Slab Butte

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Slab Butte was Julie's dream.

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

I had done Slab Butte before, but after almost 10 years, it was all sort of foggy.

Julie, on the other hand, had worked up in this area almost daily the summer of '13, for the Forest Service doing what I referred to as 'counting sheep'.

So this morning, Julie would be our guide. Here she lines us up and tells us how it's going to go down.

Miners Peak close-up

We wandered through the woods following a sheep trail, then into the meadows.

Trailhead
As we worked our way above the trees, the meadows give way to sheep-trampled dirt. Nice, eh? South Fork of the Salmon River

 

We had a shady lunch just above the lake, then proceeded up the hill. Tom worked hard to keep the difficulty low for Otis, who is recovering from a torn ACL.

Miners Peak
After carrying Otis up several sections, Tom finally gave up. The rest of us soldiered on up through the broken blocks. South Fork of the Salmon River

Our immediate goal was the white-colored dihedral just right of center.

I remembered coming down that with Art, but seemed to remember that after the slot, it was just a scramble.

South Fork of the Salmon River
It's more than a scramble. Jeff spotted Susan while I spotted Julie. Here Susan is either quite proud of herself for conquering the exposed portion, or she is simply glad to be alive. South Fork of the Salmon River

Here's the last, easier part of the ridge.

Ponderosa forest
Somebody thinks they are tough. Snowshoes

Our summit group.

As stated previously, Tom had to turn around to stay with the injured Otis. But it's no place for a dog, regardless.

Snowshoes

The climb had been pretty exposed, so during that time I had been looking for an easier way down. We were able to get down a series of ramps and then a loose gully, all on the West side.

On the way up, we had pretty much stayed right on the spine of the ridge (to "enjoy the view").

Snowshoes

After the last gully, we took a fairly flat traverse that brought us out just above the saddle on the south ridge.

Although our descent route was probably safer than descending the more technical rock on the ridge top, the girls said they loved the climb.

Ponderosa forest
From the saddle, we quickly descended through the fireweed and back to Tom, Otis, and the lake. Ponderosa forest

Julie wanted a hero shot showing the mountain.

Fun climb and absolutely gorgeous day.

Ponderosa forest

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