Ascent of Boundary Peak on 2010-07-26

Climber: Boyd Harter

Others in Party:Gwen
Date:Monday, July 26, 2010
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Boundary Peak
    Elevation:13140 ft / 4005 m

Ascent Trip Report

Sunday morning Gwen and I packed away our black tie clothes, had brunch with the wedding party and their families, and then proceeded to drive to Boundary Peak. We were in San Francisco for Mike and Alexia's wedding. It was a beautiful drive to the Boundary Peak area. As we approached it was easy to see the peak standing well above us. We had rented a 4-wheel drive to navigate the dirt road up the abandoned Queen's Mine area where we would camp. The dirt road was in okay shape. We were fortunate that it was dry. Parts would have been difficult if it had been muddy. The road has some large rocks and narrow turns. You will need at least a high clearance vehicle. Also the plants close-in on the road. This makes for the appearance of it being tighter than it really is. And this area is remote. We live on the east coast and do not see "remote" that is anything like this. You need to bring with you everything you need. There are no stores, restaurants, gas stations for many many miles. Bring a lot of water. It is cheap and you can never bring too much (in your car).

We camped at the mine. We had the place to ourselves. It was beautiful (in a stark way) but there was also an eeriness to it that I won't forget.

On Monday we started the hike around 7am. We used the trail descriptions found on this site and others. We started by walking the remainder of the dirt road. This comes to a clear end. Then we turned onto a trail that heads in the direction of Boundary Peak's base. When joining this trail you are in a wide open area, no trees, and easy site lines to your goal. After a couple hours of hiking you get to the base of what is obviously your "climb". The pitch of your walk now grows steeper. The trail is difficult to see as it winds up the scree fields of the peak. But have no fear. The trail is very easy to see beneath your feet as you walk. It is only difficult to see it if you look further ahead. Also, at this point you can no longer see the peak. The mountain's pitch and fake summit make that impossible.

For the next few hours expect to climb the awful scree fields. You will need to find the right place mentally. It isn't pleasant but it isn't as bad as you may imagine. It is more like 3 steps forward, 1 step back. Eventually the scree makes way to large rock boulders under foot. At this point there is no trail. You self navigate to the peak. The good news is tat you can see the peak. If you are confused just make sure each step takes you "up". I imagine it could be difficult on a foggy, cloudy day. At the top is an ammo case with a log book. We also found a small flag with "Boundary Peak" and the elevation printed on it. This was a nice surprise and we used it in our pictures from the summit.

We did have a storm rolling in so we did not linger. The entire climb is exposed rock/scree. It would be dangerous to be up there in a storm. Going down was relatively quick. Hard on the knees since you are basically boulder hopping until you hit the scree fields.

We ran into only 2 people on the mountain. This is probably a lot for a Monday. Needless to say each of those we met were High-pointers. One of the individuals likened Boundary Peak to Idaho's highpoint. Never having been there I cannot comment.

I suspect that I am one of few, but I really enjoyed Boundary Peak. The remoteness, scree fields, and relatively easy / quick day made the climb enjoyable. It is remote. And be aware that there are no services anywhere nearby so be prepared. We had to drive for perhaps and hour or two before we even picked up a cell signal (but that could be more a reflection of AT&T than the remoteness of the area).

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:3940 ft / 1200 m
    Route:Queen's Mine
    Trailhead:Queen's Mine  9200 ft / 2804 m
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Exposed Scramble
    Nights Spent:1 nights away from roads
    Weather:Cool, Windy, Clear
Clear with storms approaching

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