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Joined: June 18th, 2011, 7:00 pm

June 18th, 2011, 7:05 pm #1

Hey everyone. I'm planning to climb Leatherman via West Fork Pahsimeroi River route this coming Thursday. For anyone who has gone this way, would a Subaru Forester make it over this road? I made it to the Lost River Peak trail head a few weekends ago with absolutely no problem; is it a whole lot rougher than that?
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Joined: January 15th, 2008, 6:19 am

June 18th, 2011, 8:43 pm #2

I know people have done it in smaller vehicles but I wouldn't. That road is a miserable mess full of ruts and rocks. In fact I think driving the road is probably the crux of the whole trip. You might could do it but it would definitely be scary.
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Joined: January 15th, 2008, 6:19 am

June 18th, 2011, 8:46 pm #3

The road to lost river is cake compared to the WF Pahsimeroi.
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Joined: June 18th, 2011, 7:00 pm

June 18th, 2011, 9:46 pm #4

Thanks for the info, Matt. Have you (or anyone else) climbed the Sawmill Gulch side as well, how is that road? I assume that route shouldn't be too bad with snow on it. Unfortunately this is the best option of vehicles available to me, so if this doesn't work out I may change plans and do Mt. Breitenbach.
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Joined: January 15th, 2008, 6:19 am

June 18th, 2011, 9:52 pm #5

I haven't personally been on that road but I've heard that it's really nasty too. It's really steep but it's much shorter than the West Fork Pahsimeroi road.
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Dave
Dave

June 18th, 2011, 10:57 pm #6

Thanks for the info, Matt. Have you (or anyone else) climbed the Sawmill Gulch side as well, how is that road? I assume that route shouldn't be too bad with snow on it. Unfortunately this is the best option of vehicles available to me, so if this doesn't work out I may change plans and do Mt. Breitenbach.
You can get easily drive to the lower trailhead (7300') for Sawmill Gulch, just have to hike the road for a while. The west ridge climb is quite a bit more challenging than the Pahsimeroi side. Here my trip report from a couple years ago:

http://idahoalpinezone.com/index.php?p=2_5_Leatherman

I agree with Matt that a suby may not have enough clearance to get to the west fork trailhead.
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Joined: October 22nd, 2007, 1:35 am

June 19th, 2011, 3:33 am #7

Hey everyone. I'm planning to climb Leatherman via West Fork Pahsimeroi River route this coming Thursday. For anyone who has gone this way, would a Subaru Forester make it over this road? I made it to the Lost River Peak trail head a few weekends ago with absolutely no problem; is it a whole lot rougher than that?
I divide up the road into 3 parts, with increasing difficulty, based on several trips up it over the past few years.

(1) start to Mahogany Creek - just about any car with some clearance can make it easily.
(2) Mahogany Creek to split in W. and E. Fork roads - I took my 2wd Toyota Matrix once, and vow to never do it again because I bottomed out 5 times. A fun and challenging drive, but not good on the car. Most difficult part is right after Mahogany Creek, where there are 2 options, neither easy. I prefer the left option, a steep hill, rather than the rutted and muddy low angle option to the right.
(3) Split to trailhead - high-clearance is a must unless you don't like your vehicle. Even then, it's a tough, slow drive. Key is to take the low angle bypass that is a left turn shortly after leaving the split. It avoids a steep, muddy section.

My suggestion if you don't have ski gear is to park the Forester at Mahogany, unless it's an old car you don't care much about. Bike from there to the trailhead. It's as fast as driving, and more fun. Save weight by biking with little water, and fill up once at the trailhead. If you have ski gear, my suggestion is to not go unless you have a moderately high-clearance vehicle and park at the split. Bike from there. It's faster than driving.

As for conditions on Leatherman now and your planned trip on Thursday. Keep in mind that the warmest temps of the year are being forecasted for Wednesday, and that will severely affect snow conditions. I never like to do any spring snow trips around the warmest days of the year to that point.

