Coming up Trail Creek Road, I pause to take a shot through the smoke. The Devils Bedstead
is a striking apparition in the distance.
A shot taken from Trail Creek Road a few years back reveals the
planned route after two failed attempts up the central gully.
From the east near the campground showing the 2012 route.
Despite the smoke, it's a beautiful, windless fall day. The approach hike is spectacular.
Before long, the objective begins to dominate the view.
Here the trail forks and leaves Boulder Creek to switchback up the canyon wall to the right.
The Witch's Hat is in the center of this shot.
Terry and Mark take a break on the way up the slope. The fall colors were in full swing.
We near the lake where the climb actually begins.
At the lake, we take a short break. The route starts at the lake
shore, center. Then moves up the grassy slope to some ledges
that are scrambled to the left of the trees visible in the upper right.
The Witch's Hat beyond the lake and the headwall of Boulder
Creek canyon in the distance. Not a ripple on that lake.
Break is over, time to start the climb. The lake is 4 miles
from the trailhead at just under 10,000' elevation.
Up we go.
Once the ledges are climbed, the ridge and saddle lie just ahead.
The scree from here up to the saddle was a lot funner coming down.
The route to the summit is near and clear.
Terry is on the northeast ridge and ready to lead us up. He's been here before.
But Mark and I are fully experiencing the scree slope at 10,000 feet.
I didn't feel like I caught my breath the rest of the way up.
But eventually we were on the saddle and ready to head up the ridge. It looks like Mars up here.
Terry heads up the ridge, with the obvious crux tower blocking the way.
I make Terry stop and pose. It's an amazing place to be and one
of the finest scrambling routes in Idaho.
Mark's right behind me.
At the base of the tower crux, we stop to reconnoiter. I feel the same as Mark.
The north face gullies fall away to the Kane Creek drainage.
The crux. We're discussing here whether to go directly over the
top or traverse around to the right into the central gully.
To the right of the picture sits a small rock, which we missed
until coming down. It is intended to mark the traverse path out
onto the north face. So we simply continue up and over.
It got a little steep. But all the way, the handholds were excellent.
Near the top of the crux. I was sure happy I'd brought some gloves.
The leather was ripped to pieces by the time we got down.
We realize now we could have gone around, but this is the top of the tower. The rest of the
way was comparatively easy scrambling, but often just as steep.
Back down the route.
Nearing the summit, I venture out onto the north face.
My face ights up as I see the summit cairn.
Terry nears the top.
Terry and I take a picture of Mark simultaneously on the last summit ridge.
Terry's simultaneous shot of Mark.
I'm winded and tired...but just short of the summit.
I head up for the last little bit.
After two failed attempts, I've finally made it. For some reason
this mountain had always had a special appeal to me. I feel great!
Beef jerky time!
Terry's always happy to be on top of a Pioneer peak. Goat Peak and Florian's Nudl
are visible on the right through the smoke and haze.
Out to the south.
Terry is trying to find the register. We couldn't locate one.
A gully down into Kane Creek, with Terry on the brink.
True summit rock pile.
Mark Sugden, Todd Schwarz, and Terry Patterson.
The Devils Bedstead East. 11,865 feet. September 21, 2012.
The route back down.
Foregoing a nap, we head out. Five hours, five miles, and 5,000
vertical feet to get there and we leave all too soon.
Terry and Mark downclimbing just below the summit.
This time we drop below the tower and traverse around it. This shot shows the nature of the north face.
Completing the traverse back around to the ridge.
The rest of the way is just being cautious and remembering how tired our legs are.
And that there are steaks and beers waiting at camp.
Contouring around another small ridge tower. The summit is now well behind.
The smoke and sun start to create some drama as the descent is nearly complete.
Almost to the saddle. We're effectively done, except the scree slope and small ledges down
to the lake. And then the four miles back to camp.
Once at the lake, Mark doesn't say a word. We just hear a splash.
And then Terry joins him. I declined, and now regret it.
Now the appartition fades further into the distance.
I have no small sense of accomplishment. And relief.
90 minutes, four miles, and a trail tumble removed from the lake, we near camp and peer into
the south end of the Wildhorse. Howard Peak and Old Hyndman lie in the distance.
Up and down the mountain I got a few scrapes and scratches. Jogging out I trip on the trail and
gash my knee open. I knew you'd want to see.
Terry has the taters and steaks ready to eat in no time. That's not
just a wine-induced smile. He's been pretty happy all day.
And then, it's campfire time. Perfect end to a perfect day.
Almost two years after Devils Bedstead West, Mark Sugden, Terry Patterson, and Todd Schwarz atop Devils Bedstead East. 11,865 feet. September 21, 2012.