Hutton Peak & Fiddler Benchmark

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We bring in the new year with a lo-ong snowshoe in the Danskins.

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

We left town at 7am, hoping that it might be a bit warmer when we left the car. If -9° is warmer, it worked.

We started by following the moto trails up Willow Creek. I had ridden these a few times on my mountain bike, and remembered them as being pretty well established. What I didn't remember is the many creek crossing. These crossings were only lightly iced, so we could not cross them. This made for some interesting (and tough) sidehill bushwhacking in places, complemented by some willow wars in other places.

Climbing the ridge

But after a prolonged thrash, we realized we could simply head up. So up is what we did, seeking the sun.

C;ouds

By this point, our hard effort showed as frosty feathers on all our clothes and any exposed body hair.

And no, I had not fallen down.

Frost feathersSuperDave photo

It was much warmer in the sun. And the views were opening up to keep us entertained as we labored along on our snowshoes (although Erik took his off and swore it was easier).

Taking a break

It was a pretty good 2000+ foot grind to gain the ridge. Then we followed the ridge for a couple of miles. Now we were frequently stopping to identify peaks. And check the map. Where's that darn summit? There were plenty of false ones, for sure.

 

Summit

Oh, there it is!

Saddle

Summit of Hutton Peak. So named because it sits at the top of Hutton Creek drainage. We're all standing on the little rock that marks the summit. Not a lot of room.

There was a brisk wind adding to the low temperature (note the clothing, and the ice-encrusted soul patch). So we didn't tarry. Later we found a slightly-protected spot to sit and have a much-needed lunch.

Summit
After lunch, it was time to head over to Fiddler Benchmark. More punchy drifts to negotiate. A few more false summits. And there it is (I think). Summit
More false summits. The high point is... where else? the far end of the ridge! Summit

This is the view from the top looking over at Little Fiddler.

Then it was time to drop back down into Willow Creek.

Summit

We came down the main ridge from Fiddler, but then traversed a flattish table to get into Lambing Creek. We followed Lambing Creek back to upper Willow Creek, then started following the moto trails in Willow Creek. More willows, and they all seemed to be laying down across the trail. Some weren't willows, but some sort of bush with large thorns. Over, around, under, through. At one point, I got down on my knees and crawled.

Surprisingly, I was happy to finally find our tracks from the morning that told me we were about to start the gnarly sidehill bushwhack.

We made it within about a half mile of the rigs before I finally turned on my headlamp. When we started the car, the temperature was -1°. For some reason, Dave's driver's window decided it needed to be open a couple inches, so we drove back to Boise that way. Brrr.

SuperDave's trip report

Erik's trip report

Erik's video

Summit

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