This was my 4th consecutive year of skiing Leatherman in June. By far the most snow this year. We switched from shoes to skis just before the 2nd creek crossing. Conditions on the mountain were fantastic for skiing. Boot top powder for the upper 800' of vertical, a short section of styrofoam snow, and then 2000' of perfect corn. I've had great conditions in previous years, but this was the best. We hit the weather window with a sunny morning followed by high clouds that kept the corn in prime shape for both of our 2 runs.

Some pics:





















Grilling (brats):

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Joined: June 23rd, 2010, 10:16 am

June 19th, 2011, 6:57 pm #8

Hey everyone. I'm planning to climb Leatherman via West Fork Pahsimeroi River route this coming Thursday. For anyone who has gone this way, would a Subaru Forester make it over this road? I made it to the Lost River Peak trail head a few weekends ago with absolutely no problem; is it a whole lot rougher than that?
Hey Andrew i was thinking of doing Leatherman my self not this Thursday but next Thursday June 30. If you want a climbing partner let me know. jacobrobinson@hotmail.com
Im still not 100% sure if im going yet but am looking into doing it as of right now. I may even do another 12er on Friday July 1st maybe Mt Breitenbach or Idaho.

Jacob R.
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Ryan S
Ryan S

June 20th, 2011, 9:20 pm #9

I divide up the road into 3 parts, with increasing difficulty, based on several trips up it over the past few years.

(1) start to Mahogany Creek - just about any car with some clearance can make it easily.
(2) Mahogany Creek to split in W. and E. Fork roads - I took my 2wd Toyota Matrix once, and vow to never do it again because I bottomed out 5 times. A fun and challenging drive, but not good on the car. Most difficult part is right after Mahogany Creek, where there are 2 options, neither easy. I prefer the left option, a steep hill, rather than the rutted and muddy low angle option to the right.
(3) Split to trailhead - high-clearance is a must unless you don't like your vehicle. Even then, it's a tough, slow drive. Key is to take the low angle bypass that is a left turn shortly after leaving the split. It avoids a steep, muddy section.

My suggestion if you don't have ski gear is to park the Forester at Mahogany, unless it's an old car you don't care much about. Bike from there to the trailhead. It's as fast as driving, and more fun. Save weight by biking with little water, and fill up once at the trailhead. If you have ski gear, my suggestion is to not go unless you have a moderately high-clearance vehicle and park at the split. Bike from there. It's faster than driving.

As for conditions on Leatherman now and your planned trip on Thursday. Keep in mind that the warmest temps of the year are being forecasted for Wednesday, and that will severely affect snow conditions. I never like to do any spring snow trips around the warmest days of the year to that point.

This was my 4th consecutive year of skiing Leatherman in June. By far the most snow this year. We switched from shoes to skis just before the 2nd creek crossing. Conditions on the mountain were fantastic for skiing. Boot top powder for the upper 800' of vertical, a short section of styrofoam snow, and then 2000' of perfect corn. I've had great conditions in previous years, but this was the best. We hit the weather window with a sunny morning followed by high clouds that kept the corn in prime shape for both of our 2 runs.

Some pics:





















Grilling (brats):

Once again Jim, your photos always amaze me. That layered shot of the backside of Church/Donaldson never ceases to amaze.

New skis? Looks like someone might have joined the rocker club
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Joined: October 22nd, 2007, 1:35 am

June 20th, 2011, 10:38 pm #10

Hard to not take good photos with amazing scenery like that.

I gave a conditions report to some young guns from SLC who are interested in Bad Rock / Church, so hopefully there will be a TR soon from them.

The person in those photos is my friend Dave. Fattish skis, but I don't think they are much rockered.

I'm on K2 Mt. Baker Superlights for my AT set up. Rarely are there photos of me in action. Here are a couple taken recently by my friend Aaron:







Still getting used to having my heels locked down, but it's coming along.

My ski season will be taking a temporary break over the next few weeks. Hoping to get back at it in mid-July when the lakes thaw for some fishing + skiing outings.

Only thing I didn't get to do this year that I had hoped was Hayden Peak. Weather was a challenge to work around, and then I spent 3 weekends in the LRR. Hope someone got after it.

Jim
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