Grays Peak


Put a check on Michael's list for Grays Peak.

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

Although I had done Grays a couple times, Michael had not. So we were off to check it off his list.

We rolled out of Boise at 5am and were on our feet at 8am sharp. Partly sunny, upper 20s. No wind. We could not pull into the campground due to snow.

We decided to follow the ridge instead of the trail up Federal Gulch. I had been down this ridge, but not up it. And I had not climbed Gray's in snow.

Off in the distance
The lower ridge was mostly dry, so we walked on that as much as we could. The snow was solid, but so shallow that it wasn't strong enough to bridge the plants that lay underneath. Stolle Meadows

When the snow depth was sufficient, we took to the snow. Here, bridging was mostly strong and supportive. Mostly.

But excellent cramponing meant we were making good time up the mountain, despite lots of rubbernecking and peak naming.

Stolle Meadows

The clouds were rolling through, but mostly we had sunny skies.

It was nice to finally attain the upper ridge and be able to see our objective. Just 700' to go.

Cougar Rock

As we neared the top, the snow became a bit softer. We both noted that it is early in the season and there is not quite enough oxygen, resulting in "lead legs." Lead as in the element, plumbum, not lead as "in front."

Cougar Rock

We slowed considerably near the top, but still managed to maintain a rate of 1000'/hr. The smiles are here because it's now all downhill.

The skies were pretty clear and the views were correspondingly awesome.

Thunderbolt Mtn
Lots of talk on the IdahoSummits board recently about this one: Lost River Peak and its Super Gully. Winter camping?

These, too: Cobb, Hyndman, and Old Hyndman.

Winter camping?

We had discussed traversing across to Big Witch Peak, but when it came time to decide, we chose to head down Federal Gulch. Michael made it most of the way back to the car without snowshoes, but finally had to admit defeat and wear them the last 1/2 mile.

Trailhead sign

Mr. Natural Home | 2012 | Back to top of page | Questions :: e-mail to splattski