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Ascent of Lem Peak on 2013-07-27

Climber: Ryder Irvine

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Saturday, July 27, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:4x4 Vehicle
Peak:Lem Peak
    Location:USA-Idaho
    Elevation:10985 ft / 3348 m

Ascent Trip Report

I gained access to this peak from the south, Allison creek road. You must gain permission to cross private ground, and pass through about 4 gates. The ranch owners didn't think I would make it up this late in the day, so I thought I would camp near the top. The first two gates were solid gates, on the private land. After the second solid gate, keep to the right at the fork, the left eventually comes back to the same road you are on, but is probably the lesser condition road. From the highway it is about 9 miles of slow going rough road. Be cautious, high clearance, 4x4 and very good tires are recommended. I managed to punch a rock through one of my tires on this road; the previous 3 sets of these same tire types I had never had a flat. If you are worried about scratches, don't drive up this road. Heavily overgrown, and more of a 4 wheeler trail now. I was able to drive to an elevation of 9415', in the bottom of the bowl. I arrived here about 6:15 PM and decided I could probably make the summitt yet tonight if I hurried. An old mining trail can take you farther up the saddle, an ATV could probably make it to the saddle. From the saddle head straight up to the east. I got myself into some harder class 3 stuff, but only because I chose the wrong route. There is a knife edge you will go up, try and stay as close to the top of the knife edge as you can. The right side appeared to be better. Trying to get below will just lead to a more challenging climb, and backtracking.
I saw two ram sheep on the top, watching me approach on the entire climb. The storm clouds, late day and class of rocks almost had me turn back twice, but I kept going. I obtained a nasty gash to the back of my left calf. Once you pass the knife edge, the climb gets rather easy to the summit. There is a register, and a couple signers indicated they had come up from the north side, Bear Valley Lakes. This is another approach option.
On the way down, I was in some light hail, but no thunder. Clouds were moving in fast so I thought I better hurry down before dark. If I could get to the saddle, the trail hike would be easy. I enjoyed a nice sunset as well. Back to the truck at 9:30, almost dark, ready to set camp. Only one problem, one of my tires looked low. I started the truck and my tire pressure warning light was on. I had to start down the mountain at this time, knowing my spare would never hold up to the rough road below. I had to move while I still had air in the tire. I went down, through the 3 or 4 gates, and out to the highway. I felt bad for going back through the ranch so late, (around 11pm) but had no choice as I had to get to better ground to get the tire changed. Sorry to the ranch owners for this. I got down to the highway, and pulled off on a pullout and changed the tire in the dark along side the road. Tire was changed just before midnight. This being a Saturday night, I knew I would not be able to get the tire fixed until Monday. This changed the rest of my plans for the next few days. I headed towards Salmon again and then up the mountain towards Taylor Mountain. I was going to have to keep to good roads without a spare.


Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1580 ft / 481 m
    Total Elevation Loss:1580 ft / 481 m
    Round-Trip Distance:3 mi / 4.9 km
    Grade/Class:Class 3
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Scramble, Exposed Scramble
    Weather:Drizzle, Pleasant, Calm, Partly Cloudy
Light hail on descent
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1575 ft / 480 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 1570 ft / 479 m; Extra: 5 ft / 1m
    Loss on way in:5 ft / 1 m
    Distance:1.5 mi / 2.4 km
    Route:Trail, scramble
    Start Trailhead:Bowl  9415 ft / 2869 m
    Time:1 Hours 40 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:1575 ft / 480 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 1570 ft / 479 m; Extra: 5 ft / 1m
    Gain on way out:5 ft / 1 m
    Distance:1.5 mi / 2.4 km
    Route:Scramble, trail
    End Trailhead:Bowl  9415 ft / 2869 m



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