2013 Spring Outing - Rosencrance Peaks

Date of trip: 04/27/2013

Mileage: 8.35 Miles

Elevation Gain: 3851 Feet

Time: 8:03 Hours

Class: 2

Partners: Deb, Ryan, Mark, Todd, John P., Julie, Steve, George, Dylan, John F., Michael, Wes, Margo, Steve, Tory, Leslie

GPS Track: View Here

Peaks Climbed on Trip:
Peak Name Elevation Prominence Range Close to County highpoint Range highpoint Map
West Rosencrance Peak10273333PioneerMackay, IdahoNoNo43.8659, -114.0645
Rosencrance Peak10380760PioneerMackay, IdahoNoNo43.8592, -114.0425

Trip Report

Scheduling this spring's Idahosummits outing was tough. All Saturdays in May were off-limits for softball or graduation activities. Most of April was tied up as well, so that left April 27th. Normally I arrive the night before an outing to camp, meet people, bs around the fire, etc... but my daughter Lexie had her senior night for Timberline High School softball on Friday night. So after the game and festivities were over, I was on the road at 9pm heading to Garden Creek Campground for the hike the next morning.

I arrived at 12:40am, shut off the vehicle and jumped into my already made sleeping bag in the back of the vehicle and was out within 5 minutes.

I awoke the next morning and greeted everyone who had arrived early on Friday. There were some familiar faces, but several new faces. I was amazed that 17 people would be on this outing... a new record!

So enough about the people, why I picked the date, and my driving schedule... what peaks were we climbing?! Well, that would be Rosencrance (10,380) and West Rosencrance (10,273) peaks in the Pioneer range. These peaks are on a ridge bordered by Wildhorse Creek on the west, Fall Creek on the south, and East Fork Big Lost River on the north. I put these peaks on the list of choices because I knew we could access them no matter what the snow levels, the terrain is mellow for people of all skills, and I figured the views would be nice.

After the introductions at the campground, off we headed for our trailhead for the climb. We had planned on parking and starting right at the base of the peak on the Copper Basin road. However, there was a road closed sign just before the bridge over Wildhorse Creek. So we parked where the road to Wildhorse Canyon forked.

After following the road a short period of time, we started following a fence line that led steeply up to the northwest ridge of West Rosencrance Peak. The group moved fast up this section and it was nice having a cow trail to follow. When we hit trees, the snow started. After fighting the snow for a short period of time, we crossed over to the western aspect of the ridge and found snow-free slopes for easy travel. Eventually the dirt went to hard snow, then soft snow. People started putting on snowshoes at different points. At the saddle just after Point 9396, we stopped for a break. The views at this point were becoming incredible. The weather was stunning, with a light wind and warm temps. After some joking and conversation, we continued up the final slopes to the top of West Rosencrance Peak.

What were good views became INCREDIBLE! From the top, the view up Wildhorse Canyon is stunning. You could see the White Clouds, Boulders, a close-up of all of the big Pioneers, the White Knobs, the Lost Rivers all the way from King to the northern end of the Pahsimeroi. I heard from several long time Idaho climbers on the trip that have seen a lot of terrain (including John Platt) that thought this is the best view from a summit in Idaho.

14 of us sat on top for a while eating and chatting until the cold wind made us start moving. Several of us were going for a second peak, Rosencrance Peak, which was about 1/2 a mile away. I hatched an idea for Dylan to climb that peak, then run back over West Rosencrance Peak and down our route to grab a "shuttle" vehicle to pick the other 13 of us up at the base of the north ridge of Rosencrance Peak. This would save us a few miles of hiking and from having to re-climb West Rosencrance Peak.

Dylan collected his fees for this service (I gave him a bag of M&Ms) and after he tagged Rosencrance Peak, he raced by us as he headed to fetch the vehicle. Stud move BTW Dylan!!! The rest of us continued on to Rosencrance Peak.

After once again enjoying the spectacular views from the summit of our second peak of the day, we started descending the north ridge of Rosencrance Peak between Pole Creek and Dry Canyon. About 300 feet below the summit we hit rotten snow and it continued until 9200'. Surprisingly, nobody punched me as we took off snowshoes and dried off from that fun. We were now on a dry ridge, but couldn't see down the slope between us and the shuttle pickup. As we crested the ridge, we got about 300 feet of dry ground before rotten snow again. George and I exchanged leads through this section and I eventually hit some solid snow in a deep gully and then viola... dirt! After a hike down a sunny, sage brush slope we popped out on the road in Dry Canyon and eventually to Dylan, who had be waiting an hour for us.

Saturday night was a blast as we sat around the camp fire and ate good food and had great conversations! Almost everyone was still talking to me, giving me beer, and food that night; despite the 2000 feet of rotten snow we fought through on descent!

I appreciate everyone coming. It was great seeing the regulars again and nice meeting you new attendees. I'm always amazed at how well everyone hits it off on these trips. Can't wait until the next one this fall!


Getting There

Turn off Trail Creek Road and head toward Copper Basin. We parked where the Wildhorse Canyon Road forks off, just before the Copper Basin Road crosses Wildhorse Creek.


Hiking Directions

See the Garmin tracks and/or the trip report...


Photos

View Slideshow

17 Mountaineers at the Trailhead
17 Mountaineers at the Trailhead
Gorgeous views on the approach
Gorgeous views on the approach
Margo and John Checking Snow Depths
Margo and John Checking Snow Depths
West Rosencrance Peak
West Rosencrance Peak
Todd taking in the Views
Todd taking in the Views
Wildhorse Canyon
Wildhorse Canyon
Fall Creek Drainage
Fall Creek Drainage
Group on West Rosencrance Peak
Group on West Rosencrance Peak
Devils Bedstead East... Bada$$
Devils Bedstead East... Bada$$
Me on West Rosencrance Peak
Me on West Rosencrance Peak
Descending West Rosencrance Peak
Descending West Rosencrance Peak
Look how far north you can see!
Look how far north you can see!
Castle Rock with Borah in the Background
Castle Rock with Borah in the Background
2 tired Dogs!
2 tired Dogs!
Relaxing on Rosencrance Peak
Relaxing on Rosencrance Peak
Splattski on Rosencrance Peak
Splattski on Rosencrance Peak
Rosencrance Peak
Rosencrance Peak
Starting the descent - 2000 feet of rotten snow
Starting the descent - 2000 feet of rotten snow




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