He Devil

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Our grand Seven Devils plan goes wrong, but Julie gets her devil.

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

The original plan was for us to summit He Devil as a group, then Julie would reverse tracks (sort of 'doing a Dan') while the rest of us traversed across She Devil and Mt. Baal to Tower of Babel. I was really excited about this, because it would be my fourth attempt on Babel. This time was for sure...

But Julie wasn't feeling real well, so she was moving a little slowly. Here she and Dave are a little behind the group. Julie wanted to walk with Dave because A) he was nice to her and B) she figured that if any goats were seen, he would be involved.

Miners Peak close-up

It was sort of smoky off to the west, and it was affecting our views all around as well. But we were soon going over Pass 2 on our way to Sheep Lake.

Trailhead
From Pass 2 to Sheep Lake involves following a series of ledges, some more generous than others. South Fork of the Salmon River

 

About halfway down the traverse, you start getting really great views of Sheep Lake. From the left, that's Mt. Baal, She Devil, and He Devil.

Miners Peak

The ledge system terminates in a heinous scree slope of about 300'. yuk

And we'll be back later.....

Ponderosa forest

There is a fisherman's trail that winds around the south side of Sheep Lake.

 

South Fork of the Salmon River

After going around the lake, one catches the real Sheep Lake trail to climb above. Then a short bushwack from that trail brings you to the saddle in the picture. I naturally opted for traversing the boulders to avoid losing elevation. Julie was feeling a little wobbly by this point, so it wasn't the fastest route. She's in the picture- click for a bigger version.

South Fork of the Salmon River

As we finished the boulders, we spotted the vanguard on the summit. It was dead calm, so we could hear Jamie laughing.

Highly zoomed- they are over 1000' above us.

South Fork of the Salmon River

We continued on and were soon on better footing atop the northwest ridge. Lots of lakes, and that's Hells Canyon in the background.

Ponderosa forest

And then we were on the summit. Note the smoke in the background.

He Devil actually has two high points about 30 yards apart and almost equal in height. So people have built this huge cairn to clearly establish which point is higher... and to eliminate the need to scramble to the second, scarier-looking point.

That's She Devil in the background. We assumed the rest of the group were already off the top and moving toward Mt. Baal.

Snowshoes

So it was soon time for us to head back.

Here you can see that the origin of all that smoke is not too far away.

Snowshoes

The shadows were gettng long, and the smoke made the lighting seem even later in the day. So we were moving with all the haste we could muster.

It was a long, slow crawl back to the lake, then even slower up the heinous scree and then across the traverse.

Ponderosa forest

As we crossed from Pass 2 to Pass 1, I redeemed myself for the never-ending hike. Sure enough, goats. We don't need that SuperDave after all!

One thing that really struck me about this trip was how much impact this area (and the 'secret trail' into SheepLake) has seen. When Art and I climbed He Devil back in 2001, there was hardly a trail around the lake. There were no cairns or sign of man on the northwest ridge of He Devil.

Ponderosa forest

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