No Regret Peak


With tired legs, a winding clock, and some regrets, we bail on No Regret Peak.

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

It started off seeming easy enough. I had seen a trip report of this route on the now-defunct Also, I understood that Margo had climbed this *by accident*. The photos were intriguing, so Tom and Andrew agreed to give it a go. Here's the view from the trailhead... a little brushy, but not too bad so far.

That was a good thing, because my legs were already tired from yesterday.



Shortly after, it looked more like this. A lot more like this. There is an alleged trail in here somewhere, and we were actually able to follow it pretty well for quite a while.

Miners Peak

After a couple of miles, that trail no longer goes up the canyon, instead turning and heading uphill for the standard route to Donaldson and Church.

South Fork of the Salmon River

Well, at least the brush thinned out. Tom had walked down part of the upper canyon, so he remembered this first waterfall. There was a surprisingly large amount of water in the creek, so the falls were very pretty.

Miners Peak close-up
Then the canyon reared up and got steep. These pictures don't really do it justice, so pay attention to the splashing water to indicate the angle. Snowshoes
A couple more corners and we hit our first snow. It was pretty firm, which made for good walking. But the knowledge that the creek was a long way down under the snow and switching back and forth in the canyon kept us on our toes. Ponderosa forest
We all thought the cliffs looked like the "Stadium of the Gods" on Lost River. Ponderosa forest

But there were other things to look at.

I kept thinking the canyon would open up in 15 minutes. That turned into about two hours.

Ponderosa forest

And it was going to get steeper and narrower before it opened up.

Upper ridge and lookout
There were even some rock climbing moves required. Ponderosa forest
These guys must have known the moves. Ponderosa forest

The canyon DID eventually open up and lay back, just as the map indicated. But we were now about 5 hours into the climb. And with the rugged and loose nature of the canyon, we expected the descent to take at least as long.

So we stopped for a leisurely lunch. Click on the photo to see if you can find Tom and Andrew- this is big country.

Ponderosa forest

Looking the other way, this is the upper basin. The summit is up there somewhere, off to the right.

We only had 1400' to go, but it was late. And I, for one, was hammered. Instead of risking getting home at 3am, I voted to turn around.

Ponderosa forest
As expected, there were some challenges on the way down.
Ponderosa forest
This area was interesting. Andrew is actually walking on snow. But snow buried by recent rockfall. Ponderosa forest

Earlier I mentioned the hazard of walking on the snow. This picture by Andrew shows some of that hazard. Note that the perspective is a little skewed, but the running water should help figure the angle (steeply downhill).

Despite tired legs and sore feet, we made good time on the way down. I only did one dramatic faceplant, and the water wasn't much deeper than the top of my boot.

It was with regrets that we got so close but bailed. But I think this canyon might be the most spectacular place I've visited in the very spectacular Lost River Range.

Ponderosa forestAndrew Chiles photo

Home | 2014 | Back to top of page | Questions :: e-mail to splattski