Sunday, May 15, 2016

Trip Report: Meadow Peak (10.633), Lemhi Range, Idaho

Meadow Peak Summit Ridge
  • May 14, 2016
  • Team: Fred Wooley, Scout Troop 418
  • Summit: 
    • Meadow Peak
  • Route: East Face
  • YDS: Class 2
  • Total Elevation Gain: 2,690 feet
  • Total Miles: Approximately 5.5 miles
This May has been cool and wet. When the weather forecast predicted a small window of sun for the weekend, we decided to make the most of it by taking some scouts up Meadow Peak. I picked the mountain for its gentle class 2 east face with two large plateaus on the way to the summit. That way I did not have to worry too much about thirteen-year-old boys running around on a mountain and could just enjoy the hike.

To get there, head north on highway 28 up Birch Creek Valley. Pass the turnoff on the left to Mammoth Canyon and the turnoff on the right to Nicholia. Then take the left turn to Meadow Canyon. The road then continues west to the mountains. Just before dropping down into Meadow Canyon, hang a right up the hillside and then find your way to the large red something, perhaps a water tank. The red cylinder sits at the foot of the east side of the mountain. 

We drove to the mountain Friday after school and made camp near the base of the mountain. Driving across the desert, I was reminded of how massive and beautiful The Incredible Hulk is, I stopped and made some images of the mountain.

View of The Incredible Hulk driving in

View of The Incredible Hulk driving in
Once at the foot of Meadow Peak, some kids set up tents. A few laid out bags under the stars. Fred brought a few pounds of marinated turkey breast that he had recently butchered with several of the boys. He mixed this with several kinds of beans and spices to make an evening meal. 

The boys threw a football around and played kick the can as the evening light faded. I took this opportunity to make images of The Incredible Hulk to the south. I wandered around the base of Meadow Peak to get a good vantage and made the following images.

I also made an image of the Birch Creek Valley in the evening light from out campsite.

The route up Meadow Peak is straight forward. Head up the face and find the ridge to first plateau. Cross the flat and then continue up the steeper face of scree to the second plateau. During this scramble, the boys were thrilled to find Horn Coral. The abundance of intact horns made them picky as to which one they would keep. Most went home with a near perfect horn.

The summit sits about 600 feet beyond this second open space. The most obvious route to the top is the ridge on the south end of the peak.

Two scouts approaching the southeast ridge
Matthew Erikson and Cameron Ricks below the summit ridge

The Summit Ridge

Meadow Peak is not a photogenic mountain. Its two wide intermediary plateaus set the summit far back from the foot of the mountain. To photograph the entire mountain one must be a considerable distance to see the actual summit. Although the south face is dramatically punctuated with dizzying cliffs, the east face is unremarkable. I think most climb Meadow Peak not for its aesthetic qualities but for the views to be had on the top. This day the views did not disappoint. 

Neil Clifford, Cameron Ricks, Ben Prescott, and Matthew Erikson on the summit looking north
Cameron Ricks and Matthew Erikson on the summit ridge
Bell Mountain with Meadow Peak's snow covered ridge in foreground
Bell Mountain and Peak 10,720+ (The Clapper) on the left

Saddle between Peak 10,720+ and Bell

Several point-release and one slab avalanches on the northeast face of Bell

Bell Mountain
One final image of the trip is of the north face of The Brow. I have an interesting connection to The Brow. While coming off the northeast ridge on my way to Lame Jake, I experienced my first real-time avalanche off the north face. The memory of the slide slamming into rocks below and exploding into the air was an incredible sight and a reminder of how powerful even small avalanches can be. Anyway here is the impressive north face of The Brow.

The Brow, north face

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