Pearl Peak and Black Pearl


We sneak Pearl in ahead of 70% chance of snow.

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

Last year, John and I tried to do Pearl in full snow, on snowshoes. Tried.... as in we barely made it to the trailhead. But we got a feel for the area, enough to want us to go back and bat cleanup.

I've looked at Pearl from all angles now. Here it is from Lost Art Peak last weekend.


So with a Friday prediction of sun followed by snow, we got Tom and Art to join us for a day of skipping work."Trick or Treat", if you will. After a leisurely start with coffee at 2 Sisters, we were on our feet at about 11. That's how we roll at Team Geritol.

In the background, that's what we're calling Black Pearl. It was either that or Knit Peak (Knit 1, Perl 2).


We followed the old trail to Pearl Lake marked on the map- a different trail than the one you take to Pearl now. That took us up into some open meadows where we could see a line through the deadfall.

Where's that sun? We could see blue sky off to the east just a couple miles.


After the initial slabs, it was time to start up. We spotted several possible paths through the cliff bands, but this one was right in front of us.


It was steep, and the sloppy wet snow didn't help much.


There's some sun!

Summit. What a goofy looking group.


We scrambled around on the summit rocks and did some peak naming. That's Pearl behind Art.

Then we slipped and slid back down our gully to find a nice spot for a leisurely lunch. Way leisurely; I think we spent more time eating than we had climbing. But that's part of being on Team Geritol.


Then it was more sliding and slipping on slabs and deadfall. Tom's allergies suddenly went bad, so he headed back to the car while the rest of us traversed around the base of Black Pearl heading for Pearl.


The valley between the two peaks is swampy and choked with deadfall. Tom, you don't know what you're missing.

But then you get above the trees to follow your choice of several granite ribs leading up to the headwall. At this point Art was on fire, so I didn't have much time for photography and he was well ahead anyway.

When Art had to break trail in about a foot of snow, it allowed John to catch up with him. Lookout Mountain

On top, it was blustery and still overcast. But this summit offers some spectacular views. That's Squaw Meadows in the background, with Squaw Point and Bear Pete.

With Tom waiting back at the car, we made it really brief. So not a lot of pictures (and I was still trying to catch my breath).

Lookout Mountain

But before we go, here's a quick look back at Black Pearl.

I think either of the ridges you see here might go as a descent,but in the snow we had decided not to try. Maybe next summer?

Lookout Mountain

A few steps off the summit and Art found an old phone box. Apparently this was a lookout. Who knew?

When we got home I checked, and this lookout is mentioned in Points of Prominence: Fire Lookouts of the Payette National Forest.

Lookout Mountain
And of course, as soon as we got back to the car the sky cleared. At least we got this great view from the road. Pearl on the left, Black Pearl on the right. Lookout Mountain



Tom's report page

Lookout Mountain

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