Borah Peak, day 2
Trip Start Mar 02, 2011
192Trip End Oct 14, 2011
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Where I stayed
I woke up to a cloudless sky. It looked like it was going to be a good day for climbing. I ate breakfast, loaded my backpack with the bare minimum and headed for the summit of Borah Peak.
The climb immediately above the treeline at 9,800 feet where I had camped is fairly steep. It eventually flattens out a bit at around 10,100 feet. The trail continues to climb slowly to Chicken-Out-Ridge at around 11,300 feet. The trail across Chicken-Out-Ridge is not well defined and you have to find your way as you scramble across the sharp ridge with significant exposure on both sides. I followed a group of people across the ridge who seemed to be finding a fairly good route. This part of the climb continues on for a few hundred yards and up for around 300 feet. At the end of Chicken-Out-Ridge you climb down about 15 feet to a short snow bridge that had a well-worn path in it.
After crossing the snow bridge the trail is relatively flat for a while. It then turns up sharply for the last 1,000 feet of vertical. I thought the first 2,700 feet had been bad but this part is even steeper. I kept on slogging up the trail and eventually reached the summit, my 44th state highpoint.
The climb down is nearly as difficult as the climb up due to the steepness of the trail. I hiked down the steep part, across the relatively flat section, crossed the snow bridge and climbed up onto Chicken-Out-Ridge. Unfortunately, there was nobody to follow and I had to find a route myself. I didn't find as easy a route as the people I had followed had found on my way up.
I eventually got across the ridge and walked back down to my campsite. I was tired, it was well into the afternoon and I still had a couple liters of water so instead of heading down today, which was my original plan, I decided to spend a second night on the mountain.