Idler Peak

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Idler Peak sits at the top of Idler Creek.

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

The Lake Fork campground was completely empty. And the FS had put a No Parking sign at the trailhead. What's up with that? So instead, I parked in front of the toity, which now seems like the only place you can park for free.

And was soon crossing the creek. Easy rock hop.

Trailhead

Really? It's 4 miles to Idler Creek?

It's getting harder and harder to tag my remaining highpoints around here. Well, better get going.

Trailhead

It's an easy walk up the East Fork, as the trail is groomed for mountain bikes. And in those 4 miles, it only rises about 400'.

The post in the middle of the meadow once held a sign. That would be the sign telling you it's time to cross the East Fork and find the Idler Creek trail.

Trailhead

This creek crossing is even easier. That's the East Fork flowing left to right, with Idler Creek coming straight at the viewer, out of the alder. The trail is off to the right a bit, just downstream.

Trailhead

Following the alleged trail might not be quite as easy as crossing the creek. But there is a trail, with occasional flagging and a few cairns. But the markers are few and far between, and it hasn't been cut out for at least five years.

Trailhead

Gorgeous fall colors.

Trailhead

More gorgeousness.

Trailhead

I was just about to where I needed to leave the trail when I realized I had lost it. Oh well.

Then began the uphill slog. Combine the uphill with some cliffs and some brush and and some deadfall and you have a challenge. But eventually I was looking down on the lowest Idler Lake.

Trailhead
Above the lake, I found some alpine terrain that provided good moving: bear grass and open fir trees. Trailhead

More Idler Lakes. There are quite a few of them (see the map below). That's Nick Peak in the background.

Trailhead

Then some more wandering along an upper bench. But wait... what is THAT?

(click for bigger version)

Trailhead

Another Idler Lake. Geez, these things just don't quit.

My bear grass cruising came to an end here. Note the blocky talus. Note the elevation change. I was tired, so getting to the top of this ridge left me panting.

Trailhead
Oh wait... there's today's first peak (in the way far background). Trailhead
A little closer. Now I just had to cross that somewhat suspicious-looking boulder field. To quote an old friend, "I didn't know they could stack boulders this high." Trailhead

A little fun scrambling on big-block Lick Creek granite, and finally, the summit.

The wind was blowing, so the chin strap was on.

Trailhead

Great views!

This is looking southwest. The right-most highpoint is Buck Peak, which is where I was last weekend with Fadgmo.

Trailhead
This is looking northerly, back down Idler Creek to where it meets the East Fork. Highpoints include (left to right) Sawtooth Peak, Tsum Peak, the Loons, and Fitsum Peak (among others). Trailhead
To the west: Little Payette Lake, Payette Lake, and McCall. Trailhead

And weather moving in. No time to be taking a bunch of photos.

I abandoned the idea of climbing the other two peaks on my list today. However, I wanted to check out a different route that I could use to get those two peaks at a later date. Time for a loop! Heading off for an unknown bushwack always causes a little trepidation. Especially with weather coming on.

The rain caught up with me about half way down Idler Creek, then stayed with me as intermittent drizzle all the way to the car. Each log was now wet and well lubricated, requiring some care and occasionally crawling under what I had hopped over on the way up. And the rocks in the creeks were also very slippery.

Trailhead
I like to think I move pretty quickly in the backcountry. But today was the IMTUF (Say it with me: I am tough) backcountry race. I asked him as he ran by, and he said he was about 50 miles into the 100 mile race. I M humbled. Trailhead

Map.

Trailhead

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