Big Basin Peak - 11510'
Three of us (myself, Dave, and Sean) from the Idahosummit's forum decided to take advantage of perfect fall weather and climb a peak. I picked Big Basin Peak for the outing and they were in once I found a reasonable route from the East Fork of the Wood River side.
We utilized the trailhead at the end of the East Fork Wood River road. The road is a bit rough, but easily doable with a 4x4.
From the trailhead, we started following the trail north in 25° temps. After about 1.75 miles, we left the trail, crossed the river (creek at this point), and headed for the saddle just east of the prominent feature named Little Matterhorn. This section is steep, but the footing is descent. Once past the base of Little Matterhorn, you enter a large basin surrounded by large gray walls all around you. At the upper head of the basin is Big Basin Peak.
Our initial plan was to ascend the east ridge of BBP, but as we neared, we realized that was a bit steep. We decided instead to work our way to the higher of two notches on the south ridge of the peak. Getting to the notch was fairly easy, with goat trails and then a neat ledge leading the way. From the notch, the climbing got difficult, with several tough moves and a lot of route finding difficulty. Eventually we made the top and enjoyed wonderful views of Cobb, Old Hyndman, and Hyndman Peaks. From the top we were also at the head of Wildhorse canyon, so that view was exhilirating. Other views included the Lost Rivers, White Knobs, and southern Pioneer range.
In a moment of bad judgement, Dave and I convinced Sean to descend into Big Basin and then climb back up to the notch on the south ridge instead of downclimbing the south ridge. This turned out to take long than expected and wear me out. On the way out, Sean and Dave climbed Little Matterhorn. After checking out the initial move (class 4 and exposed) on that peak, I decided to pass when they said that wasn't even the hardest or most exposed move.
Time: 7.75 hours
Distance: 8 miles
Elevation gain: 4000'
Class (difficulty): 3+