Monday, May 30, 2016

Trip Report: Rust Peak (10.759), Lemhi Range, Idaho

Rust Peak
  • May 28, 2016
  • Team: Layne Hacking, Ben
  • Summit: 
    • Rust Peak
  • Route: Northeast Ridge
  • YDS: Class 3
  • Total Elevation Gain: 2,566 feet
  • Total Miles: Approximately 7.5 miles

Rust Peak is located just south of The Incredible Hulk which is located just south of Meadow Canyon. Heading north on Highway 28 Look for a sign on the west side indicating Rocky Canyon. This canyon will put you in a good position to access Rust Peak. If you come to the turn off to Meadow Canyon, you missed the turn. 

Driving in we saw several antelope. The Lemhis are indeed the place where the deer and the antelope play. Also, we enjoyed views of The Incredible Hulk, a  complex mountain that is finding it's way into my list of favorite Lemhi Peaks.

Low Clouds Over The Incredible Hulk
Rocky Canyon on the Left

The plan was to hike up Rocky canyon and climb a gully on the east face of the mountain. Once in the area, however, we adjusted our course to avoid dropping into Rocky Canyon and made for the northeast ridge. This made sense for two reasons. First, we could immediately begin to gain elevation and second the ridge looked to be relatively free from snow. 

We directed our course up the northeast ridge between Rust and Incredible Hulk hugging the southeast edge as much as possible. The rise was gentle. There were several short sections of easy class 3 scrambling along this ridge. For those not wishing to scramble up a few 10 foot walls, you could drop off the ridge to the west and bypass these short obstacles. The snow was patchy most of the way up this ridge. Leaving the tree line, we post holed up to the main line of the mountain. Now the snow was just the right depth and consistency. We could walk up a snow line with solid steps. When scree was crossed, it proved to be very forgiving, very little sliding back. 

Ben, Suki, and Layne Beginning the Line to the Top
Rust Peak is located between two of the Southern Lemhi classic mountains, Diamond and Bell. Understandably, the views were first rate. We were graced with a patchy cloud cover with constantly changing light. When the light changes minute to minute, the show is wildly aesthetic. 

Suki enjoying the view of Bell Mountain
The views of The Incredible Hulk stole the show much like it did on the trip up Meadow Peak a few weeks ago. Here are a few photos of TIH.

The Incredible Hulk From Rust Peak

The Incredible Hulk From Rust Peak

The Incredible Hulk From Rust Peak
Near the top, we scrambled up a short snow gully that appeared to be close to the summit. The false summit gave way to a narrow ridge heading south to the top. I hung behind to get some photos of Ben and Layne.

Ben and Layne and the Summit

Ben and Layne and the Summit

Ben on the Summit
Ben on the Summit
Diamond Peak on the Left
Big Sister on the Right
The summit views provided more pieces to my understanding of the Lemhi puzzle. I have set a goal of standing on top of every 10,000+ Lemhi peak plus most of those that technically don't qualify as distinct peaks. From this view, I put together an enchainment plan to bag those peaks south of The Clapper. 

Little Sister (far left and behind), 10,737 rise of 317, 10,751 rise of 451, 10,722, 10,681 rise of 461

Big Sister and Little Sister
Lame Jake Peak, Diamond Peak, The Brow, and Rocky Canyon
Three views of the summit ridge of Rust Peak and The Incredible Hulk.

Umpleby on the far left

We spent a lot time on the summit. The rocks were warm and views were tremendous. Layne took out his binoculars and spotted a few goats, maybe a Billy. Ben, was able to take another animal off his bucket list. During our climb of Bald Mountain and subsequent foray up Skull Canyon, he knocked off a large herd of elk and six rams. Suki took a nap on top. It was a hard day's night and she was sleeping like a dog.

Suki Napping
We snacked and relaxed before packing up and heading down. Ended up going through some deep snow once we reached the tree line and slogged through with several short glissades between trees. Suki zonked out again once in the truck. She alternated resting her head on my or Layne's leg all the way home. We topped off the day with Cokes in Mud Lake.


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