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Elkhorn Ck Basecamping

June 19 2012 at 11:03 PM
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Geo  (no login)

Had I remembered how steep the approach was into Elkhorn Creek, I would have been more hesitant to strap 40 lbs on my back and leave the truck in the heat of the day with the sun beating down on us with no breeze. John R and I managed to find a nice campsite about 9350' with awesome views of Mt. Idaho's south face and the connecting ridge to Peak 11967:
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...and we eventually got plenty of breeze.

Sunday morning we headed up the west ridge of Peak 11967 on stable rock as the skies began to darken:
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(Mount Morrison in background)

After visiting several potential summits, we finally found the official summit artwork and knew this was the place to take the "cheesy" victory shot:
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Afterward, we wandered south to the gully just past the west ridge and found a little ribbon of snow, and ...you guessed it:
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We made it back to camp around noon while the skies were gray and the wind began to howl. After a lunch of noodles and kippers, the skies began to clear. We began the debate about whether to attempt Mt. Morrison that afternoon with questionable energy reserves and an unknown ridge walk in strong wind gusts, or wait until the next morning before we packed out. We eventually decided to go for it and made good time up to the ridge. Once there, we were greeted with lovely "sidewalks" that followed the ridge on the east side ...that came to a screeching halt at a pile of steep, rotten limestone with knife edge protrusions:
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After looking over the other side (steep wet or snow covered slabs above a cliff band) we realized our only option would be to drop 6 or 700 feet on the east side and wrap around a ridge or two. We didn't have that kind of gas left in the tank, so we tipped our hats to the mountain and headed back down to camp for the night before packing out the following morning.
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-George

 
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