Kelly Mountain


We snowshoe up Kelly and then complete a long loop with a second peak.

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

Super Dave had a single, last day before he's grounded for a month, so we took a Thursday to go climbing. We had talked about a number of objectives, but due to time constraints, conditions, size of group, etc. we chose Kelly Mountain outside Hailey. After staring at the map for a bit, it became apparent that there was a great loop here. So leaving the car at a little after 8am, we swung south of some private property to gain the south ridge. This is the view of Kelly from the ridge.

Although on snow right from the car, we were able to walk the first 1500' or so before the snow got soft. Then we popped on the snowshoes and continued up the ridge. This ridge gives great views the whole way, as you can see in the panorama below.

Beginning the ridge

We kept thinking we would be on top soon, but the top seemed to be moving away from us. Here Dave is getting near, finally?

Nope, still another 45 minutes.

Detail of the upper ridge

This shot looking back down the south ridge explains why it takes so long. It's a long ridge, and over 3k of elevation.


Dave and George in the rocks

We finally got there after about three hours without much of a break. Overall it was pretty warm, but the occasional gusts cut right to the bone. We put on all our clothes and ate some lunch while we soaked in the expansive views. Kelly sits on the edge of the range, overlooking Camas prairie and with a grandstand view of the Pioneers, Boulders, Smokies, and Soldiers.

The summit
After our lunch, it was time to head out the north ridge. We would eventually descend to the right (east) just shy of the last bump on the ridge. Looking down the west ridge


As we started down off the ridge, we could see the ruins of the Red Elephant mines. Click on the picture to get a bigger version, where you will be able to see the ruins in the lower left.

After we got down to the saddle, our route took us up and over the highpoint here, Point 7536, our second peak of the day. As we slugged up the 400' of gain, we discussed how unfair such climbs seem during what should be a descent to the car.

The panorama below shows most of our route (well. really about half of it)- the south ridge on the left leading to Kelly, the snowy highpoint in the middle. Then the north ridge on the right.

Looking down the west ridge
Looking down the west ridge

After Point 7536, we followed a drainage down into Red Elephant Creek, where a road bisects some private property. This is the northern edge of the fenced property we circled in the morning.

When we got back to the car, we were pretty tired. But it had been a classic Grand Tour on a great spring day. Hopefully, this will give Dave something to dream about as he does Dad-duty and misses the rest of the spring season.

Dave's trip report

Looking down the west ridge

Mr. Natural Home | 2008 | Back to top of page | Questions :: e-mail to splattski