Prescott Peak, Perspiration Peak, and Mount Inspiration

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This climb was made to honor Larry Prescott, who passed away on the shoulder of Perspiration Peak on October 29, 2016.

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My friend Larry Prescott passed away on October 29 very near the summit of Perspiration Peak from medical complications. This climb was made to honor him.

John, Michael, and I spent the night in Arco, then drove over early AM to meet Jeff, who had driven down from Salmon. We met at the turn-off to Coal Kiln Road at 8:15, then drove the good gravel road to the Coal Kiln overview.

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This was our view of the mountains we believe Larry intended to climb (but we didn't know the route he followed). It appeared that Perspiration and Inspiration formed the skyline at the head of the valley.

From there, we all piled into Michael's rig and were off. This part of the road is much rougher and today, a bit muddy.

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After a couple miles, the road gets a little sketchy. We parked and got on our feet at about 9am. It was around freezing. And not yet enough light for photos.

After a few minutes, we hit the actual end of the road. But an ATV track continues up the valley for some distance.

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The original plan called for walking up a chute at the end of the valley, but the Dear Tom Lopez book recommended leaving the ATV trail at 8000' and heading for a saddle on the north ridge, then following the ridge to Point 10546. Going this way would make more of an open loop, and on the map anyway, the ridge looked reasonable. A closer look at the ridge from the saddle left us wondering....

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From the saddle, Inspiration Peak looked, umm, interesting.

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As we proceeded up the ridge, it got steeper and we got onto some pretty firm snow, so it was crampon time. There were several gendarmes that gave us pause. It was hard to evaluate just how big and how steep that thing was.

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The snow was very thin, and sometimes non-existent. We got pretty good at taking the crampons off and on, but also did a fair amount of cramponing on limestone.

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A few areas required lots of caution. This route is more than a hike.

But we were having a ball, even if we were still not sure we would make it to the top.

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And it was hard to complain about the weather. Not a breath of wind. If anything, it was too warm, such that the snow was starting to soften a bit.

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Another step in the ridge.

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But while there is a top to this ridge, and we were focused on getting there, this ridge leads to a false summit.

There's Perspiration Peak, over there across the cirque.

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A little more ridge to go to the top of the ridge at Point 10546, now known as Prescott Peak. We believe that this was Larry's last summit.

Then we dropped down into a saddle (to the right in this photo) and were heading for the summit of Perspiration Peak.

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Someone had kindly posted on the Idaho Summit message board the GPS coordinates of the location from where Larry's body had been lifted (by helicopter). When we got there, just a few minutes from the summit of Prescott Peak, we paused to remember him with a few words and personal thoughts.

We did not build a cairn or leave anything, which is how I believe Larry would have wanted it.

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We did take this photo showing the spectacular view from that spot.

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And here, just behind John, is the actual summit of Perspiration Peak.

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So here's the gang on top of Perspiration.

We sat down in the snow and had lunch, resting our tired legs and marveling at the views.

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Before Larry passed, his goal was to climb this peak and a second, Inspiration. Our intent was to 'complete' his climb. There's Inspiration over there. Time to get moving.

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It's a surprisingly steep drop into the saddle (especially since we had elected to leave ice axes and crampons on top of Perspiration to cut weight). This is looking back at what we had just descended, but it doesn't look steep from this angle.

That's snowy Perspiration Peak taking up most of the picture.

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Then it was time to slug our way up the frozen talus of Inspiration.

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As we neared our second summit of the day, I think we were all feeling our legs, although Jeff a little less so.

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Lots and lots to look at. With a zoom lens, there's Mt. Borah.

But by now it was about 1:30, with a long way back to the rig. We retraced our steps down Inspiration, then back up Perspiration. Then we went back down to the saddle with Prescott Peak, but cut underneath it to head south.

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That's Prescott Peak on the right. The ridge below it made for good walking, but the egress to looker's right here, which would be the shortest way back to the car, was not promising.

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As we continued out the ridge, we finally found something that looked acceptable, and headed down. A caution, though: this gully was a little tricky, with weird snow conditions on steepening terrain, and then a dry waterfall way down low that we hadn't been able to see from above. Trailhead

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All in all, this was a great day, and we hope a worthy tribute to our friend Larry.

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