Down East Peak

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Down East Peak is a wonderful climb with scenic approach and interesting ridge traverse.

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

After the IdahoSummits spring outing yesterday, Brett and I drove up the North Fork Wood River and set up camp. A few minutes later, Michael arrived.

The next morning we were moving early, but the river had risen about 1.5' since Michael checked on it last weekend. We lost a bit of time dealing with the flood waters, but were soon on the excellent trail and moving well.

Trailhead

The trail is excellent. Good tread. Nice views.

But even in the shade, it was already warm and sweaty.

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And more so when we started running out of trees.

No, that's not our peak.

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There it is, on the left. Impressive!

Michael had done his usual excellent research, and explained that our route would ascend the valley on the left, just in front of the final ridge.

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If you didn't notice in the previous photo, there is a great big waterfall. That is at about 9400'.

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Above the waterfall, we were on continuous snow as we bent left and headed up the valley. We had several conversations about the tracks of snow slides, but Michael and I agreed that his route was low risk today.

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The camera tends to flatten things out a lot. This is Brett nearing the ridge top. It's actually about 45° here.

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Once on top of the ridge, things were looking easy.

Except there are several interesting gendarmes, and the snow may have been covering the easiest way around them. Still, good fun.

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After several false summits. Only Class 3? Trailhead

The gully to the left of the top was actually really easy.

But alas, that wasn't the top. Dang false summits.

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But a short walk across another ridge and about 5' gain brought us to the summit. Trailhead

Michael dug through the cairn and found the register.

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Wonderful, amzaaing views up here. 360 degrees. Including a great view of from where we had come. Wow, that's a long way! Trailhead

We cruised back down the ridge, then did the drop into the valley. Deep slush.

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If you zoom in, you can see some glissade tracks. Trailhead

One last obstacle: the dreaded (and now even deeper!) creek crossing. I think the hardest part was GETTING TO the log.

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Map Trailhead

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