Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Sawtooth Range

On the drive out west we spent a couple of days in South Dakota doing some sport climbing to break up the drive. We popped into a gear store, as we often do, to see what guidebooks they had and stumbled on Idaho: A Climbing Guide. It didn't take long for Kristal to decide we had to go check out the Sawtooth Range, and a month later we spent 6 days backpacking, scrambling and climbing in the area.

It's a beautiful range of mountains in central Idaho chock full of amazing peaks and alpine lakes.

We spent 2 nights camping beside the Saddleback Lakes and climbed 'Idaho's most famous rock climb', the Mountaneer's route up Elephant Perch.

We then moved camp up to Alpine Lake, where we spent a few more nights.

We spent a day scrambling along an awesome ridge, even bringing the stove to cook up some Mr. Noodles for lunch.

And enjoying some more great descending on steep snow slopes.

We saved the best for last, climbing Warbonnet Peak before heading out. Here is Kristal on the summit.

And some more great views from the top.

It's a beautiful area, and was well worth the effort of hauling all our stuff in, though my knees might disagree.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Rogers Pass

It's been a few years since we wrote a blog post, but we've continued to do a lot of traveling and climbing over the summer months. This year is no exception, and we once again loaded the car to head out west in search of mountains.

Like most of our trips, we don't really have a concrete plan or schedule, which allows us to be very flexible deciding where exactly to go and how long to stay. After visiting family in Alberta, we had a vague idea that we would make our way back to the Boulderfields in Kelowna, maybe spending a few days around Revelstoke along the way.

With the forecast calling for HOT weather throughout the Okanagan valley (up to 37 degrees C!), we decided to spend quite a bit more time camping and scrambling around Rogers Pass, escaping the heat by heading up into the mountains. Playing in the snow in July is always fun!

We spent a couple of nights camping in Hermit Meadows, which has a great alpine setting and a resident mountain goat that would hang around camp with us.

We scrambled up to Mount Rogers during our stay, which gave us some fantastic views.

After heading back down to Revelstoke, with no end to the heat in sight, we decided to head back up to the pass for another couple of days. We did a long scramble one day, linking up Mount Afton, Mount Abbott and The Rampart. It was quite the contrast from the clear blue skies of a few days earlier. The air was thick with the haze from forest fires that were burning further west.

Here is Kristal early in the day, during our approach along Afton ridge, with Mount Afton, Mount and Abbott and The Rampart in the distance.

And here she is scrambling up Mount Abbott, with Afton behind, and the base of Sir Donald just barely visible in the distance.

  And here is the super cool and exposed ridge leading up to The Rampart.

You can actually continue the scramble we did to make a cool traverse of several more peaks with an overnight stay in an alpine hut. We've definitely added it to our list of things to come back to!