Saturday, April 29, 2017

Big and Little Charcoal Peaks

Just a couple of check the box type peaks.

Date: April 28, 2017.

Objectives: Peak 5,380 AKA Big Charcoal Peak. Peak 4,973 AKA Little Charcoal Peak.

Partners: Dog.

Stats: Class 1, mostly on a trail. 12 miles and 4,500ft gain round trip. Strava track.

Links: Idaho: A Climbing Guide.

I've been running in the foothills a lot. I've been logging lots of miles and vert, but really wanting to get up high, or at least go tag a peak or two. I looked to the east, into a sub-range of the Boise Mountains. The Danskins are all but unrunnable. They are known for sage brush and undulating ridge lines with lots of pointless ups and downs.

Just dial up a couple of check-the-box type peaks, then add in a stiff wind and what's not to like!

Woodtick Creek.

I started up Woodtick Creek from Upper Blacks Creek Road, then moved west to join the route for Kepros Mountain.

Trinity Mountains.

The first mile was steep with lots of sage brush and loose rocks. It was down right hard to settle into a good rhythm.

North toward Station Peak.

Views to the north beheld Station Peak and the road that continues north to Peak 5,100 which is in my back pocket for a future Danskin Suffer-fest.

Route to Big Charcoal Peak.

I had not been aware of any names attached to these peaks until Erik P had told me that he calls them Big and Little Charcoal Peaks because they sit above Charcoal and Little Charcoal Creeks, respectively. Not that I'm an authority of any sort on the matter, but I like the names and feel that they should stick.

First up was Peak 5,380 aka "Big Charcoal Peak". The standard route to Kepros goes right over it, so I knew I had been on it before, but this time was to count it as official. My main goal was to tag Peak 4,937 aka "Little Charcoal Peak". My other goal was to stay on top of the hills and log as much vert as the terrain would allow.

Kepros Mountain.

Once on the road that heads toward Kepros, the going is good. It's was so good in fact, I totally spaced crossing over Big Charcoal Peak until I was on the north side.

Running on the road.

Little Charcoal Peak.

Once over Big Charcoal, I knew to look for the trail that headed west to Little Charcoal Peak.

Road heading north.

Big Charcoal Peak from the north.

Little Charcoal Peak from the road.

Rolling hills.

Good bye pleasant road running: hello sage brush sorrow.

Ridge to Little Charcoal.
Running though the sage brush was sub-optimal. The route to Little Charcoal heads west and does nothing but undulate along the ridge the whole way. Winds were west 20mph sustained. The view was awesome but the running sucked. Note: The route going out to Little Charcoal does more down, than up. That means you'll do more up on the way back. Consider yourself warned.


Lucky Peak and the Treasure Valley.

I had been less than motivated by the howling wind to begin with, and now the occasional strong gust was testing my balance, as well as my mental resolve.

I didn't linger on Little Charcoal Peak. Too bad because the view is so nice.

Ketchum on Little Charcoal.

Looking northeast.

Little Charcoal Peak.

Boise Mountains.

Summit of Little Charcoal Peak

I waddled my way back up to the road and was going to head out to Kepros until I realized I wouldn't make it back to the car by my planned time. That was fine by me; I was about done being in the wind anyways. Two more boxes checked!

Happy Trails!

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