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High Noon in Sunset Country

September 11 2010 at 7:38 PM
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Rick  (Login Rickeast208)

Thanks go to my friend Paul Mixon for pointing out a Lost River Range peak completely overlooked. Now, we have a mutual friend in Mineral Claim Hill el 9755' (prom 535').
[linked image]
Not being aware of the peak name Paul had selected, I wanted to call this one 'High Noon'.
View NE from Lost River Valley to mouth of Elbow Canyon. Peak L to R, in reverse time: Sunset 10693', High Noon 9755', Sunrise 10618'. Tellingly, I reached the summit of 9755' exactly at 12 o'clock, high noon.

But, Paul got there first, and his name is a good one.
[linked image]
There are virtually no other mineral claim areas in the Lost River Range, and this has to be the cliffiest 'hill' in the entire US of A!
The Elbow Canyon mineral claims relate to the exposures of relatively pure white quartzite which may have use in the semi conductor industry.

[linked image]
From Paul's summit cairn on Mineral Claim Hill, this view is SE. Peaks: N & S Twin, Red Cone, Jaggle, Ramshorn.

I'll second the motion this was a NSPSV for Paul. Back at the 9220' saddle NNE of summit there were some mid 20th century tins. The way I play the game on most peaks- if the final 300' vertical is free of human artifact, I count it. My backup verification is to squander time on computer sites (like this one) to learn what others have done.

[linked image]
View N to Sunset Peak from summit area Mineral Claim Hill.
In 1914 TM Bannon climbed Sunset Peak, heading E up the 4-5 mile long Mud Lake Canyon from the Pass Creek Ranger Station.

[linked image]
View NE to Sunrise Peak from summit area MCH.
On that peak, built cairn & placed register 11/20/93.
Chuck and Dave Ferguson did the Sunset-Sunrise traverse on 5/15/94.

Rick Baugher
Peak #1473
All photos Sept 11, 2010, an Indian Summer day, one of the best times to be in the mountains.

 
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RB
(Login Rickeast208)

More Sunset section

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September 12 2010, 3:56 PM 

The Sunset section is one of my favorite areas of Idaho's Lost River Range. As seen from Big Lost River Valley the sunset light cast upon the range front is of exceptional quality.
Just as enchanting is the reverse- sunrise glory on these same mountains as see from Little Lost country.

Here's a little mid-day photo tour. You'll have to seek out your own sunrises and sunsets.

[linked image]
Mineral Claim Hill 9755', the most cliff riddled 'Hill' in America. View up Elbow Canyon.

[linked image]
On 6/19/93 visited the summit of Elbow Rest 9640'+. There may have been an ill defined cairn in place. I just don't know. Some peaks are destined to hold their secrets.


[linked image]
Later that afternoon, climbed Red Cone Peak 10286', and was happy to sidestep sliding wet slabs of snow/mud/gravel.
The peak name appears on the Umpleby/Gray USGS sketch map of 1916.
On top NSPSV. Usually building a cairn is a private affair. Not today. First, a huge condor-like bird shadow appeared on the ground. Next, a woosh, then a human cry of 'Yahoo!'. Looking up, not a hundred feet away, was a soaring hang glider. Soon others were circling the wind currents. (King Mountain launch site isn't too far away by air)

[linked image]
Productid Peak 10677' is the main crest summit just NE of North Twin. Placed cairn, buried note 10/14/05.
Wildlife water tanks (guzzlers) have been airlifted onto the grassy tundra areas in this section.
Productid brachiopod fossils litter this summit. The productid is an indicator fossil of the Carboniferous geologic period. Well preserved examples are 'sexy' as they exhibit a nice bosomy cleavage in their shell.

[linked image]
Ramshorn Peak 10601'. NSPSV on 5/30/92.
Overlooks the Ram's Horn roadhouse. Cheers!

All photos 9/11/10.

 
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Rick again
(Login Rickeast208)

Idaho's exceptional quality of light

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September 13 2010, 9:40 AM 

The enclosed excerpt is from USGS Bulletin 199 'Geology and water resources of Snake River Plains, Idaho', 1902.
What follows is a suburb description, the best I have ever read, of Idaho's mountain-desert country.
It was written by geologist/explorer Israel Cook Russell (1852-1906). Imagine Russell on horseback riding west past the three buttes toward Arco. Month is August.

