Red Ridge


We fulfill Tom's 30-year old dream of visiting Red Ridge.

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

The weather prediction didn't look good. Stay home. Then it did. Go somewhere. Then it looked like it was going to be beautiful. Many emails later, Tom and I were headed for Monumental Summit above remote Stibnite, Idaho. This area played an important role in Idaho's early history. It was about a 3-hour drive, so we were on our feet a little after 9.

This was a ridge walk, and possibly a long one. Instead of even more miles from starting at Monumental Summit, we drove about a mile and a half down the Thunder Mountain road, where we would have a shorter climb, but with increased gain required to get to Murphy Peak.

Here we are about 10 minutes from the car, straight up.


We traversed back and forth across the hillside looking for better footing, eventually gaining the ridge. And our first views.


It was only a couple hundred more feet to the summit. This is looking easterly down Monumental Creek.


And this is looking more southerly toward Red Peak. And our connecting ridge.


We were enjoying the views and stellar weather, but it was time to get going. And the footing was about the same.


The route was pretty obvious. Surprisingly, we even found fairly fresh human footprints. For such a remote location, this came as a bit of a shock. What were these dunderheads doing way out here?


Then we lost the tracks in the pick-up sticks.

Fortunately, that didn't last too long.

Bottom of the gully
Not only is it a ridge, it's an undulating ridge. Camp

Where we could, we cut off the high points. But some of that traversing was pretty steep and slippery.

The high point here is Red Peak (benchmark). The other Red Peak is the rounded summit in the distance to the left.


We kept following the ridge. Then the ridge got narrow.


And finally, at about 1:30, we got to the top of Red Peak (benchmark).

We looked, but couldn't find the benchmark. With all the loose rock, they would have to use cement to hold the thing in place.

The map shows two Red Peaks, and we had hoped to do both. But the clock was running and we also wanted to get home before it was pitch black. So we enjoyed the views for a bit, then turned back.


This is Rainbow Peak to the north.


And Big Baldy to the south.

On the way back, we chose to do an extended traverse to avoid climbing Murphy Peak again. It was going pretty well until we hit some very loose, very steep talus. Camp

The kind where you expect the entire hillside to go.

I had to resort to all fours, but the sight of trees in the distance kept me gong. Once off the talus, it was less than 15 minutes to the car.



The theme this summer has been exploring the McCall backcountry. As Tom points out, no one person will ever see it all. But I'm having fun trying!


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