North Face of Borah TRAugust 29 2017 at 6:15 AM
No score for this post
|Tod (Login tgunter)|
Climbed the NF of Borah this weekend in good conditions.
You can read the TR here:
I would have done the original post here but haven't figured out the whole photobucket debacle and wanted to include a few pics of conditions. Unfortunately, I don't have any of the entire face as it was dark when we came across the traverse.
Thanks to those here who helped out with beta and suggestions!
Awesome!No score for this post
|August 29 2017, 8:15 AM |
I thought there'd be more snow/ice up there but I guess the second hottest summer on record took its toll on the face.
Did you start at the creek bottom by going to the left of the parking area? I was up there in June checking out the approach the way Kevin described it (starting at the trail head) and when I saw the 600'+ descent I bailed thinking there had to be an easier way.
Good reportNo score for this post
|August 29 2017, 8:20 AM |
Todd you did it as the original was done by following the creek and like you said you loose very little elevation.
Low snow.No score for this post
|August 29 2017, 8:58 AM |
Nice job, Tod.
I'm impressed/depressed by the lack of snow. Despite a heavy winter, it looks like you had way less snow than we did in October of 2010.
NF TraverseNo score for this post
|August 29 2017, 9:32 AM |
To the best of my knowledge, the North Face traverse/summit couloir was first climbed in June, 1973 by Lyman Dye. He told me he was feeling good that day and soloed it without the use of a rope.
Alrighty then....No score for this post
|August 29 2017, 12:03 PM |
Here's to the pioneers, Lyman Dye, Mike Howard, Kevin Hansen. I'm always willing to maximize the fun to suffering ratio and follow in others footsteps. Thanks for sharing your efforts with us.
As for the traverse options I think there is value in Kevin's Escalator ridge approach and I'm not sure it's necessary to actually lose that much ground. Once you hit the creek traversing you could still climb straight up to the ridge. In the daylight I feel it would be preferable to have the views of the North Face from the ridge while approaching.
Bob-We went up to the first saddle (~8000) then traversed. Pretty easy to maintain elevation most of the way then it forces you down into the creek where you lose about 200 ft.
John- I do believe things are melting out up there and everywhere. That said I think what you were seeing in October, from the look of the picture, was more fresh fall snow rather than leftover winter snow. I tried it once in October a few years ago and there was so much fresh that we bailed at the base.
Otto Glacier Melt OutNo score for this post
|August 30 2017, 8:34 AM |
I first saw the North Face of Mt Borah in the summer of 1972 when I was working on a helicopter job for the Forest Service. We were flying up at Horse Heaven pass and I got some really good views of the face almost every day we were up there. That year the face was all bare, and covered with steely looking ice that made it stand out from anything I'd ever seen in Idaho. We went back to the area in 1974 and visited the East Face cirque and found it too was covered in ice. In '76 and '77 we made four more trips to the North Face and climbed it on all but one trip where we got hammered by a thunder storm. In 1976 we found Bruce's "rocket ship" snow gage down on the moraine below what would become Psycho Therapy. I was going to BSU at the time and had heard about his discovery of Idaho's only known glacier so we knew what the rocket was for. On one of our trips in the mid 80s we discovered that a massive avalanche had occurred taking most of the previous winter's snowfall with it. Bruce's snow measuring equipment was wiped out and carried almost a mile down to where it now sits.
NF 1976 - Everything in the photo is solid ice that had been dusted with the season's first snowfall
NF 1990 - We were in shock when we saw this. The glacier and lower ice fields were almost gone. This was the last photo of the old ice cover that was estimated to be over 500 years old
Mike "frenching" on the lower ice field that we estimated to be at least 50' thick
EF 1974 - If you look closely you can see the old blue ice showing in places. Under the snow the ice appeared to be over 50' thick.
Re: Otto Glacier Melt OutNo score for this post
|August 30 2017, 9:18 AM |
Thanks for posting, very interesting. And climate change isn't real /sarcasm/. Is there a comparison photo from today?
2009No score for this post
|August 30 2017, 9:25 AM |
Wow!No score for this post
|August 30 2017, 5:18 PM |
Thanks for sharing the photos Bob. Makes me sad to think I missed out on the golden years of alpine climbing. I guess there is stil Alaska and Canada but Peru and Europe and many other mountain playgrounds are now so dramatically different.
2004 Study - Glaciers No MoreNo score for this post
|August 30 2017, 9:50 AM |
Nope, not in Idaho. Now it's seasonal ice that doesn't usually last more than a year. Too bad because it was the best ice surface I've ever had the pleasure of climbing. When the conditions were right it was like hard, sticky plastic.
Thoughts?No score for this post
|August 30 2017, 10:16 AM |
Selkirks permanent snowNo score for this post
|September 2 2017, 3:36 PM |
When I was of high school age in bonners Ferry, the Selkirk's Kent Peak, plus a few other N facing faces, had year-round snow and old ice still showing when one crossed those snowfields. It's all gone now I think. But the research papers apparently didn't think those places were actually in Idaho.
Ski, climb, kayak. Repeat.
Dang, people can be dumb!No score for this post
|August 31 2017, 7:23 AM |
A beautiful climb. It is amazing what you guys can do.
Re: North Face of Borah TRNo score for this post
|August 31 2017, 1:45 PM |