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Sac & Merpin TR

October 2 2012 at 7:48 PM
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Geo  (Login George_R)

9/15/12 cont. - We arrived at the W Fk of the Pahsimeroi TH with plenty of light remaining (thanks to our unexpected early start that day), then pitched the gazebo in the best campsite and got camp all set up. A group of elk bow hunters from VA had the other spot. There was only one other rig parked at the TH, which the elk hunters told us belonged to a group of 3 that packed into Merriam Lake earlier that day for some camping & fishing.

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9/16/12 - The elk hunters were packing their camp up as we left. They said there wasn't much sign of elk activity and that they were relocating. Skies were mostly clear with just a few clouds. The last forecast we had heard called for 20% chance of rain and bolt action for the day, and improving after that. We made our way up past Merriam Lake and to the ridge between Mt. Idaho and "Sacagawea Peak", which was our goal for the day. NF Mt Idaho, which we ogled on our way to the ridge:
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When we made it to the ridge and got a view of our route on the summit block of the Sac, we had to remind ourselves that it couldn't be as steep as it looked - because it is impossible to stack scree that steep without it falling.
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It laid back nicely when we got on it. The smoke and clouds began to roll in as we summited.
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On the way down, we thought we had spotted us a Sasquatch below ...but it turned out to be one of the campers at Merriam Lake. sad.gif We chatted with them a bit when we passed by them fishing at the lake. When we returned to our camp, there was another rig with "N" plates parked at the TH. As we walked past the Leatherman trail, we saw two lovely young ladies packing out on that trail. They dropped their packs and... changed clothes before driving out. We won't go into details here, but I was thinking seriously about re-climbing the 12ers, several times maybe ...until I saw that picture of loin cloth man on Borah. happy.gif

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9/17/12 - We made our way up the Leatherman trail to a point closest to the NE ridge of Merriam Lake Peak. There was some hot pink flagging marking some bushes. We figured that must our sign, so we turned right towards point 9834 on the NE ridge of the Merpin. After we made our way up to the steep treed section, we started noticing cairns. What the heck, let's follow them. I believe this is the route RB took. (Did you leave the cairns, Rick?) We eventually made it through the trees to the ridge.
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The Merpin is different than other LRR peaks, it felt more like a climb out of Wildhorse. The cairns had me spooked a little bit since I was beginning to think they might be the only way off the mountain without getting cliffed out. And there wasn't much time for day dreaming with all the route-finding ...and trying to remember to look back and memorize our backtrail. We climbed a highpoint that wasn't the summit and got our bearings (just like every peak I ever climbed out of Wildhorse) and eventually made our way to the true summit.
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We returned part way back on the ridge and spied a gully that looked like it lead to the valley floor. With some hesitation, we took it and it made down to the trail nicely. When we arrived back at camp, we had the place to ourselves. After three days of climbing, we celebrated with a victory nap in the gazebo:
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9/18/12 - "Rest Day", well, actually rest and relocation day. We started it out right by sleeping in, then we had ourselves a little breakfast:
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After we had our saturated fat and sodium levels back up to normal, we packed our overnight backpacks, loaded up the truck, and headed for the Dry Creek drainage...

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-George

 
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