Thursday, August 07, 2014

Climbing Umpleby Peak

Ben at the top of Umpleby

Ben in the cliffs of Umpleby near the top.

Ben and I decided to climb Umpleby Peak located north of Bell Mountain.  We read that the area was a good place to look for fossils and thought that a slow climb and a fossil search would make a good combination. We drove to Basinger Canyon from the Little Lost River Valley. Once into the canyon, we proceeded to the end of the road. The road is passable; We had no problem in my Subaru Forester.
We parked in a turnoff and found a trail that continued up the north side of the canyon.  The trail led to the end of the canyon where The Knoll and Umpleby stand at the ends of the box. The peaks are joined by a saddle ridge that encloses the canyon.

Umpleby Peak as seen from the entrance of Basinger Canyon
The hike to the end of the canyon was pleasant. The tail led through firs, aspens, and meadows. Many wild flowers were scattered along the way. The trail ended in a clearing at the foot of the two peaks. We rolled out our bags on the south of the clearing next to the trees. and played around until dark.

The clearing at the base of the peaks. We slept out on the left side of the clearing near the tree line.

We hiked the lower slopes, played pine cone baseball, and found our first fossil that evening. We found several Bristle Cone Pines in the rocks. I photographed one that evening and another the next day with Ben in the photo for scale.

The climb was mostly class 2 with a bit of class 3 climbing to reach the top peak. We found lots of horn coral including a full horn and several complete horns embedded in rocks. We found a few more kind of fossils which I will photograph and post for those interested in fossil hunting.

On top of Umpleby looking south. Bell dominates the skyline and Diamond Peak can be seen in the distance (center).

Near the top of Umpleby looking toward the Lemhi Valley. The Knoll is on the left.

The climb offers sensational views of Bell Mountain. The views begin with the north face and wrap around to the northeast as the climb proceeds.

Bell from Umpleby.

Looking north from Umpleby.
A final look at Bell and surrounding peaks.
Other Resources:

Tom Lopez Website:
Umpleby Peak

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