The mountains stand boldly forth as sculptured forms of amethyst and sapphire, every line on their deeply engraved slopes, although leagues distant, clearly visible. When the approaching dawn is first perceived, the sun seemingly a great fire beneath the distant edge of the plain, a curtain is quickly drawn aside, revealing a limitless picture suggestive of the view a mariner sometimes has on approaching a bold coast while the actual shore line is still below the horizon.

The distant mountains, rising range above range and culminating in some far-off sun-kissed peak, are the most delicate blue, while all below is dark and shadowy.
As the sun mounts higher the colors deepen, becoming violet and purple, of a strength and purity never seen where rain is frequent. Purple in all its rich and varied shades is the prevailing color imparted to the arid lands when the sun is low in the heavens.
As the dawn passes and the light becomes stronger the rich hues fade, the mountains recede and perhaps vanish in the all-pervading haze, details become obscure even in the immediate foreground, and the eye is pained by the penetrating light.
The shadows, if canyon walls are near, are sharply outlined and appear black in contrast with the intense light reflected from the sun-bathed surfaces.

As evening approaches there is a gradual change from glare to shadow. The broad plains become a sea of purple on which float the still shimmering mountains.
The shadows creep higher and higher, until each serrate crest becomes a line of light, margining rugged slopes on which every line etched through centuries by rills and creeks reveals its history.
The mountains seemingly grow in stature and unfold ridges and buttresses separating profound depths.
One marvels at the diversity and strength of sculpturing on what but a few moments before appeared flat, meaningless surfaces.

As the sun sinks lower there are, perhaps, a few clouds near at hand which are seemingly burned or rendered molten by the intense heat, but more frequently only a nebulous glory appears in the vaporless air.
The violet and purple shadows creep higher and higher on the mountain slopes, and at last each crest and pinnacle, still sharply outlined, becomes but a shadow.

 
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Wes
(no login)

Wish I could write like that!

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September 13 2010, 11:18 AM 

More great history Rick! Nice photos too, especially the shot of Ramshorn peak. It's amazing how much country is up there, it doesn't look that big from the highway. I made an unplanned run up the south ridge of Mineral Mine hill a couple years ago on a scouting trip for limestone crags, great view!

 
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Rick
(Login Rickeast208)

Thanks Wes

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September 13 2010, 3:40 PM 

Appreciate feedback from someone who knows that country well. Paul might be interested to know whether your unplanned trip (i.e. SAR?) took you to the top of MCH?
btw/ I frequently enjoy reading of your exploits in the Advertiser. Was particularly moved by, and proud of, your timely skill in the cliff rescue of the girl stuck on Number Hill. Keep up the good work, Lone Ranger!

Now, more history:

[linked image]
Israel Cook Russell (1852-1906) was born in New York State and educated at Columbia School of Mines. In 1878 he served with the Wheeler Survey under JJ Stevenson (the man who MAY HAVE? climbed Grand Teton in 1872).
He began with USGS in 1880 and studied the desert basins of the west.
In 1891 his expedition almost made the first ascent of Mount St Elias.
In 1898 he studied the glaciers of Mt Rainier.
USGS photo, Baugher collection.

[linked image]
View S to East Butte (Twin Buttes) in Snake River Plain, 35 miles west of Idaho Falls. IC Russell photo, 1902
This takes us back to a more peaceful time- before the dozens of communications towers, before roads, before the nuclear test site.
In 1913 TM Bannon used East Butte for triangulation, and built a 7' high monument on top. 'Nearest water- William Dalzer's ranch 7 miles southwest.'
Photo courtesy USGS.

 
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Anonymous
(no login)

Re: Thanks Wes

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September 14 2010, 9:49 AM 

thanks again for another cool history lesson. when will your book come out?

 
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Geo
(Login George_R)

Wildlife Guzzler

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September 14 2010, 9:13 PM 

Is that what this is?
[linked image]
(photo courtesy of Super Dave)

That is located between Wet & South Wet peaks. I remember the lot of us proposing our theories as to what it might be on the 2006 ISFO. I don't think guzzler was one of the theories.

-George

 
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R
(Login Rickeast208)

I'll drink to that

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September 15 2010, 9:14 AM 

George, my antenna reception was poor. Couldn't pick up your picture. On this link, see 3rd photo down for guzzler:
http://climbingidaho.com/Little%20Lost%20Peak.htm

 
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Geo
(Login George_R)

LIB

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September 15 2010, 8:54 PM 

That's it. Mystery solved. Thanks, Rick.

-George

 
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