Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Idaho - "Why are you here?"

"Why are you here?" and "Where are you from?" are the two common questions we've received several times over the past 3 days here in Arco, ID.  Why?  Because there's really not much here besides Craters of the Moon, EBR-I and Borah Peak.  The reason we are here...to climb Borah Peak, the highest peak in Idaho at 12,662ft.

So let's get right to it and show you Borah Peak.  It doesn't look so bad...right?

The summit is only 4 miles (approx.) from the trailhead (8 miles round trip - piece of cake compared to the 16 miles we just did on South Sister).  Ha!  Not so much!  In that short 4 miles there is an elevation gain of 5,262ft. (I'll let you do the math.  It equals STEEP!)  I always read up about the mountain before we attempt our climb and let's just say I've been a little nervous about this one for the past 2 months ever since I heard about "Chicken Out Ridge" (COR).  Sometimes people tend to exaggerate a bit on things in these summit posts but let's just say they are right on about this one.  Many people turn around at COR and this was definitely in my mind from the minute we laid eyes on it.  I thought ''are we crazy?"  The climb up to COR was no piece of cake either.  It was steep (did I mention that before?!), lots of rocks and then some crazy climbing before even getting to the bad part.  At one point, on the start of COR, I sat down, stared at the mountain and thought, "is this really worth it?"  But then I gave myself a pep talk, looked at my encouraging husband and got up and crawled my way through the craziness!  Notice, my hands are firmly gripped on the rocks while Tom is able to pry his off the rocks to take a few pictures.
"Chicken Out Ridge"

After 5.25 hours of climbing, whimpering (me, not Tom) and wondering what the heck we were doing on this mountain...we summited!  This is our 9th highpoint of the US!

Becky, Tom Bennett, his dad Jack Bennett and Tom
Jack is turning 70 in a few months and has summited all 50 high points.  Borah was #46 on his 2nd round of summits!  Today they were beginning their climb on Granite Peak in Montana.  What an inspiration!  You are never too old!  Way to go!
it was a beautiful day on the summit so we had lots of time to spend with the others who made it to the top 

The one harsh reality of climbing mountains is the top is only half way and there was no option to chicken out on COR going this direction!  Thankfully, we made it safely (besides a few gray hairs I'm sure) and 10 hours after our start we were back at the Jeep (5.25 hours up, 40 minutes on top and 4 hours down).  Woo hoo!

Arco, Idaho - Although our main purpose was to climb Borah Peak, we did spend a little time checking out the few sights in the area.  Craters of the Moon, ERB-I (Experimental Breeder Reactor I) and the natural beauties of the area.

Since 1920 the graduating class of the Butte County High School as painted its graduation year on the hill behind town.  It's quite a sight to see driving into town but unfortunately we didn't get a good picture of it.
We are on our way to Yellowstone National Park for a week.  We are looking forward to our first visit to this park, lots of sights to see and I'm sure a few hikes as well.  :-)

Til next time...Happy Trails!

1 comment:

  1. It was great meeting you at Borah. We did summit Granite just 3 days later. The route was a bit more technical and exposed than COR but at no time did we need to use ropes (although VERY important to have good route finding skills and stay on route) so put it on your list!! It's worth the trip into that area just to see the crazy mountain goats. And talk about inspiration, at 42 I was the baby of the group with a 66 yr old, my dad at almost 70 and one member of our group 76 years old! Enjoy your travels and if ever in GA stop by and visit me at North Georgia Zoo.