American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing
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North America, United States, Idaho, Sawtooth Range

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1961

Sawtooth Range. The Iowa Mountaineers, 1960 Summer Camp was located on the southwest shore of Big Redfish Lake. The 76 climbers concentrated on the peaks flanking or near Redfish Creek. All of the major peaks and pinnacles in this immediate area were ascended including Grand Mogul, Elephant Perch, Eagle Perch, Redfish Peak, Cramer Peak, Warbonnet, Flatrock Needle, Grand Aiguille, and Heyburn. Black Aiguille was ascended for the first time. It lies on the Redfish Creek flank of the Groin and Quartzite Peak. It was approached by a steep, rock-filled couloir beginning about a half mile up Redfish Creek from the Heyburn Creek side. After a delicate climb up a flaky granite wall the climbers were confronted with a final steep ridge of classical “ball bearing granite.” A small pinnacle near the top was lassoed to gain access to the summit. The party consisted of Hans Gmoser, Bill Echo, Paul Bloland, Wilbur Davis, Cornelia Davis, Rodney Harris, James Luce, James Ross, Stanton Taylor, John Walker, and Jack Wilson. Quartzite Peak was an unspectacular first ascent. The point is on the Redfish Creek end of a ridge that runs south from Mount Iowa. The summit lies directly west of the Groin. It was approached up the same couloir as that used to climb the Black Aiguille. It was fairly easy all the way. Flat Rock Needle was the most difficult first ascent of the outing. At the end of a narrow ridge lying to the west of Quartzite Peak, the needle is easily seen from the trail near the Alpine Lake-Cramer Lakes fork, a spectacular rock projection with a sheer orange-colored wall. It was approached by a route that began near the trail fork to the right of the peak and up a narrow couloir. A delicate finger traverse was required to pass a large boulder blocking the couloir. The needle was then approached along the ridge. The final pitch was scaled using tension climbing on the ridge side of the needle. The party consisted of Hans Gmoser, Bill Echo, Dean Millsap, and Clair Brown. The north summit of Chockstone Peak was ascended for the first time. Chockstone Peak, on the south side of Redfish Creek valley, is easily identified by the huge boulder wedged in the cleft between its two summits. The route taken followed the fissure which extends down the east face from the cleft. The parties found interesting chimney climbing which included wriggling around small chockstones. About two-thirds of the way up the fissure the route divided. The parties climbing the south and higher peak angled to the left onto the face of this peak. The party which climbed the north peak continued up the chimney to the chockstone itself. An interesting looking layback beginning at the top of the chockstone seemed a feasible alternate route up the south summit. The descents were made down a series of scree slopes on the west side.

John Ebert

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