Member Trip report
Climbing Peak 10,451, Boulder Mountains
Trip Report/Photos from Mountainrabbit
Nobody pays much attention to the unnamed peak 10,451. Perched on the shoulder of 11,000 foot Galena Peak, one of the most-climbed in the state of Idaho, my little peak likely sees only a few ascents a year. It lies in the Boulder Mountains north of Sun Valley. As I have climbed most of its prominent peaks, I regard the Boulders as my personal mountain range. I set out for the summit in hazy moonlight, hustling against a snowstorm that was expected to hit by midday. I worked up 10,451's west ridge, crossing several abandoned logging roads. The snow at low altitude was crusty and refrozen from a recent warm spell, but it grew soft and deep above 9,000 feet. After breaking above treeline, the snow was hard and windswept, requiring crampons once I was on the steepest part of the ascent. I kept out a sharp eye for signs of avalanche danger, as several have been reported in the area. I arrived at the summit in the nick of time. Dark clouds had been advancing from the west all morning, and by noon, the Sawtooth, Boise, and Smoky Mountains were obscured by falling snow. I got a five minute reprieve on the summit to snap a few pictures of the surrounding peaks, before the Boulders, too, were slammed with heavy snow and a howling gale. I pulled up my hood to fend off the stinging spindrift that rose in turbulent streamers above the barren ridgeline, and made my way down. The low elevation forests were oddly calm, with chickadees and squirrels foraging in the Douglas-firs as a light snow fell. But the high summits were lost in the clouds, and I could hear the distant wailing wind. It was, in all, a classic winter day in the Rockies.
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