Borah This weekend?

Borah This weekend?

Scott
Scott

September 7th, 2001, 3:53 am #1

I was planning a trip to Borah this weekend, but we called it off at the last minute, because the mountain got its first snow storm last night dumping 3 inches at 8,000 ft. I have a few questions about Chicken Out Ridge. Has anyone done it right after a snow storm? If so, what were the conditions like? Would you recommend doing the climb with some snow on the route? We are planning on doing it next weekend, so any answers would be appreciated. If anyone does summit this weekend, please post a report. Thanks.
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roger
roger

September 7th, 2001, 1:56 pm #2

I was also considering Borah in the next week but the snow has definitely scared me off so I will stick to attempting Kings Peak (I leave Saturday for Salt Lake City and will probably camp out Sunday and Monday nights).

The season's first snow on Wednesday/Thursday saw temperatures drop from the 90's (I was considering not going as airlines do not permit dogs to fly when the temp is above 85) to windchills in the teens. A weather advisory in Evanston, Wyoming during this period predicted snow at 7,500 feet and accumulations of six inches.

This first snow has alleviated some of the fire situation in Montana.

The weather of course should be warmer by the time I make my trek.

I've been monitoring the Utah websites and am amused by the state's trademarked claim to "The Greatest Snow on Earth." The claim: "dry, easy to ski type of powder -- never wet, always deep."

In any event, I will be away from the computer most of next week or when I do get around one it will be a slow connection. A good chunk of my news comes from trolling my news feeds. It would be appreciated if somebody could troll them and post anything that seems interesting. It's been a sort of personal goal to make this Forum the definitive record source of hiking/climbing news. I can't post full texts of news items because of the copyright police but I can post excerpts. Below are the most fruitful news sources:

http://americasroof.com/news-hiker.shtml
http://americasroof.com/news-climber.shtml
http://www.nps.gov/morningreport/
http://americasroof.com/news-everest.shtml
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Dan
Dan

September 7th, 2001, 2:04 pm #3

I was planning a trip to Borah this weekend, but we called it off at the last minute, because the mountain got its first snow storm last night dumping 3 inches at 8,000 ft. I have a few questions about Chicken Out Ridge. Has anyone done it right after a snow storm? If so, what were the conditions like? Would you recommend doing the climb with some snow on the route? We are planning on doing it next weekend, so any answers would be appreciated. If anyone does summit this weekend, please post a report. Thanks.
Oh, bad move on cancelling... that snow will probably be gone by noon today.

No personal experience climbing Borah in the snow, but I just asked a guy in the office that climbed it in October (with 6 inches of snow on the ground). He said it actually made a lot of the hike easier, because the combo of snow and loose rock made for pretty good footing, especially on the way down. He did say it made the climbing on chicken-out ridge a little more nerving on the way down, as you could not get enough friction on the rock.
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John M
John M

September 7th, 2001, 3:18 pm #4

I was planning a trip to Borah this weekend, but we called it off at the last minute, because the mountain got its first snow storm last night dumping 3 inches at 8,000 ft. I have a few questions about Chicken Out Ridge. Has anyone done it right after a snow storm? If so, what were the conditions like? Would you recommend doing the climb with some snow on the route? We are planning on doing it next weekend, so any answers would be appreciated. If anyone does summit this weekend, please post a report. Thanks.
This coming issue of the newsletter, I intend to run a photo of Chicken Out Ridge in the winter, which a friend of mine did. More snow may be better than just a dusting. The footing might be slick otherwise.
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Peter Anderson
Peter Anderson

September 7th, 2001, 8:07 pm #5

I was planning a trip to Borah this weekend, but we called it off at the last minute, because the mountain got its first snow storm last night dumping 3 inches at 8,000 ft. I have a few questions about Chicken Out Ridge. Has anyone done it right after a snow storm? If so, what were the conditions like? Would you recommend doing the climb with some snow on the route? We are planning on doing it next weekend, so any answers would be appreciated. If anyone does summit this weekend, please post a report. Thanks.
I've been on Borah twice on Memorial Day weekend, but not during September. My first Memorial Borah trip included 'winter snow pack;' no problems summitting. A couple years later my second Memorial Borah trip occurred with 8 inches of new snow, on the winter snow pack. By the time we reached 'the top of' Chicken-Out Ridge, we decided to call-it-a-day. There was time to charge ahead, but we decided to return with plenty of daylight. While on Chicken-Out Ridge, we helped a member of another group get back down a portion of the ridge. This person was having numerous problems due to the snow-covered rocks. My 'moral of the story?' The snow cover may cause you problems, depending on your knowledge, skills, and experience with the conditions encountered. If you "go for it," be safe. The mountain will be there next year, and the next, and the ...
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Tim Townsend
Tim Townsend

September 8th, 2001, 12:23 am #6

I was planning a trip to Borah this weekend, but we called it off at the last minute, because the mountain got its first snow storm last night dumping 3 inches at 8,000 ft. I have a few questions about Chicken Out Ridge. Has anyone done it right after a snow storm? If so, what were the conditions like? Would you recommend doing the climb with some snow on the route? We are planning on doing it next weekend, so any answers would be appreciated. If anyone does summit this weekend, please post a report. Thanks.
We tried it last year over Labor Day wkend during a snowstorm. We turned around way before the ridge. We returned this year over the Labor Day weekend and summitted OK, as did 60-75 others.

