Solitaire Peak


It's a gem: Solitaire Peak is pretty high for December.

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

It's December. We should be skiing!

So we decided to make the best of the situation and draw a new line on my map by climbing the 117 trail to Diamond Ridge. NOAA was indicating a good day, the the snow map seemed to show very thin cover. And the Payette NF Trail map showed the trail had been cleared in June.

After driving the three-channel slot car road, it was still thin snow, and looked even thinner up high. So here we are, snowshoes in the truck, crunching the crust up the trail. Quite a few bare spots, and a lot of the trail is a motorcycle rut that would likely be snowshoe unfriendly. So about here we were thinking ourselves pretty smart. How's that for foreshadowing?


It doesn't take long before you start getting some views.

It takes a little longer before you get any sun.


More views, and intermittent snow.


A little closer, and you can see Blacktip Mountain and Lower Blacktip.


And finally, under full zoom you can see Blacktip itself.


But we're headed the opposite direction. Still intermittent snow. You can see the trail leading off into the distance, ready for more work.

Apologies for shooting directly into the sun.

Looking the other direction, and now you can see Upper Payette Lake. Trailhead
Frog Lake. Trailhead

The ridge had stayed pretty bare, but our guide had not considered the change of aspect. As the trail moved to the north side of the ridge, the snow got deeper, as proven by the almost constant application of the tibial snow depth gauge.

The little bump on the far right is today's goal.

From here, your photographer was struggling, so not many pictures. Also, we switched to the femoral snow depth gauge and occasionally even use the pelvic one.

Note that it was over a month ago at Anderson Lake that we swore that going forward we were going to carry snowshoes.


The camera came back out when we reached our summit.

That's Victor Peak on the horizon, with North Lake in the foreground. Anybody up for some outdoor curling? Trailhead
Somewhere in there is Storm Peak. Trailhead
Looking south at too many peaks to name. But on the left, you can see the 20 Mile Lakes basin, with snowy Dogslide Peak just left of center. Trailhead

You can also see how far we have to go to return to the truck. Better get going.

And more struggling ensued, so again, not many photos.

Gulo gulo? Trailhead
Map Trailhead

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