Miners Peak, Payette National Forest, Idaho

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On a cold but beautiful morning, John, Ruby and I headed down the South Fork of the Salmon River to climb a peak we had seen from many other angles over the last few years. As with most peaks in these parts, John had already climbed this one but it was back in 2014. Luck for me, John has a 7 year rule that if it has been 7 years since the last climb, it’s time to do it again! Check out John’s trip report here when available: http://www.splattski.com/2021/miners_peak/index.html

This is Ponderosa Country and these amazing trees were all around.

This time of year is controlled burn season. The forest service does controlled burns in areas like this to reduce the fire hazard later in the year. Without getting too deep into this, these forests were intended to burn fairly frequently. You can see in the images of the Ponderosas above that fire has charred their bases and they have no low limbs to catch fire. These forests are most healthy when the lower ground cover burns frequently and the Ponderosas tower above. The haziness in this image is from a nearby controlled burn which you can just make out the smoke source below the sun. Later in the day, the wind picked up and pushed the smoke out.

After a couple hours of climbing, we hit the snow.

Luckily the snow pack was cold today and was stable enough the climb without snowshoes. Can you pick out John climbing above me in these wide angle images?

At the top was a knife edge accent to the summit. What you can’t make out is that one slip to the right and its a 500 foot toboggan ride into the trees below!

Finally, 4000 feet of climbing later, the top!

John’s arm is surly sore today as it was literally 360 degrees of Name That Peak! After about 20 minutes, I gave up and went down for lunch with Ruby! Notice his power stance and yes, that is sweat on his shirt.

Finally, on the rapid decent back to the car, we had a coffee break! This one sponsored by Starbucks!

An amazing day of climbing!

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