The cliff portion was dry and climbable without ropes, but it required a step or two of 'blind' down-climbing. One misstep and it would have been compound fracture time or far worse. I wouldn't do it without gear if it were wet, and am glad we had rope and training do handle this brief bit even when the rocks were dry.

I've read many comments dismissing the apparent danger of this peak, but these sentiments probably encourage some unprepared people to try Borah. "Nobody told us THIS would be here," said one 6-mo. pregnant woman upon seeing the cliff. With afternoon storm clouds forming above the peak, another late-arriving group we passed on a tricky part of the Ridge had both a newborn riding (at 11,500'?!) in dad's backpack AND an uncollared dog accompanying them. I feel sorry for the rangers, who must see these disasters-in-waiting all the time.

Given the numbers of people accessing this peak, I think a short section of ladder-like guide cables would help. I've used similar cables on Half Dome and on the switchbacks on the Mt. Whitney trail. If others concur, I'd like to see the Club offer funds and labor to help the Forest Service install such equipment.

My apologies if this subject has been beat to death in the Forum already, but I wished to weigh in on the topic while the memory of our trip was fresh.

Tim
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Dan
Dan

September 8th, 2001, 1:01 am #7

A cable ladder on an Idaho peak, hmmmm... I'd give it a life expectancy of 2 weeks. You have to realize that this is a state of purists and loners. The later group that would associate that ladder with more people. Hell, they can't even keep toilet paper in the bathroom at the trailhead. Though the new signs were a nice site.
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Paul Burkholder
Paul Burkholder

September 8th, 2001, 1:44 am #8

We tried it last year over Labor Day wkend during a snowstorm. We turned around way before the ridge. We returned this year over the Labor Day weekend and summitted OK, as did 60-75 others.

The cliff portion was dry and climbable without ropes, but it required a step or two of 'blind' down-climbing. One misstep and it would have been compound fracture time or far worse. I wouldn't do it without gear if it were wet, and am glad we had rope and training do handle this brief bit even when the rocks were dry.

I've read many comments dismissing the apparent danger of this peak, but these sentiments probably encourage some unprepared people to try Borah. "Nobody told us THIS would be here," said one 6-mo. pregnant woman upon seeing the cliff. With afternoon storm clouds forming above the peak, another late-arriving group we passed on a tricky part of the Ridge had both a newborn riding (at 11,500'?!) in dad's backpack AND an uncollared dog accompanying them. I feel sorry for the rangers, who must see these disasters-in-waiting all the time.

Given the numbers of people accessing this peak, I think a short section of ladder-like guide cables would help. I've used similar cables on Half Dome and on the switchbacks on the Mt. Whitney trail. If others concur, I'd like to see the Club offer funds and labor to help the Forest Service install such equipment.

My apologies if this subject has been beat to death in the Forum already, but I wished to weigh in on the topic while the memory of our trip was fresh.

Tim
Why don't we just pave a trail to the top. Seriously, this is a mountain, not an amusement park. We don't need to "improve" it so that it is safe for the lowest common denominator.
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Big Oil
Big Oil

September 9th, 2001, 12:32 am #9

I was planning a trip to Borah this weekend, but we called it off at the last minute, because the mountain got its first snow storm last night dumping 3 inches at 8,000 ft. I have a few questions about Chicken Out Ridge. Has anyone done it right after a snow storm? If so, what were the conditions like? Would you recommend doing the climb with some snow on the route? We are planning on doing it next weekend, so any answers would be appreciated. If anyone does summit this weekend, please post a report. Thanks.
Climbed Borah last month. 12 hrs 5 min round trip. did not have to deal w snow though. Nor would I want to on that mountain. The trail is UNRELENTINGLY STEEP. Cut your toenails. IF there is snow take an ice ax and some rope. I did not need one at that time. There is some/a little class 3 climbing that would be tricky if the rocks are wet. Also take thin gloves as there are some sharp rocks to contend with too.
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Danny
Danny

September 9th, 2001, 3:40 am #10

I was planning a trip to Borah this weekend, but we called it off at the last minute, because the mountain got its first snow storm last night dumping 3 inches at 8,000 ft. I have a few questions about Chicken Out Ridge. Has anyone done it right after a snow storm? If so, what were the conditions like? Would you recommend doing the climb with some snow on the route? We are planning on doing it next weekend, so any answers would be appreciated. If anyone does summit this weekend, please post a report. Thanks.
We did Borah on 22 Aug. We stayed on the left (north) side of COR until we got to the other side and then scrambled up the scree slope. Most other seemed to go right along the ridge itself, which required a lot of climbing and was much slower. The trail is fairly easy to follow.
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