Black Lee Peak

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A new route up an old friend.

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Only one car in the Box Lake parking lot: black pickup with Washington plates. We put on our bright colors and headed up the hill. 5 or 10 minutes later we old guys overhauled them. Ruby barked, disapproving of the camo. They commented that if we were heading up, they were going back to the car. I'm not a hunter, but seems inappropriate to be starting your hunting day at 9:30 on a popular hiking trail, especially if you're that slow.

Not a lot later, we spotted today's target. Planning to explore a new route on rocky terrain that I had not seen. I wonder how this is going to turn out?

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The summit wasn't that important, really; it was a beautiful day with an adventure calling. Trailhead

And views. This is the valley we had been climbing. Sawtooth Peak and Snowslide Peak on the other side of the valley.

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Approaching the upper meadow. I knew about this meadow, but I had only seen it under snow. That red chute in the center looks like a good way up to the top of the ridge. Trailhead

But first, let's enjoy the meadow.

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Meadow wander. A Boy and his Dog (one of he weirder films you could ever see).

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At the top of the chute, we got a view of Payette Lake to the west.

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What looks like the lower point on the left is actually higher, just farther away. That's Yockwah Peak. Trailhead

Our route south along the west side of the ridge involved trying to follow a variety of benches. Up and down, back and forth, it was working for us. Or perhaps put more accurately, "working us."

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Occasional pauses for views. There's Ruby's beach!

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Slabalicious.

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More slab.

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Finally, the summit.

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Summit shot with the sandwich fill missing.

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The east side doesn't allow easy traversing. Trailhead
Views, views, and more views. Sawtooth Peak on the left. Trailhead
Sometimes referred to as Platt Peak. Trailhead
Gunsight Notch, just above Middle Fork Lake. Trailhead
My friend Art climbed the face of Snowslide Peak when he was young (and crazy). I've been searching for a good photo of it ever since. Here ya go, Art! Trailhead

Payette Lake, Little Payette Lake, and Blackwell Lake.

The smoke on the right is the Uncontrolled Burn at Bear Basin.

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We opted to try a different route down. It went pretty well for a while. Trailhead
We found a very steep chute through a cliff band. Look carefully and you'll find Tom in there somewhere. Trailhead

And just before we got back to the trail, a sniff of alder.

It was both flattering and gratifying to hear my brother say that he had tired legs.

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Map

Note: We didn't see any game. And we saw only one set of old elk tracks and no fresh scat at all. And when we returned to the parking lot, there were five cars there.

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