than any other peak. Upper ridge and lookout

This is a phenomenon I'd rather not see: a pile of orange peels tossed helter-skelter on the summit.

Folks, it may be organic, but it is still trash. Please don't be a dumbass- Leave No Trace.

We picked up your trash, because we care about others and didn't want them to have to deal with your unsightly garbage.

Upper ridge and lookout

And one more gripe, since I'm on my soapbox. This is how the state manages forests. While it may be profitable, it ain't pretty. I think I'd rather have the USFS taking care of my mountains, thank you.

OK, we now return you to our normal programming.

Upper ridge and lookout
We navigated our way back through the aforementioned boulders, then finally got on some good snow for an easy descent. Upper ridge and lookout
For Julie, the crux of the climb was the creek crossing. at the parking lot.

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