Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Boulder Basin Road Trip, Boulder Mountains, Idaho

9/26 and 9/27/2015

Ridge East of Boulder Basin
Ben and I met Rick in Hailey and then drove to Ketchum. We had a large pizza at Wiseguy Pizza and then bought shirts at the Elephant's Perch. Ben liked the shirt with the winged elephant on the back. We then drove to the trail head for Boulder Basin right off highway 75 north of Ketchum. This is a popular destination for off road vehicles and mountain bikers. The road to the basin is often rocky and steep and provides enough of a challenge to make the journey interesting while riding an UTV or ATV. Rick brought his decked out Polaris RZR and a Honda Foreman 4X4. The plan was for me to take the Honda up while Ben rode with Rick in the RZR.  This was a first for both Ben and me. I had never really been on a four-wheeler and neither had Ben.

The RZR on the Way to the Basin
Rick and Ben on the Trail
We followed the road into the basin and up to the ghost town of Boulder City. Explored the ruins for bit and then continued up to the large lake.

Not Sure if the Lake has a Name, But it Lies Below Boulder Peak
Here the road/trail continues north above the lake or branches off to the west end of the basin. We took the road to the west end of the basin and decided to spend the night here. We set up camp and were discussing climbing the west ridge of the basin in the morning.

Looking Southeast From high up on the Western Slopes
Boulder Peak is Behind the Slope on the Right
Looking More to the East
 East Ridge From the West Side of the Basin

West End of the Basin

West End of the Basin
I Think this is Peak 11,041
Next, we made a decision to pack up again and see where the road that went above the lake went. Back on the machines, we headed down, over, and up. Set up camp and watched the moonrise and changing light. The total distance traveled was 6.25 miles

Boulder Peak From Camp

Camp Location
Last of the Light, Looking North From the Southern Slopes of the Basin
Moonrise Over East Ridge
The following shots are of the rising moon and changing light. This was a fun time to shoot. All the shots were made with handheld Sony DSC-RX100.

Eastern Ridge

Northern Ridge

Eastern Ridge

Eastern Ridge
Eastern Ridge
Eastern Ridge

In the morning I shot the southern ridge to the east of Boulder Peak and made a few shots of Boulder Peak.

Southern Ridge East of Boulder Peak, Morning Light

Southern Ridge East of Boulder Peak, Morning Light

Southern Ridge East of Boulder Peak, Morning Light

Boulder Peak, Morning Light 
Boulder Peak
We packed up and rode back to the trail head. After putting the Honda back on the trailer, we all got into the RZR and headed up the left fork of the trail to the southwest slopes of Boulder Peak. I wanted to check out the approach and get a good look at a possible route up the mountain. The distance to the mountain from the highway was about 4 miles.

Boulder Peak From Highway 75
Approaching Boulder Peak
Closer. I think going up between the two towers and then the ridge might be a good line.
We drove to the end of the trail and talked about climbing from this spot next summer. Drove back to the trail head, loaded up, and headed for Ketchum and lunch at the Kneadery. As always the Kneadery did not disappoint. We parted and headed home. We saw a lot of country in a short period of time. Having access to a 4X4 would certainly makes long approaches less tedious and allows more time for actual climbing. Will be using the Honda for more exploration in the Lemhis, Beaverheads, and Lost River Ranges.

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