Peak 10137 Hike

Date of trip: 09/29/2017

Mileage: 5.7 Miles

Elevation Gain: 2300 Feet

Time: 4:36 Hours

Class: 2

Partners:

GPS Track: View Here

Peaks Climbed on Trip:
Peak Name Elevation Prominence Range Close to County highpoint Range highpoint Map
Peak 1013710137317SmokyKetchum, IdahoNoNo43.6628, -114.6646

Trip Report

A fairly large storm had hit the Idaho high country in mid-September. Afterward the temperatures returned to near normal and the weather was sunny. On the last day of that weather pattern, I couldn't pass on getting into the high country.

I had initially planned on doing Big Witch Peak (9500') in the Pioneers, but when I got to the Wood River Valley, I realized the snow levels weren't as low in elevation or as deep as had been reported online. Based on that, I switched plans.

My new plan was to climb Peak 10137 near Baker Peak and Baker Lake in the Smoky Mountains. While not a highly prominent peak, it is in a scenic area and one of the two remaining Smoky Mountain range peaks above 10k I hadn't climbed.

I arrived at the trailhead for an early start (ok, I lie... it was 10:30am). I could see some really white peaks to the west where I was headed. I thought about throwing the snowshoes in the pack, but decided that even if it was 2 feet deep for a 1000 feet I could tough it out on my strong summer legs.

My first goal was to climb out of the Baker Creek drainage and drop over into Slide Rock Canyon. This climb was steep and snowy, but not too tricky. Once I got onto the ridge between the two drainages, I could see the route to Peak 10137. There was indeed snow, but it looked manageable.

I worked my way up Slide Rock Canyon until I broke the treeline. Although it burned a few years ago, the canyon was quite scenic with a few inches of snow over green grass. There were an amazing number of springs, creeks and standing water in the canyon. Once above the treeline, I turned south and climbed the snowy slopes I had been dreading for about 400 feet to the saddle between Baker Peak and Peak 10137. The snow turned out to be about 6 inches deep, with a few places where it was knee deep.

Once on the ridge, the snow had received more exposure to the sun and wind and wasn't a factor. Where there was snow on the ridge, you could actually walk on it without breaking through (rare for early season). The ridge was easy to navigate with a few spots requiring minimal scrambling.

Views from the top were great, especially to the east and north. Some haze plagued the west and south views though.

The descent was fast and fairly easy. Turned out to be a great day in the sun! Perhaps my final day of hiking in a t-shirt and shorts in 2017? TBD...


Getting There

From Ketchum, drive north for 16 miles on ID-75. Turn left at the signed Baker Creek Road. Follow the road to its end at the Baker Lake trailhead. Plenty of parking is available at the trailhead.

The road is rough in places, but doable with a sedan.


Hiking Directions

I started at the trailhead for Baker Lake at the end of Baker Creek Road. From the trailhead, I immediately crossed two branches of Baker Creek, then climbed up the steep slopes to the ridge between Baker Creek drainage and Slide Rock Canyon. From the ridge, I traversed into Slide Rock Canyon.

I then simply hiked up Slide Rock Canyon until I reached the treeline around 9300'. I then angled towards the saddle between Baker Peak and Peak 10137. From the saddle, follow the ridge south to Peak 10137.


Photos

View Slideshow

Peak 10137
Peak 10137
Nearing the treeline in Slide Rock Canyon
Nearing the treeline in Slide Rock Canyon
Baker Peak
Baker Peak
Looking toward the saddle between Peak 10137 and Baker Peak
Looking toward the saddle between Peak 10137 and Baker Peak
North ridge of Peak 10137
North ridge of Peak 10137
Looking north from Peak 10137
Looking north from Peak 10137
Backdrop Peak
Backdrop Peak
Boulder Mountains from the shoulder of 10137
Boulder Mountains from the shoulder of 10137
Snow slope around 9500'
Snow slope around 9500'
Boulder Mountains after the hike
Boulder Mountains after the hike




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