2017 Spring Outing - Rainbow Mountain

Date of trip: 05/20/2017

Mileage: 4.7 Miles

Elevation Gain: 2691 Feet

Time: 5:10 Hours

Class: 2

Partners:

GPS Track: View Here

Peaks Climbed on Trip:
Peak Name Elevation Prominence Range Close to County highpoint Range highpoint Map
Rainbow Mountain10162702LemhiLone Pine, IdahoNoNo44.2970, -113.2114

Trip Report

All the way back on February 23rd, I announced the date and location of the spring outing. Idaho was (still is) having a near historical high snow year. However, as the date neared and the weather forecast came out, it looked like this actually might work.

The outing has become quite the social event with people bring trailers, food, and a lot of beer! So we hung out enjoying the views of the Lemhis and Diamond Peak, as people arrived and setup camp.

The count that night was 21 I believe. So you can only imagine the buzz that generated. In the morning, Teak's group showed up, giving us a total of 25.

Our target peak for the outing was Rainbow Mountain. Rainbow isn't awe inspiring by any means, but it appeared to have numerous safe routes for us to ascend. Margo had taken photos of it the day before and spooked me off of the routes I had planned on doing directly up the east face, as the timber appeared too thick.

So we spied the photos and topo and decided the northeast ridge would work great.

We arrived at the trailhead (just above the charcoal kilns). We verified the northeast ridge looked doable. Then after our pre-hike photo, we were off... only 15 minutes late!

The initial hike was up an old road to around 8000'. We then had to cross a couple of drainages to get to the northeast ridge. Once on the ridge, we had our first stop of the day. To this point, there had just been a inch or two of snow on the ground, but not long after being on the ridge the snow deepened. So soon, we had our next stop and put on snowshoes.

The snow wasn't terrible on the way up, with only an occasional posthole. Not long after the trees thinned and soon we were in shallow snow above the treeline.

This is about where the cold wind started too. So we bundled up and plodded on. It was kind of neat as the group had spread out across the ridgeline, so it looked Everest-like with a train of climbers heading up the ridge.

The top was cool and breezy, but the food and views were great! We ate, chatted and took photos as people started heading down. It didn't take long and then all of the sudden it was just 4 of us up there... and quiet!

Just below the summit, we saw the final 2 climbers (Tory and Mark). Not long after, Tory made it to the top despite being 5 months pregnant. How about that for determination?!

The hike out went smooth. I had seen a few piles of wood on the hike in, but on the way out our route led us by dozens. This wood was cut and ready to be used in the charcoal kilns at the base of the mountain back in the 1880's. The kilns were closed after a just 2 years, so the wood has sat idle for over a century.

Turned out to be a tremendous day and a really neat group. Can't wait to do it again in the fall!


Getting There

Turn off Highway 28 at the signs for the Charcoal Kilns. Follow this road 5 miles to the kilns. We parked maybe 1/4 of a mile above the kilns in an open meadow near a cattle watering station.


Hiking Directions

We parked just above the charcoal kilns. We followed the old road shown leading to Point 8063. We then angled to the northeast ridge and followed that too the summit.


Photos

View Slideshow

Camp at Birch Creek
Camp at Birch Creek
Photo of Camp (Pam Bond Photo)
Photo of Camp (Pam Bond Photo)
Bell Mountain from Charcoal Kilns Road
Bell Mountain from Charcoal Kilns Road
24 Eager Hikers at the trailhead
24 Eager Hikers at the trailhead
Last few steps until we are on the summit ridge
Last few steps until we are on the summit ridge
Carrie and Tamara share something (Ibuprofen?)
Carrie and Tamara share something (Ibuprofen?)
Scenic area on the north ridge
Scenic area on the north ridge
Carrie is all smiles as we near the treeline
Carrie is all smiles as we near the treeline
Carrie and Rob traverse the hillside
Carrie and Rob traverse the hillside
A long line of climbers near the top
A long line of climbers near the top
Bell Mountain from Rainbow Mountain
Bell Mountain from Rainbow Mountain
On the summit... JJ gives the thumbs up
On the summit... JJ gives the thumbs up
Charcoal Kilns
Charcoal Kilns




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