Griswold Peak Ascent

Date of trip: 08/04/2013

Mileage: 8.36 Miles

Elevation Gain: 3965 Feet

Time: 7:00 Hours

Class: 3

Partners: Zach

GPS Track: View Here

Peaks Climbed on Trip:
Peak Name Elevation Prominence Range Close to County highpoint Range highpoint Map
Griswold Peak11057677BoulderSun Valley, IdahoNoNo43.9401,-114.3901
Cougar Peak10727307BoulderSun Valley, IdahoNoNo43.9267,-114.3972

Trip Report

I hadn't hiked with Zach since early spring. I missed hanging out with him, so I thought I would text him and see if he wanted to get out. Then I saw his 2013 peak list only contained 1 lame peak on it. He needed my push to get out of the door!

Zach and I chose Griswold Peak. I liked Griswold because it was an 11er, Zach liked it because it was in an area he'd never been. We finalized plans within 8 hours of our departure time from Boise... nothing like waiting until the last minute.

The day was a bit hazy as we made the long drive over to Sun Valley, then Trail Creek Summit. However, we both noticed it was much less hazy once we got into the mountains. Eventually that afternoon it cleared up quite a bit.

We made it to our destination, the trailhead for Hunter Creek. We parked and set off on the trail. We only followed the trail for 1/2 a mile and then headed west just to the left of the un-named creek coming down from Point 10067.

We made our way to the east ridge of Griswold. It had been steep, but good footing to get there. We were now on a gentle, scenic ridge. After crossing a couple of saddles, we stared up at the final, steep 700 feet.

Despite the steepness, the last 700 feet were on good rock and quite fun. We arrived at the summit to find a summit cairn. I could also see a register as well, but I noticed the top was swarming with flying ants. Not only were they swarming, but there seemed to be a war between the black ones and the red ones. I carefully snagged the register can with a hiking pole and we descended 20 feet or so to escape these aggressive ants to relax and checkout the register. We saw quite a few familiar names in it.

Zach and I had noticed a peak to the south that had the 300 feet of prominence to be considered a real peak. We could see most of the route to Peak 10727 (later identified as Cougar Peak) and it looked doable, but looking down the initial drop to get off Griswold looked a little hairy. I could see that it might go and Zach seemed confident, so off we went.

The descent was indeed steep, but the rock was actually quite good. In a few spots I down climbed what I considered class 4 terrain, but only for 10 feet max at a time. The rock wasn't that loose and sticking right on the ridge (despite 2000 feet of exposure to our west) kept it safe. After we finished the descent, both of us looked up at where we'd came and were in shock at how steep it looked from below!

Onward we went to Cougar Peak. Cougar Peak had a register in an Airborne pill bottle, signed only by Rick Baugher. We enjoyed the views of North Ryan Peak and the other surrounding peaks before heading down. Instead of repeating our ascent, we decided to follow the east ridge off Cougar to the North Fork Big Lost River, then hike until we hit Hunter Creek and back to our car. There were only a few problems with this plan... 1) we didn't have a map 2) that route is forested and would be hard to navigate without a map 3) we couldn't see the vehicle or even Hunter Creek from the summit to get an idea of how far away it was.

The descent took longer than expected and of course we kept questioning if we'd gone too far. However, I was familiar enough with the Hunter Creek drainage that I knew we hadn't got there yet. Zach and I got split up a bit and took different lines to the trailhead. Mine popped out about 100 yards from the car... Zach was just a bit further down but close enough.

Despite being a long hike with quite a bit of gain, it went quickly and we saw some great terrain. I really liked the views from both peaks and this is a fine trip! Oh, and we got Zach a couple of real peaks for his list!


Getting There

Drive Trail Creek Road and turn onto the signed North Fork Big Lost River Road. This road is improved for most of the way. Eventually you will reach a turn-off for Hunter Creek where you will turn right. Follow this road to the end. This road requires high clearance, but not 4-wheel drive.


Hiking Directions

See the trip report and/or the GPS tracks for our hike.


Photos

View Slideshow

Trailhead  (Zach Photo)
Trailhead (Zach Photo)
First view of Griswold
First view of Griswold
Getting closer
Getting closer
Nearing the top of Griswold
Nearing the top of Griswold
Looking north from Griswold
Looking north from Griswold
Kent and Ryan with Cougar Peak in the foreground
Kent and Ryan with Cougar Peak in the foreground
Zach and I on Griswold  (Zach Photo)
Zach and I on Griswold (Zach Photo)
Flying ants on the top of Griswold
Flying ants on the top of Griswold
Griswold, we had just came down that nasty looking ridge
Griswold, we had just came down that nasty looking ridge
Zach heading toward Cougar Peak
Zach heading toward Cougar Peak
Red Ryan Peak from Cougar Peak
Red Ryan Peak from Cougar Peak
Rugged face of Point 11415 from Cougar Peak
Rugged face of Point 11415 from Cougar Peak
Pioneer Crest from Cougar Peak
Pioneer Crest from Cougar Peak
Griswold Peak from Cougar Peak
Griswold Peak from Cougar Peak
Summit register on Cougar Peak (Zach Photo)
Summit register on Cougar Peak (Zach Photo)
Castle Peak from Cougar Peak
Castle Peak from Cougar Peak
Southwest Ridge we descended on Griswold Peak
Southwest Ridge we descended on Griswold Peak
Devil's Bedstead East
Devil's Bedstead East
Panorama of Boulder Mountains from North Fork Big Lost River Canyon
Panorama of Boulder Mountains from North Fork Big Lost River Canyon




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