Ascent of Borah Peak on 2012-08-17

Climber: Kelsey Backen

Others in Party:Brian Olson
Date:Friday, August 17, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:4x4 Vehicle
Peak:Borah Peak
    Elevation:12662 ft / 3859 m

Ascent Trip Report

Brian and I met up early in the morning (3:30) in Eagle ID for the ~4 hour drive to Borah. The drive was uneventful, though the smoke from the nearby wildfires were making the sky dirty, so much so we could only make out the mountains we were on our way to climb when we finally stopped at the trail head. We hoped the visibility would improve as we ascended, but that wasn't the case.

We began hiking around 9:30. This was my first time up so I didn't know what to expect and just put my head down and went. I was conscious of not leaving my partner and would insert a slight pause every 5 minutes or so to narrow the gap. I didn't realize that the pace I was setting him up to red line. As we hiked the ridge-line that approaches "Chicken Out Ridge" the gaps between my pauses were getting greater. I attributed it to the fact that I was setting my sights on "reeling in" the other hikers that were up ahead. By the time we hit Chicken out, there was a big gap and I could tell he wasn't hiking as fast. I waited for him, we regrouped for a second and then carried on.

This was Brian's second time up to Borah and we ended up taking a different route, which was not over Chicken out, but actually under it on the N side, leading us to traverse the loose and gravelly portion under the saddle that joins the ridges leading to Borah and Sacajawea. We rejoined the trail and continued on. The final ascent of Borah is potentially the stiffest gradient of the hike and facing that led Brian to tell me that he was going to take it easy. I suggested that he just relax there and regroup so we could head on to part 2 of our objective (Mt Sacajawea) once I got done making Borah. He insisted that we would meet up at the top and I took off.
From that point I continued playing the "catch as many as I can" game, which allowed me to reach the summit in no time.

From trail head to summit was 3:20 min, but I think I would have easily been under 3 if I would have really been racing. I snapped one picture of the Lost River Range to the east (my future objectives) and had a bite to eat while waiting for my partner to meet up with me and begin the next part of our journey.

See part 2, click here

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:5262 ft / 1603 m
    Grade/Class:Class 3
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Nights Spent:0 nights away from roads
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Overcast
Poor visibility due to large wilderness fires in area
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:5262 ft / 1603 m
    Distance:3.5 mi / 5.6 km
    Route:Main Hiking Route from trailhead
    Start Trailhead:TH  7400 ft / 2255 m
    Time:3 Hours 20 Minutes
Descent Statistics

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